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Rumsfeld Reminds Personnel About Operational Security

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2003 – When Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld started talking about the need to safeguard classified information, the studio staff flashed a World War II poster on the television.

It was a picture of a young girl holding a picture of her father. The legend on it was, "Don't kill her Daddy with Careless Talk."

At every entrance to the Pentagon, there are similar posters. On the concourse of the building is the famous "Loose Lips may Sink Ships" poster. At another is a sailor drowning in stormy seas. Behind him is a burning torpedoed ship. The legend is simply, "Somebody Talked."

Today, in his first press conference for Operation Iraqi Freedom, Rumsfeld stressed the importance of operational security.

"It's essential that everyone with access to classified operational details exercise discipline," he said. "There is no excuse for anyone revealing sensitive information that will almost certainly put the lives of men and women in uniform at risk."

DoD officials said there have been a number of leaks to the media that may have endangered American lives. The secretary firmly believes that those with access to classified information have a moral obligation to protect it.

"At a time when coalition forces are poised for battle, any compromise of classified information that gives the enemy knowledge of the positions of our forces or the plans or the timing of future operations can result in the death of coalition service men and women," he said. "Don't do it."

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Related Sites:
DoD News Transcript: DoD News Briefing - Secretary Rumsfeld And Gen. Myers, March 20, 2003
U.S. Central Command

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