According to Touchton et al. (2020), “the disclosure of classified documents can damage national security, but it can also expose wrongdoing” (p. 7). A small number of individuals possess classified information, as it can harm people and countries in different ways ranging from terrorism to international conflicts. Therefore, it is prohibited to release it by law, especially in the military, technological or economic matters, and foreign relations. However, many individuals argue that classified information can reveal crimes committed by governments or people in authority.
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Therefore, the debate on how to call individuals to release classified information takes place. Do they commit crimes or lawfully express data possessed? In my opinion, every person who discloses the information capable of damaging the national security and harming some groups of people has to be punished. Topolewski (2020) is convinced that releasing classified information, which influences countries’ security, independence, and sovereignty, is likely to cause adverse consequences. Besides, the problem is even more severe if an active-duty military member is involved in such a crime. From both legal and ethical points of view, one is a traitor because being a military member means having total responsibility.
People supporting leaking claim that there is no room for secrets in the modern world. Aldrich and Moran (2018) note that even though increasing transparency causes numerous problems, it is impossible to turn back the clock. Nevertheless, classified information should be kept secret, and individuals possessing it must be aware of their responsibility. If a person wants to become a military member, one needs to realize that adjusting values and sticking to strict rules is essential. If the person is not ready to meet such requirements, there are many different professions with less responsibility.
Aldrich, R. J., & Moran, C. R. (2018). ‘Delayed disclosure’: National security, whistle-blowers and the nature of secrecy. Political Studies, 67(2), 291-306. Web.
Topolewski, S. (2020). Classified information protection in Poland: Traditions and the present day. Safety & Defense, 6(1), 48-62. Web.
Touchton, M. R., Klofstad, C. A., West, J. P., & Uscinsk, J. E. (2020). Whistleblowing or leaking? Public opinion toward Assange, Manning, and Snowden. Research and Politics, 7(1), 1-9. Web.