The Archives Sleuth Had a Secret
Twenty-one years ago, while serving as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force in England, Aid was court-martialed for unauthorized possession of classified information and impersonating an officer, according to Air Force documents. He received a bad-conduct discharge and was imprisoned for just over a year, he confirmed in an interview Monday.
Aid, 48, did not mention the incident when a Washington Post reporter interviewed him for a June profile. Aaron Lerner of Silver Spring, a Post reader whose wife, Rona, remembered hearing of the court-martial while working at the National Security Agency in the mid-1980s, recently obtained the records through a Freedom of Information Act request and provided copies to The Post last week.
Aid said Monday that what he did was wrong -- but not unpatriotic. The top-secret code-word documents in his dormitory locker related to his job as a Russian linguist, he said.
"I had the proper clearance for it, so it's not as if I stole anything," Aid said. "Basically, being a workaholic, I took stuff home with me. . . . My lawyers at the time told me that a decision had been made in Washington to make an example out of me."
As for impersonating an officer, he said: "I wrote a letter to a girl, and I was trying to impress her. And that's all I'm going to say."
comments powered by Disqus
- Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers – and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting
- China military parade commemorates WW2 victory over Japan
- New documentary explores the legacy of the 5,000 Rosenwald schools set up by a Sears magnate and Booker T. Washington
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- It happened in Idaho and was the largest massacre of Indians in US history, but where exactly did it take place?
- Historians of Color Are Revolutionizing the Narrative of ‘American Exceptionalism’
- Henry VIII voted worst monarch in history
- The Fuhrer style: Historian says press coverage of Hitler’s lavish life fueled his rise to power
- Two scholars from UT object to the Texas school's decision to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis
- A history professor explains why Americans are so prone to conspiracy theories