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Nuclear Information at Mar-a-Lago


Ah, here’s some of the “nuclear information” found at Mar-a-Lago that some of us have been speculating about.

A document describing a foreign government’s military defenses, including its nuclear capabilities, was found by FBI agents who searched former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residenceand private club last month, according to people familiar with the matter

[The reporter’s sources] did not identify the foreign government in question, say where at Mar-a-Lago the document was found or offer additional details 

Because the subpoena did not specify documents under the RD system of classification (with one exception below), speculation has been that the “nuclear information” had to do with another government’s nuclear capabilities. There are two possibilities as to the government: friendly or not. Or we might include some governments, like Israel, as balanced somewhere in between.

In any of these cases, it’s possible that human sources were involved, and revealing them would pose the greatest danger.

Most nuclear countries’ capabilities are reasonably well known, so that is not a gigantic liability. Still if the country in question is friendly, it may not want full details shared indiscriminately or may not even want the United States to know everything. Presumably, as part of the damage repair, the friendly country has been notified.

The possibilities are Britain, France, Russia, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea, if the defenses are active. If they are hypothesized, Iran might be on the list.

And there might be more.

The subpoena, issued to Trump’s custodian of records, then listed more than two dozen sub-classifications of documents, including “S/FRD,” an acronym for “Formerly Restricted Data,” which is reserved for information that relates primarily to the military use of nuclear weapons. Despite the “formerly” in the title, the term does not mean the information is no longer classified.

S/FRD would most likely apply to US nuclear weapons. I still think Trump took the “biscuit,” the card with the nuclear codes, because it is such a cool souvenir.

Alex Wellerstein explains S/FRD in this thread.


Cross-posted to Nuclear Diner

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