Secretary Gates to Leakers: “Shut Up”

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Starting with General Stanley McChrystal’s confidential strategy assessment, which wound up in the hands of Bob Woodward, the Obama administration’s typically tight ship has been leaking like a sieve when it comes to the ongoing strategy deliberations over Afghanistan. Surely it was no accident when news of Ambassador Karl Eikenberry’s cable, expressing concerns over sending additional troops to Afghanistan, ended up in the New York Times on the very day that President Obama and his war council were scheduled to convene to discuss a range of strategy options. It’s becoming pretty clear that when it comes to Obama’s war plan the administration’s competing factions are jockeying for influence via the press to advance their preferred policy options. 

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, for one, has had enough of it. Speaking to reporters  today, he put his agency’s personnel on notice that, if discovered, Pentagon leakers will need to find a new line of work.

Via the Armed Forces Press Service:

I am appalled by the amount of leaking that has been going on,” Gates told reporters traveling with him today in the wake of media reports following yesterday’s national security session on Afghanistan, President Barack Obama’s eighth in the past two months.

Gates said he has little doubt that some of those leaks have come from within the Defense Department. “If I found out who” was involved, he said, “it would probably be a career ender.”

Returning to the leaking issue, Gates condemned information made public about the alleged Fort Hood gunman that he said could jeopardize the investigation.

“Everybody out there with their own little piece of the action” doesn’t understand how it fits into the big picture, he said. “Everybody out there ought to just shut up.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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