Lost British Secret Documents Given to BBC

The passenger who found them is just as stupid and irresponsible as the asshat who left them behind.

LONDON – A government security breach involving secret documents that were left on a London commuter train has not jeopardized national security interests, British officials said Thursday.

The breach was traced back to a Cabinet office senior intelligence official who has been suspended pending an inquiry.

The documents assessing al-Qaida’s vulnerabilities and the capabilities of Iraq’s security forces were discovered by a passenger on a London commuter train Tuesday. The passenger then passed the documents to the British Broadcasting Corp.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown promised a full investigation.

“We take this seriously and of course any breach of intelligence cannot be condoned,” Brown told reporters Thursday. “We will have to trace where these documents have gone, if they have gone anywhere apart from in an envelope to a local BBC station.”

At least one page of the documents was stamped June 5, indicating the assessments were recent.

There was no evidence the breach threatened national security, said Ed Miliband from the Cabinet office.

“There is no evidence to suggest that our vital national security interests have been damaged or any individuals or operations have been put at risk,” Miliband said. “While the documents do not contain the names of individual sources or specific operational details, they are sensitive, high-level intelligence assessments.”

Britain’s Official Secrets Act prohibits individuals from circulating secret information.

Government rules also forbid the removal of secret documents without authorization and compliance with security procedures.
“No authorization was sought for the removal of the documents,” Miliband said.

The BBC has said it could not reveal the documents’ exact contents after receiving legal advice.

Link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080612/ap_on_re_eu/britain_lost_documents

1. The official who removed the documents had no authorization to do so. 2. The bunghole who found them, turned them over to the BBC.

Security violations galore.

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