Former Army Officer Accused of Sharing Classified Ukraine Info on Dating Site

Credits: Asharq Al-Awsat

A 63-year-old retired Army lieutenant colonel, David Franklin Slater, was arrested on Saturday and charged with illegally disclosing sensitive national defense information on a foreign dating site, according to court documents.

Slater, who most recently worked as a civilian Air Force employee assigned to United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), allegedly communicated with an individual claiming to be a woman from Ukraine and sent secret Pentagon documents regarding Russia’s war in Ukraine.

USSTRATCOM is responsible for nuclear deterrence and command and control, with its headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

The filings said that during his time at USSTRATCOM, Slater held a Top-Secret Security clearance and received training on handling sensitive government information.

Army officer (Credits: Fortune)

“The allegations against Mr. Slater challenge whether he betrayed those responsibilities,” said U.S. Attorney Susan Lehr for the District of Nebraska.

After retiring from the army in 2020, Slater began working for USSTRATCOM in August 2021 and attended top-secret briefings about the war in Ukraine. He was confirmed to have been an employee in USSTRATCOM’s Directorate of Logistics until 2022.

According to court documents, Slater and the unnamed individual discussed the war over email and an online messaging platform. The person referred to Slater as “my secret informant” and urged him to pass along more sensitive information.

Prosecutors allege that Slater provided sensitive information, including details classified as secret by the U.S. intelligence community, which could cause serious damage to national security if disclosed.

His civilian work with the Air Force began in April 2022. Slater faces one count of conspiracy and two counts of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information.

He is expected to appear in a Nebraska courtroom on Tuesday and has not yet been arraigned. An attorney for Slater could not be immediately identified.

The charges against Slater come shortly after a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, Jack Teixeira, pleaded guilty to violating the Espionage Act by posting highly classified government documents, some related to the war in Ukraine, on a gaming platform. Teixeira could face up to 16 years in prison.

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