J. William Leonard and Secrecy

Posted: August 10, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
Tags: , ,

J. William Leonard, a man with three first names and former government employee, states his bottom line up front:

Every 6-year-old knows what a secret is. But apparently our nation’s national security establishment does not.

You can infer from Leonard’s assertion that a 6-year old knows more than our national security establishment.  I have plenty of critiques of our national security establishment myself; knowing less than a 6-year old isn’t one of them.

Leonard’s “solution” is a criticism that too much information is classified with the demand to ‘stop and assess’ the classification process.

The Obama administration, which has criminally prosecuted more leakers of purportedly classified information than all previous administrations combined, needs to stop and assess the way the government classifies information in the first place.

The process by which information is classified is normally done through security classification guides.  Cut-and-paste type information going into a new document is marked with the original classification.  When creating new classified materials, any individual with a lick of sense will ensure something is classified (even if it has to be added) if there’s any doubt.  Easy enough, right?  The assessment is now complete (but we still need to talk about my fee…).

Leonard’s real solution, teased out from the article’s opening, is that we should instead consult 6-year olds.

(image from thefreemanonline)


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