Wow, This Profile of the Man Suspected of Stealing 'Highly Classified' Material Is Extremely Rude

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

“N.S.A. Suspect Is a Hoarder. But a Leaker? Investigators Aren’t Sure,” reports the New York Times headline about suspected N.S.A. thief Harold T. Martin III, in the kind of profile that reminds you to always wear clean underwear, just in case you get hit by a bus.

Because according to the Times, people don’t think much of Martin, who was arrested in August on suspicion of stealing classified material from his employer, Booz Allen Hamilton. In fact, those who know him don’t think him capable of being much more than a hapless old hoarder. And that’s just from the direct quotes.

Here’s what his ex-wife had to say:

“He brought work home all the time — he was always on a laptop, always working, always studying,” she said, adding that he had piles of books and papers everywhere and was “a bit of a hoarder.” She called him “a genuinely nice guy — a little eccentric, but not in a bad way.” He had no interest in politics, she said, and was interested mainly in computers.


Here’s what an “administration official” had to say:

“Let’s just say he’s only a psycho hoarder and he keeps this stuff with his old copies of National Geographic and his collection of lunchboxes,” said an administration official, who also asked not to be named. “That’s still extremely troubling to anyone in national security, because people like that don’t keep track of where things are or with whom they are talking.”

But wait—it gets ruder. Here’s a quote from one person who was so rude they didn’t want their name used in the article:

Another person who knew him well years ago, and did not want to be quoted by name talking about his shortcomings, said that Mr. Martin had a sort of “Walter Mitty complex” that occasionally led him to dream of being more important than he was or to embellish his achievements.


Let’s take it home, boys. Said yet another anonymous source: “He just always wanted to be important.”

You know what would be a great burn, is if he really did do it.

Former Gawker news editor

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I must have spent too much time in DC, because the number of people in the comments who have apparently never heard of Booz Allen Hamilton before is blowing my mind.