04 October 2008

Another Day of Blabbing National Security Information in MSM

While milbloggers are subjected to draconian rules to prevent any potential OPSEC violation, mainstream rags like the Washington Post flippantly run front-page articles on prospective sensitive programs without any regard to national security posture in a time of war. From the Washington Post on secretive Information Operations:

Iraq, where hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on such contracts, has been the proving ground for the transformation. "The tools they're using, the means, the robustness of this activity has just skyrocketed since 2003. In the past, a lot of this stuff was just some guy's dreams," said a senior U.S. military official, one of several who discussed the sensitive defense program on the condition of anonymity...
...One official described how part of the program works: "There's a video piece produced by a contractor . . . showing a family being attacked by a group of bad guys, and their daughter being taken off. The message is: You've got to stand up against the enemy." The professionally produced vignette, he said, "is offered for airing on various [television] stations in Iraq. . . . They don't know that the originator of the content is the U.S. government. If they did, they would never run anything."
Karen DeYoung is a veteran journalist and knows that she is not allowed to publish this. The fact that every "military official" is anonymous tells us that there are rats somewhere in feeding chain. This is hardly a freedom of speech issue. Rather, material of this nature is not released to the public the same way SpecOps are not divulged to the press. It is primarily to prevent Americans from being killed or the country to be put at unnecessary risk. I can only imagine what kind of shady underhanded tactics Karen DeYoung used to dig up this scoop, but at least it is better than Washington Post embedding with the enemy in Sadr City (like they did in March). I'm not going to discuss these operations, but Marc Lynch has some sharp analysis if you are interested.