While watching the news this morning, this excerpt from DCI Porter Goss’ testimony before the Senate Armed Forces Committee caught my attention. (I couldn’t find it anywhere on the sites of the usual suspects, so I had to go to the source to get the full transcript.)
…for all of the successes we have had and advances we have made, serious and unnecessary damage is caused by media leaks. Unauthorized disclosures of classified information threatens the survivability of the sources and methods that we depend on. We have lost opportunity, if not capability, because of irresponsible leaks and we have made it easier for our enemies.(Emphasis mine)
I spent a good portion of my military career having the highlighted drilled into my head; however, even the most military-ignorant among us know that you don’t tell your enemy your secrets.
There was a time when a large portion of the media would hold back information, if the dissemination of that information was detrimental to the success of military operations. Of course there was also a time when most defense/intelligence officials wouldn’t dream of leaking classified information.
That time has passed and don’t tell me that the government officials and the media outfits who publicize such information don’t know that the enemy is watching, reading and listening. It’s simply too easy to do now.
Remember the lessons of Operation Iraqi Freedom: that your enemy isn’t always the one in front of you. Leaked intelligence often leads to more dead GIs. Draw your own conclusions.