Normally I don't get political on this blog, and actually, I don't really think this post is political. But I do think the topic is important.
Today, the Washington Post unveiled their series on the Top Secret work done by the Federal Government.
Here's my problem: There will be a lot of innocent people placed at risk simply because of who they work for. Imagine this scenario: Joe Smith, an employee (fictitious) of a Top Secret government contractor takes a trip to a quasi-friendly (or even unfriendly) country to perform work for another client. Joe winds up in a situation for some reason that involves police authorities in said country. They ask him where he works. He answers truthfully. They run that information through their systems and bingo, get a hit. (They know all the companies now because of this article) Depending on the person running the query, Joe might be flagged as an agent. He certainly has knowledge of Top Secret information. Right?
Well...maybe, maybe not. However, try convincing an authority in a foreign country of that.
In fact, people don't even have to travel abroad. Now, our enemies know exactly where the offices of these companies are. They now have all types of targets for espionage and for recruiting spies.
Some will say the articles have a noble purpose to expose government waste. Is that something we don't already know?
Some may also say, like in a Tom Clancy novel, if the Washington Post can find this information, our enemies already know it. Yes, but they've made it really easy to find - all in one place, hyperlinked, with maps and all.
It will be interesting to see if any of the same people who were outraged over the "outing" of Valerie Plame will be outraged over this. I doubt it.
I think the Washington Post has abused the liberty of freedom of the press by publishing this series, but the damage has already been done.