This March 27, 2008, file photo, shows the Pentagon in Washington. The Pentagon said Tuesday, July 6, 2021, that it is canceling a cloud-computing contract with Microsoft that could eventually have been worth $10 billion and will instead pursue a deal with both Microsoft and Amazon. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)InternationalIndiaAfricaThe apparent Pentagon leak seems to be legitimate and has to some extent hurt the US, says author and journalist Daniel Lazare, adding that the alleged whistleblower used photographs rather than the original documents, apparently to disguise their origin.The scandal over the alleged Pentagon leak is raging on, with a National Security Council spokesman admitting that some documents appeared to be genuine, while others were altered. The files in question contain a wide variety of information, including Ukraine war plans; Washington’s spying on its allies and adversaries alike; and its allies’ concerns about the possibility of being dragged into a conflict with Russia. Some observers don’t rule out that the entire episode is a covert operation. Meanwhile, the Justice Department has opened an investigation into the leak, while the Pentagon has signaled that it is taking steps to restrict access to classified documents. The dump prompted a heated debate over the veracity of the docs and the forces behind the leak.
"I'm inclined to think they're legitimate," Daniel Lazare told Sputnik. "How's that for a waffle? I mean, I think I haven't seen any strong evidence that they're not. So I assume they are. But there's always a possibility that someone is playing a trick on somebody else. As [for] the damage to the US, I don't think it's very great, but I think it does. In a few instances it could be significant. I mean, the stuff on Israel, the fact they have inside information that Mossad, the Israeli spy agency, was encouraging anti-government demonstrations against Netanyahu. And that's pretty something if true. But the Israeli government has denied it. And so we're sort of left in the dark. So I don't know what to make of it. Is it much ado about nothing? Is it something real? I can't see anything terribly earth-shattering here, but I could be wrong."
World’Pentagon Leak’ Reveals Defense Agency’s ‘Wild Card’ Scenarios in Ukraine Conflict12 April, 05:38 GMTPhotographs of the allegedly leaked documents first emerged on Discord, a messaging platform popular with gamers, weeks earlier. They remained largely unnoticed until they were shared on Twitter and other popular sites and platforms. The US Department of Defense is continuing to assess the validity of the photographed documents that appear to contain sensitive and highly classified material, as per Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh.
"I don't know that the fact that they're photographs rather than the original documents, (…) that may have been an attempt to disguise their origin, to throw investigators off the track," suggested Lazare. "That sounds possible. I don't know. It could also indicate that they have a roundabout way of reaching the Internet. That's also possible. And the fact that they weren't released to a journalist, but rather to a gamer or a gaming site is certainly strange."
Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineRussia Knew NATO States Engaged in Hostilities in Ukraine Before Pentagon Leaks: Kremlin12 April, 10:00 GMTThere is a lively debate as to who could have leaked the documents as well as what the purpose of the alleged whistleblower was. Some experts have suggested that it could be a new Edward Snowden or some disgruntled Pentagon official’s concerns with the Biden administration’s military adventurism in Ukraine. For their part, some Russian military observers have not ruled out that the dump is aimed at diverting Moscow’s attention from Ukraine’s forthcoming spring offensive and contains disinformation regarding Kiev’s ability to launch the advance. Others referred to the US mainstream media’s enthusiasm in disseminating the alleged Pentagon leak, something that the Western press has not demonstrated so far with regard to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s Nord Stream bombshell.”What strikes me is the real question who leaked it. I mean, clearly the information is contained, reportedly, in self-contained computer units with no access to the Internet. So if that’s true, then it suggests that somebody very high up decided to, you know, to make off with this information. And that’s really interesting. I can’t provide any hard information as to who might have done that or why. But it certainly sets my antenna abuzz,” Lazare concluded.For more sharp analysis, check out the latest episode of Sputnik’s podcast Political Misfits.