Just a month ago, our fellow Palm Beach County taxpayer Donald Trump was a criminal because he had some classified documents in his palazzo. See “‘It worried people all the time’: How Trump’s handling of secret documents led to the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago search” (NBC News, 8/13/2022). And “Inside the Justice Department’s decision on whether to charge Trump in Mar-a-Lago case” (NBC News, 11/11/2022):
“If Trump were anyone else, he would have already faced a likely indictment,” said lawyer Bradley Moss, who represents intel agency workers in cases involving classified information.
Today, however, we know that the blame is correctly assigned to the system, not the individual. “America’s system for handling classified documents is broken, say lawmakers and former officials” (NBC News, 1/24/2023):
Far too many documents are classified, and gatekeepers charged with tracking the secret papers are struggling to keep up, experts say.
The U.S. government’s system for labeling and tracking classified documents appears to be broken …
For decades, current and former officials and Congress have warned about the growing problem of labeling too much information secret, or “overclassification.”