Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

Air Force employee charged with disclosing classified information on foreign dating website

By 37ci3 Mar5,2024



An Air Force civilian employee has been charged with sending illegal information about Russia’s war against Ukraine through a foreign dating site to a woman who claimed to be in Ukraine, officials said.

David Slater, 63, a former Army lieutenant colonel who worked in a civilian capacity at the US Strategic Command, was arrested on Saturday, the Justice Department said Monday.

Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General, Homeland Security Division, Department of Justice; said in the statement Slater acted with “blatant disregard for the security of his country and his oath to protect its secrets.”

The messages, prosecutors allege, were sent via email and a dating platform to a woman who said she lived in Ukraine between about February 2022 and April 2022. Unprovoked invasion of Ukraine February 24, 2022.

Prosecutors say the woman regularly asked Slater to provide “sensitive, non-public, closely held and classified” national defense information, calling him her “whistleblower lover.”

In some of the messages, the indictment alleges, the woman talked about the war, including, “Dear Dave, does NATO and Biden have a secret plan to help us?” and “weapons supply is completely secret, that’s great!”

In another message cited in the indictment, the woman allegedly wrote that it was great that Slater had information about an “identified” — but not indicted — country, adding: “I hope you’ll tell me right away? my secret agent. With love.”

The indictment alleges that on March 28, 2022, Slater sent classified information “regarding military targets in Russia’s war against Ukraine,” and on April 13, information “regarding Russia’s military capabilities in connection with Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.”

The Justice Department said Slater worked in a classified location at the US Strategic Command, headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska, and held a “top secret” security clearance from approximately August 2021 to April 2022.

Beginning in February 2022, the month of the Russian invasion, he participated in classified Strategic Command briefings on Russia’s war against Ukraine, the indictment says.

Slater, of Nebraska, is charged with one count of conspiracy to disclose national defense information and two counts of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information.

“The Department of Justice will seek to prosecute those who knowingly and knowingly put their country at risk by disclosing classified information,” Olsen said.

Online federal court records did not list an attorney available Monday night on Slater’s behalf. He will appear in federal court in Nebraska on Tuesday, the Justice Department said.



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By 37ci3

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