Congresswoman Ashley Hinson. (photo from Hinson’s office)

Iowa Congresswoman Ashley Hinson says she’s concerned after a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman was arrested at his home for allegedly disclosing classified military documents about the Ukraine war and other top national security issues.

“I think it’s incredibly scary that someone had access to this information in a way that they could so easily disseminate it. There will no doubt be some questions about the process here in the Department of Defense. The Department of Justice is going to do its investigation, but someone needs to be held accountable here,” she says.

Hinson says the person knew there were consequences with his alleged actions, but questions need to be raised about national security and it’s concerning that the system failed and the documents were leaked.

“Obviously we have systems in place to make sure that people who have access to classified materials pass background checks,” Hinson says. “I have that access, and of course I take that very, very seriously about protecting what I learn in a classified setting.”

Hinson, a Republican from Marion, recently met with the president of Taiwan. She says the U.S. has to take steps to keep China from invading the country. “Really what it comes down to is deterrence — how can we make sure that China does not see that as a good investment in its people and its technology and of its military. We need to fulfill our arms deal commitments to Taiwan and we have not been able to do that in a timely fashion,” Hinson says.

She says keeping up trade ties with Taiwan will also help. “Making sure that we are helping them to show economic strength and expanding those opportunities that will help strengthen things in the Indo-Pacific for Taiwan, as well as for us,” she says. “And then I think it sends again a very clear message that we are willing to have these meetings and stand up, to dictators and bullies around the world. Bullies respond to strength.”

Hinson made her comments during a stop in Mason City and on a conference call with reporters.

(Bob Fisher, KRIB, Clear Lake, contributed to this story.)

Radio Iowa