It’s Time To Stop The Leaks

Recently The Defense News posted an article reporting that on Thursday U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told members of the House Armed Services Committee that he has ordered an investigation into leaks of both classified and unclassified material to media.

The article reports:

The secretary brought up what he called an aggressive effort to pursue leaks after a series of what he called “bad leaks” in the fall.

“I’ve launched an investigation that is underway to go after leaks, whether it’s of classified information or unclassified information that is sensitive and also, you know, unauthorized discussions with the media,” Esper said. “All those things, again, hurt our nation’s security. They undermine our troops, their safety. They affect our relations with other countries. They undermine our national policy.

“The illegal leaks are terrible. They’re happening across the government, particularly in the Defense Department.”

He also said he is launching a new effort to “remind people” of operational security issues in the Pentagon.

Esper’s comments came after both he and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley reaffirmed in front of lawmakers their belief that a free and open press is vital to American democracy.

The article notes that former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis also tried to deal with the problem of leaks. The article mentions that at one point, he implemented a crackdown on information sharing at the Pentagon. As a result, what was once routine information to be shared with the public became opaque over concerns of operational security. What we need is something that is in between compromising national security and classifying something simply because it portrays some area of the government in a bad light.

Where Are The Reasonable People?

Fox News reported today that because of the government shutdown the Pentagon will not be paying death benefits to families of fallen soldiers.

The article reports:

“Unfortunately, as a result of the shutdown, we do not have the legal authority to make death gratuity payments at this time,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Defense Department spokesman. “However, we are keeping a close eye on those survivors who have lost loved ones serving in the Department of Defense.”

The good news is that the House of Representatives is planning to vote Wednesday on a bill to restore funding for these payments.

The article further reports:

Adding further insult, the families will have to pay for their own travel to Dover. That’s a bill the Pentagon also says it can’t pay because of the partial shutdown.

…After the ceremony at Dover on Wednesday, the families will fly to their home states to conduct private funerals. That’s also an expense the Pentagon says it can no longer pay due to the stalemate.

All of this brings to mind a quote from an article posted on Sunday at

On Friday, we reported that a Park Ranger admitted being ordered to make life as inconvenient as possible in order to punish Americans during the shutdown.

“We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can,” an angry Park Ranger told the Washington Times. “It’s disgusting.”

This is a government attack on the American people. It needs to be stopped, and the people responsible need to be voted out of office.

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Would You Let These People Near Your Household Budget?

Yesterday’s Washington Examiner reported the following:

“In March, Gevo entered into a contract with the Defense Logistics Agency to supply the U.S. Army with 3,650 gallons of renewable jet fuel to be delivered by the second quarter of 2013,” Gevo announced this week in its first quarter financial report. “This initial order may be increased by 12,500 gallons. All shipments will be at a fixed price of $59 per gallon during the initial testing phase. These shipments are in addition to the renewable jet fuel supplied to the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and the U.S. Navy (USN).”

In plain English this means that the Defense Department is paying $59 per gallon for renewable jet fuel when regular jet fuel costs $3.73 a gallon. Note that this is called a ‘testing phase.’ I need someone to explain to me why you would test anything that costs almost 20 times what you are already using. I fully support green energy–but not until it is economically feasible. This is ridiculous.

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