Slip-up lays bare US secret nuclear sites

The United States government accidentally made public a secret report detailing its nuclear sites, programmes and even exact locations of nuclear stockpiles, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

“The federal government mistakenly made public [the] 266-page report”, the Times reported noting that the blunder was revealed on Monday in an online newsletter about federal secrecy.

“That set off a debate among nuclear experts about what dangers, if any, the disclosures posed. It also prompted a flurry of investigations in Washington into why the document had been made public,” the Times noted, saying that by late Tuesday “after inquiries from The New York Times, the document was withdrawn from a Government Printing Office website.”

Several analysts said the security breach was not devastating “given that the general outlines of the most sensitive information were already known publicly”, the report said.

“These screw-ups happen,” the Times quoted John Deutch, a former director of central intelligence who is now a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as saying. “It’s going further than I would have gone, but doesn’t look like a serious breach.”

The information was described as “confidential but not classified”, the Times added.

David Albright, of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, told the paper, however, that making the locations of nuclear material available “can provide thieves or terrorists inside information that can help them seize the material, which is why that kind of data is not given out”.—AFP



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