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NSA contractor sentenced to 9 years for stealing huge number of classified intelligence documents
(Reuters) - A former National Security Agency contractor was sentenced in Maryland to nine years in prison on Friday for stealing huge amounts of classified material from U.S. intelligence agencies over two decades though officials never found proof he shared it with anyone.
Harold Martin, 54, also received three years of supervised release from U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett in Baltimore after pleading guilty to willful retention of national defense information, the Justice Department said in a statement.
In what officials have called perhaps the biggest breach of U.S. classified information on record, Martin was accused of stealing from the NSA, CIA, U.S. Cyber Command and National Reconnaissance Office starting in 1996. The data he was accused of stealing included 2014 NSA reports detailing intelligence information "regarding foreign cyber issues" that contained targeting information and "foreign cyber intrusion techniques."
The list of pilfered documents also included an NSA user's guide for an intelligence-gathering tool and a 2007 file with details about specific daily operations, the indictment against him said.
"Instead of respecting the trust given to him by the American people, Martin violated that trust and put our nation's security at risk," Assistant Attorney General John Demers said. "This sentence will hold Mr. Martin accountable for his dangerous and unlawful actions."
Prosecutors have said Martin's actions risked the disclosure of top secret information to America's enemies. One of their allegations was that Martin talked online with people in Russian and other languages but they never found proof he shared stolen information with anyone.
His defense team portrayed him as an eccentric hoarder. Martin's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
From 1993 to 2016, Martin was employed with at least seven firms and was assigned as a contractor to work in several government agencies, the Justice Department said.
His positions, which involved work on highly classified projects involving government computer systems, gave him various security clearances that routinely provided him access to top-secret information, it said.
The government has not said what, if anything, Martin did with the highly sensitive material that, according to the court documents, he hoarded at his home in Glen Burnie, Maryland and his vehicle.
Martin was working for Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp when he was taken into custody in 2016. Booz Allen also had employed Edward Snowden, who leaked a trove of secret files to news organizations in 2013 that exposed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the NSA.
When FBI agents raided Martin's home south of Baltimore they found stacks of documents and electronic storage devices amounting to 50 terabytes of files, according to prosecutors.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago; Editing by Will Dunham)
A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.
At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.
The Navy could deploy a second carrier to the Middle East if Trump orders an Iran surge, top admiral says
The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.
Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.
I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.
Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.
An internal investigation spurred by a nude photo scandal shows just how deep sexism runs in the Marine Corps
"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."
Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.
At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.
Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.
"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."
She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."
It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.
The culture of the Marine Corps is ripe for analysis. A 2015 Rand Corporation study found that women felt far more isolated among men in the Corps, while the Pentagon's Office of People Analytics noted in 2018 that female Marines rated hostility toward them as "significantly higher" than their male counterparts.
But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.
The scandal, researchers found, was merely a symptom of a much larger problem.