I have been waiting for someone to point out the obvious “tell” in this photo.

Look at the Secret//SCI document bounded by the ruler.  Why did they put a ruler there? That’s a good question. Everyone knows the size of a standard sheet of paper. You don’t need a ruler to measure it.  If you look up towards the left, you will see there are at least two other cover sheets with a similar border.   Notice anything different?

In case you missed it, look at the border around the document that is front and center.  If that was an original document, there should be no white border.  You see the cover sheets for these sort of documents are printed by the US government printing office.  They are specifically designed to signal the status of the document they cover.   Now it would be nice to know if someone took a document and copied it.  Turns out that is part of the design of the cover sheet.

The point is, lots of folks who use the military.com website likely know what GSA Form SF703, the cover sheet on Top Secret documents, look like.  The difference?  The border on an official classified document cover sheet “bleeds to the edge” in printing parlance.  Anyone who has ever used a copy machine knows the copy machine does not copy all the way to the border of the page.  There is always that pesky white border.  

Regardless of the colors used, here’s the bottom line.  You are looking at a mixture of original classified documents and copiesof classified documents. This includes copies of classified documents that have been designated as Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI).