A former National Security Agency contractor named Reality Winner was accused of putting out classified information on the “Russian hacking scandal.” Since her arrest, she has been interviewed and revealed some startling information.
It turns out that the reason she took and leaked the document may have been politically motived. According to Politico, Winner stated: “I guess it’s just been hard at work because … I’ve filed formal complaint about them having Fox News on, you know? Uh, at least, for God’s sake, put Al Jazeera on, or a slideshow with people’s pets. I’ve tried anything to get that changed.” In other words, she was upset over the conservative climate in her office.
These details and many others came to light after a transcript of the interrogation of Winner, a 25-year-old linguist expert, was released. Other information detailed includes how she managed to get the document out of her office unnoticed.
She first tried to lie and say that she printed out the report and kept it at her desk before eventually putting the classified information into a burn bag. As it turns out, she later gave in and admitted what really happened.
Her response to the investigator’s question of how she got the report out of her office was that she, “Folded it in half in my pantyhose.” She claimed that the report “made me very mad … I guess I just didn’t care about myself at that point. … Yeah, I screwed up royally.”
The government is currently seeking to keep her behind bars. The transcript of her interrogation was filed with a federal judge along with all other relevant information in order to keep her locked up until the whole truth comes to light and she does her time in prison.
Just like Winner’s method of lying about how she snuck the document out, she also went on to say that she initially committed the crime because she felt that the contents of the documents should be up for public debate. The only problem is, her job was supposed to be to keep classified documents classified.
After Winner got the document out of her office, she sent it away to the news outlet The Intercept, who ran with the story. Clearly, the “burn bag” story was a lie.
Winner’s political affiliation is no secret. Aside from opposing Fox News being played at the office, she also had a forged autographed photo of CNN‘s Anderson Cooper on her desk. While there is nothing inherently wrong with political opinions, it becomes an issue if you start putting national security at risk because you are unhappy with the results of the election.
National Security Agency contractor Reality Winner put out classified information because they had Fox News on at work all the time, apparently triggering her. Is this a good excuse?
Winner’s trial is currently set for March 1st. She will learn her fate at that time, though the evidence and her testimony seem to speak for themselves.
If she is found guilty under federal guidelines, she could face a minimum nine-year prison term.
This situation makes one wonder what would happen if every time someone thought they saw something classified they believed the world should know, they exposed it? The United States wouldn’t have a single secret, military or otherwise, against foreign enemies.