Leak re­port

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics -

For­mer De­fense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates’ ob­ses­sion with hunt­ing down leaks was re­vealed in an in­spec­tor gen­eral’s re­port that in­ves­ti­gated the dis­clo­sure to The Wash­ing­ton Post of a pre­lim­i­nary re­port on ho­mo­sex­u­als in the mil­i­tary.

Even though the re­port did not con­tain se­crets, the in­spec­tor gen­eral said, Mr. Gates de­manded the in­quiry be­cause it vi­o­lated rules on doc­u­ments la­beled “for of­fi­cial use only.”

The IG ques­tioned 96 of 101 of­fi­cials who had ac­cess to the re­port and con­cluded that the source could not be iden­ti­fied. Five White House of­fi­cials, likely sources for the leak, re­fused to be in­ter­viewed.

The re­port pro­vided an in­side look at how of­fi­cials from the mil­i­tary ser­vices, pub­lic af­fairs of­fices and other Pen­tagon of­fices tried to gain ac­cess to the re­stricted doc­u­ment on lift­ing the ban on ac­knowl­edged ho­mo­sex­u­als.

In re­sponse to mount­ing re­quests to see one of the 57 copies, Robert Ran­gel, Mr. Gates’ spe­cial as­sis­tant, sent a memo that stated:

“SecDef di­rects the fol­low­ing: No ad­di­tional copies pro­vided. If the Ser­vices want to grow the num­ber of of­fi­cials with ac­cess, they need to use [non-dis­clo­sure agree­ments] for all in­volved

Af­ter pub­li­ca­tion, the IG said Dou­glas Wil­son, as­sis­tant de­fense sec­re­tary for pub­lic af­fairs, told of­fi­cials, “I think we do need to ad­dress the fact that this has been leaked. We need to do this with­out im­plic­itly in­di­cat­ing that the leaker’s in­for­ma­tion is ei­ther right or wrong.”

Pen­tagon spokesman Geoff Mor­rell is quoted in the re­port as at­tempt­ing to spin or mis­lead one of the re­porters, telling him “you are be­ing taken for a ride to some de­gree here be­cause this [draft re­port] is far more nu­anced and com­plex a study than you have re­duced it to in your story this morn­ing.”

The IG re­port con­cluded that “ev­i­dence other­wise ac­ces­si­ble to us was in­suf­fi­cient to iden­tify the Wash­ing­ton Post’s un­named sources.” It noted that be­cause the re­port was shared with sev­eral peo­ple out­side the Pen­tagon, “we could not ex­clude the pos­si­bil­ity that per­sons out­side [the Depart­ment of De­fense] pro­vided in­for­ma­tion to the Wash­ing­ton Post.”

Elaine Don­nelly, pres­i­dent of the Cen­ter for Mil­i­tary Readi­ness, the group that ob­tained the IG re­port, said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion “strongly sug­gests that the so­called Pen­tagon ‘study’ of gays in the mil­i­tary in 2010 was a pub­licly funded, pre­scripted pro­duc­tion put on just for show.”

“The ad­min­is­tra­tion mis­used mil­i­tary per­son­nel, re­sources and fa­cil­i­ties to help Pres­i­dent Obama de­liver on po­lit­i­cal prom­ises to gay ac­tivists at the ex­pense of un­know­ing troops who ting his mark on two wars, ho­mo­sex­u­als in the mil­i­tary and a bal­loon­ing de­fense bud­get.

The lat­ter two would not ap­pear to make him pop­u­lar within the Marine Corps. Its top brass op­posed re­peal­ing the ban on ac­knowl­edged ho­mo­sex­u­als. On the bud­get, Mr. Gates ter­mi­nated the Corps’ top pri­or­ity of a new am­phibi­ous fight­ing ve­hi­cle to get Marines from ship to shore.

But for­mer Marine Com­man­dant James T. Conway has noth­ing but ad­mi­ra­tion for Mr. Gates. The two served nearly si­mul­ta­ne­ous four-year stints and worked closely to­gether.

Gen. Conway told spe­cial cor­re­spon­dent Rowan Scar­bor­ough that he mostly ad­mired Mr. Gates’ com­mit­ment to troop morale and well-be­ing.

He re­called the 2008 Com­man­dant’s Marine Corps Birth­day Ball, a gala ev­ery year in Wash­ing­ton. The guest of honor pulled out at the last mo­ment. When Gen. Conway next went to Mr. Gates, the de­fense sec­re­tary re­minded him on that Satur­day that he would be re­turn­ing from one of his more gru­el­ing trips.

“I said, ‘Mr. Sec­re­tary we need a guest of note,’ ” he re­called. He said, ‘Jim, I’m com­ing back from Afghanistan and Iraq, a 10-or 11-day visit on the very day of your event. But,’ he said, ‘I’ll do it.’ He was in­cred­i­ble. He came and spoke to us and brought the house down. [. . . ] That is one I love him for.”

Bill Gertz can be reached at in­sid­e­ther ing@wash­ing­ton­times.com.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.