Posted by lex, on October 6, 2007
Difficult news today in the San Diego Union Tribune:
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Gary Maziarz said patriotism motivated him to join a spy ring, smuggle secret files from Camp Pendleton and give them to law enforcement officers for anti-terrorism work in Southern California.
He knew his group was violating national security laws. But he said bureaucratic walls erected by the military and civilian agencies were hampering intelligence sharing and coordination, making the nation more vulnerable to terrorists.
Maziarz, a member of the Marine Forces Reserve, had helped search for survivors in New York after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“I decided to make a difference and act,” Maziarz testified during his court-martial in July at Camp Pendleton.
Now Maziarz and his alleged conspirators are being investigated by the FBI, National Security Agency and Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
His “co-conspirators” include reserve Marine officers working in law enforcement, while the information Maziarz improperly removed provides evidence that US officials believe that Al Qaeda is active here in the US, according to the SDUT.
People who have grappled at close quarters with Al Qaeda in the field, and who have seen what barbarisms they are capable of at first hand, might well be surprised when they return home to find the organization’s operatives are protected over here. It’s no very great step from circumventing intelligence procedures to gain information on the threat to deciding to do something about it – especially for those accustomed to acting quickly. And especially when the perception is that a calcified federal bureaucracy is unable to react.
That could kind of thinking could take us down a dark road indeed.
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