Intelligence to blame for misplaced documents, not the presidents

Someone used to check up on classified materials. What happened?

I would like to clear something up in regards to classified documents. These situations, both with ex-president Trump and current president Biden, are nothing less than a massive failure of the intelligence community at large.

Here is why I think this is the issue. I had a top secret clearance when I was in the Army from 1964 until 1967 and, even at that time, we had a specific way of handling classified documents. Any classified document, even confidential, was dispersed on a need-to-know basis, which meant, quite simply, if you didn’t need to know you didn’t get access.

Now, if you were allowed access, you signed out the document — that sign-out was dated and you were expected to return the document in a timely manner. If you did not return it in a timely manner, whomever was responsible for keeping track of signed-out documents would contact you and urge you to return said document.

The key issue here is that someone in the intelligence community knew exactly when any document was signed for and who signed for it. This procedure was so simple and so efficient that any document could be easily traced to the person that had it.

I see no reason that this system should not have continued until the present day and apply to anyone, including the president, not as a matter of trust, obviously, but simply as a matter of easy accountability. So, again, that this procedure was not followed. In my humble opinion this was not the fault of either president as it was that the intelligence community did not follow procedures that have been in place for decades. Just sayin’.

Larry Benson