Pentagon To Bin Laden Raid Leakers: SHUT UP
HUFFINGTONPOST.COM - Gossip and unauthorized leaks from U.S. officials, politicians and retired military officers about the highly classified raid to kill Osama bin Laden have jeopardized the ability of special forces to carry out similar operations in the future, said Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
"Too many people in too many places are talking too much about this operation," Gates said, adding that the level of disclosures and blabbing violates an agreement reached in the White House Situation Room on May 8 to keep details of the raid private.
"That lasted about 15 hours," Gates said sourly.
The cascade of details surfacing about the highly classified event makes similar operations in the future "that much more difficult and riskier," Gates told reporters at a Pentagon briefing Wednesday.
"It is time to stop talking," agreed Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In a pointed directive to officials, politicians and the retired military officers often featured on cable news programs, he added, "Get off the net."
Members of the Navy SEAL team that tore into bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan and killed the 9/11 mastermind had expressed concern to Gates about the safety of their families after the team had been identified publicly and officials from the White House, the Pentagon and Congress widely discussed the operation.
In a meeting with hundreds of Marines at Camp Lejeune last week, Gates acknowledged such concerns. He said the Defense Department had mounted "a consistent and effective effort" to protect the identities of those who participated in the raid. >>>CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
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