Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lukewarm Pursuit: The US Army Investigates Wikileaks

On December 3, 2007, the assistant security manager of the 655th Regional Support Group was alerted by a unit member who reported finding a very detailed listing of 382nd Military Police Battalion has discovered a “very detailed listing of 382nd MP BN equipment on (The report is still available here). The assistant security manager alerted his chain of command as well as the 94 RRC (Regional Readiness Reserve Commands) Command Security Manager. The 94 RCC Security Manager alerted Mr. [Redacted] seeking guidance on which law enforcement and or military intelligence units had to be contacted. Permission was also requested for the incident to be included in the 94 RCC Security Manager’s OPSEC (Operational Security) briefing.

On December 7, 2007, The agent who created the “Agent’s Activity Summary” stated that he was going to contact the West Point CID (Criminal Investigation Division ) to determine whether the Active Duty CID had a plan in place for such contingencies.

While the Agent’s Activity Summary states, “I do know at this moment,” I believe what the Activity Summary agent meant to say was “I do not know at this moment…” based on his earlier statement about contacting West Point CID for direction on how to handle the incident. The agent listed a few possibilities: 902nd Military Intelligence (MI), the West Point CID Office, or possibly the JTTF or a MA fusion cell. He also expressed his “strong support” for inclusion in the OPSEC briefing. All this occurred between 8:30 when the Special- Agent- in- Charge [Redacted], Boston Fraud Resident Agency received an email from a Mr. {Redacted] Ani-terrorism officer that an listing of 382nd MP BN equipment had been posted on Wikileaks.

Shortly after noon on December 7th, West Point CID’s Special- Agent- in- Charge announced via email that it was decided the leak was an OPSEC issue and that the 902nd MI would have “investigative responsibility” and that if the 902nd MI needed assistance that the West Office would provide it. He also advised that West Point CID had no intention of beginning its own investigation into the matter.

At 5:15 December 7th, the Activity Summary agent received an “email string” from a MPRI (military professional Resources Inc. staffer attached with IMCOM- NE ATO, IMC, North East Region; Current Operations which reported that one of the assistant security managers at Ft. Devens “chanced upon” a British website which has placed the entire joint service TDA & TO&E for Iraq and Afghanistan theaters on their website. This appears to be a reference to the events of December 3, 2007 discussed in the first paragraph. The author of the email stated that he “feels certain” that “someone” in the DOD is aware of the situation that he is reporting but is reporting “this information” to Army CID so that Army CID could alert the DA (Department of Army) OPSEC POC (Point of Contact). A Ms. [redacted] is noted as having passed the information to the Joint OPSEC Support Center. Activity Summary Agent then reports his intention to close TAB but only after following up with 902nd MI. On December 17, 2007, the agent reports that Special Agent [redacted] told him that “he had attempted to follow-up by requesting the lists of equipment from the unit, which was pending. His initial position is that none of the equipment was sensitive and therefore not releasable. He [sic] agreed that it probably should not be [on?] a website, but it is an issue that his office will not further pursue.

The released records raise all sorts of questions. Did Bradley Manning have any involvement in this leak? I have not been able to turn up any information on his duty stations. I doubt it given Manning enlisted in 2007.

Why did the US Army allow for such a lackluster investigation? Granted the 902nd decided that the files that were leaked were not “not releasable,” that still didn’t prevent someone for being nailed for violating OPSEC. Or being discovered and monitored for future violations. As far as the Army goes this could possibly be a missed opportunity prevent the future Manning leaks to Wikileaks.

It has to be asked about how the persecution of Wikileaks. As I have previously, it seems that NCIS was barely interested in investigating Wikileaks. Now, we see that both the US Army CID and at least one unit of military intelligence were equally blasé about Wikileaks. Now maybe CID, NCIS, and US Army intelligence are out of the loop, or the decision to go after Wikileaks is recent. Cryptome has given time and attention to those who believe that Wikileaks might be a front to snare unsuspecting leakers.

Finally, why did the Army CID send me these records? Seriously, I did not request these records. I sought out the investigative records for a different Wikileaks leak investigation. Was this done in error?

Army CID Wikileaks Hunt


  1. An honest assessment of the public record doesn't really support Wikileaks' clams of "persecution", sadly. As to the "lackluster investigation", my guess is that there were no real "solvability factors", as they say in law enforcement (i.e. the "leaked" material was uncontrolled, producing an effectively infinite number of potential suspects), and that combined with the lack of any harm, real or imagined, disinclined the security professionals to begin any sort of large investigation.

    One uncontrolled document of little to no value could, basically, come from anywhere. I'm sure that had the "leak" been of actual significance, or had there been a systematic leaking of multiple documents, someone would have taken a real interest.

    As to why they sent you the documents, my guess is that somebody just screwed up somewhere; perhaps they were reviewed in response to a previous FOIA request from someone else, and were sent to you in the mistaken belief that yours was a duplicate request?

  2. The army only investigates (itself) to put out fires. There's no such thing as a separate investigative mechanism in reality. Fox #1 investigating fox #2 guarding the henhouse.

  3. Hi,
    Could you upload your documents(including PDFs) to where it can be downloaded for free. Scribd requires a subsription.