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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Ex-Colonel Charged for Leaking Ukraine Secrets on Dating Site

A retired army colonel, David Franklin Slater, faces charges of illegally disclosing sensitive national defense information related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to court filings, Slater allegedly sent classified Pentagon secrets through a foreign dating website, believing he was communicating with a woman in Ukraine who referred to him as her “secret informant love” and “secret agent.”

Alleged Communication and Disclosure

Slater, a 63-year-old retired lieutenant colonel working as a civilian for United States Strategic Command, communicated with an individual claiming to be a woman in Ukraine through the dating website. The person, referring to Slater as “Beloved Dave,” reportedly sought information about NATO and President Biden’s secret plans to assist Ukraine. The indictment suggests several overtures where classified information was requested from Slater.

Arrest and Charges

Slater, who had a top security clearance while working at US Strategic Command, was arrested on March 2, 2022. He is charged with conspiring to transmit and transmitting classified information between February and April 2022. The United States Strategic Command, based at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska, is responsible for nuclear deterrence and other defense-related activities.

Also Read: Zelenskyy’s and Navalny’s spouses decline Biden’s State of the Union invites

Legal Ramifications

The retired colonel is scheduled to make an initial court appearance, facing a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count of conspiracy to transmit and the transmission of national defense information.

Broader Context of Classified Information Leaks

This incident comes shortly after Jack Teixeira, a former Air National Guard member, received a 16-year prison sentence for leaking classified Pentagon information. The cases highlight the legal consequences individuals face for unlawfully disclosing sensitive national defense information.

Conclusion

The allegations against David Franklin Slater underscore the challenges authorities face in preventing the unauthorized disclosure of classified information. The use of unconventional means, such as dating websites, for such activities raises concerns about the potential exploitation of personal relationships for espionage. As legal proceedings unfold, this case adds to a growing list of incidents involving leaks of sensitive defense information and underscores the importance of maintaining the integrity of classified materials.

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