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State Dept. Official Warned for Document Photo

March 21, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A State Department official committed an infraction when he allowed a magazine photographer to take a picture that exposed part of a secret document on his desk, a department spokesman said Friday.

Spokesman Charles E. Redman said the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security will issue a letter to Ronald Spiers, undersecretary of state for management, advising him to exercise more caution in the future.

Redman said results of laboratory analysis revealed that no classified information could be read from the photograph, which appeared on the cover of the February issue of the Foreign Service Journal.

Spiers was shown seated at his desk with a top-secret daily intelligence briefing in front of him. The report is available to a small group of senior officials with the highest security clearances.

Has Acknowledged Fault

Spiers has acknowledged that he "wasn't careful enough" with the documents.

Redman said: "An infraction of the department's security regulations was committed by not fully securing the document during the photo session even though Mr. Spiers did make an effort to cover the document."

According to the regulations, if a department official gets more than three letters of the kind being sent to Spiers, "some other process goes into effect," Redman said. He did not elaborate.

The intelligence report on Spiers' desk showed a map of Lebanon on one page. A piece of paper obscured the other page except for four lines at the bottom and a large number 121.

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