“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Thursday, June 19, 2014

OPSEC, once more for the slow kids

While this is not a new trend, the acceleration over the past few years has been horrible.

Once upon a time, should a military unit associated with "covert" activities conduct a successful operation, no one knew - or if they did, it was attributed to a larger unit, or to the "military" as a whole.

As for the members, you quietly went your way, kept your mouth shut and maybe talked about things at work with people who were in the same places. A trophy or memento might go up in a team room, but certainly not with any big plaque or credit to things.

Because that was part of the job. And because it kept things easier for the next trip downrange, since the bad guys didn't know when, where or how the good guys worked.

But nowadays, heck, the helo engines aren't even cool before someone in D.C. is discussing the operation, who did what, naming units and players and the like.

Shut up people. You're putting people and families at risk. You're jeopardizing future operations. And you aren't accomplishing a single thing except looking dumb with your "look who I have working for me" crap.

Take a page from the British and the Israelis. And quit talking out of school.


Phelps said...

One of the lawsuits I was involved in was representing a flash-bang manufacturer (who left that market segment shortly after the suit ended.) One of the early users of the grenade was front and center in the lawsuit. The ground rules were clear -- the unit's designation (number of number, greek letter section, you know the one) was all over the documents, but... we still didn't use it.

When we deposed them, we said, "the unit." Everyone knows what the unit is, but just because politicians and hollywood are asshats doesn't mean we contribute.

Jon said...

There is a time and a place for openess from government. For example, the NSA doesn't have to be reading my email without a warrant. I'm a citizen of the United States and thusly I am granted that protection.

I really don't care who's email they read in the rest of the world. Thats what they're for - to tell the people we elected (unfortunately or otherwise) what everyone else in the world is thinking about us... as a Country, so those people *might* make good decisions.

On the flip side - telling people this, that or the other thing about covert operations is just flat stupid.

I really enjoyed Act of Valor. But even if the SEALs who did the acting weren't actually named in the credits (I can't remember if they were) - this is the internet age. With the right software and time if they're *anywhere* on the net (book of face, or whatever) I might beable to put that face to a name. It just didn't seem like very good Op Sec to me.

And I'm not in the military.

Old NFO said...

IF only they would... Sigh... Glad I'm OUT of the business now.

Anonymous said...

Yep, still tell strangers I was an interpreter. Or a cook. Or a cook who interpreted recipes.

TOTWTYTR said...

If someone is "not authorized to talk to the media" then they should not talk to the media.

I'm at a loss to understand why people just can't STFU when they are not supposed to blab about what happened.