I was going to incorporate this into another post I am doing but didn’t want to muddy the waters. This needs to stand alone. Joe B. steered me to bringing up the importance of OPSEC and what it means to our daily lives. I have posted on this issue before but the importance of it keeps occurring in news stories and with political pundits. That is, the LACK of it.
In WWII, there were many slogans posted throughout the US for the citizens to see. It had to do with not talking about anything considered useful information that the enemy (“we have spies everywhere”) could use against us. It was a process of indoctrination and maybe it is time to bring that program back. There are cleared spouses out there who can’t even discuss things between themselves because of disseminating information that the other might not have privilege to. The way secrets are kept is with the understanding that you only get to know what is directly related to your contribution and need on the subject. I have stated this before: Congress is EXEMPT from having to be polyed or having a clearance. Clearances are a lengthy and in-depth process to discern who can be trusted with classified information. Every organization uses some of their own requirements in this vetting process. Organizations have a “death” clause that that states any information received can not be disseminated until death do us part. That means regardless when you received that information or procedure or way of doing business, and regardless when you have left that position or organization, you may NEVER discuss anything learned…..until you are dead. Serious stuff. So why is it politicized?
You have had your Pentagon Papers and your Watergate and these “news” people did the general public a great service by bringing the truth out in the open. Or did they? We have internal ways of dealing with politicians who wrong America and desecrate their oath of office. There are things that the “people” of America just don’t need to know or get involved with. 50 years ago, John Kennedy had done some pretty heady things that put America in jeopardy, some of which we are still learning about today, but for the most part had been kept “secret”. So why does Mr. Transparency think it is allowable to tell OPSEC to the general public, which puts everyone in this country (and others) in grave jeopardy yet we aren’t allowed to know how political parties deceive the citizens with bills (behind closed doors) or even find out about rouge operations directly attributable to the White House and its cronies? Operations where people die and the only secrets involved are the ones that “cover our ass cause we really screwed up”.
Citizens need to understand OPSEC and how it affects their lives. ANYONE with access to any classified material should always be put through the process to see whether they qualify to have that access. Any individual, from the President on down, should be held accountable through fines, dismissal, imprisonment and death for disclosing that information to others who DO NOT HAVE the need to know. If severe acts of recourse are put upon those who leak, maybe then the individuals who take OPSEC lightly and the US citizens who don’t have the understanding of importance, would view this in the light of which it belongs. Bottom line is: When secrets are told-people will die. Of that you can be assured.