The Pentagon announced new steps it’s taking to crack down on leaks, including tapping its chief spokesman to monitor the national media for classified information that’s disclosed.
Defense Secretary Panetta on Thursday instructed the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs to join together to “monitor all major, national level media reporting for unauthorized disclosures of Defense Department classified information,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement Thursday evening.
The statement also said that Panetta “reiterated” past guidance that the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs is the “sole release authority for all DOD information to news media in Washington.”Little’s statement said that the new measure was designed to complement DOD existing “bottom-up” approach to leaks, where Pentagon employees are required to report potential classified disclosures up the chain of command.
The new steps came the same day that Panetta and Joint Chief Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey testified in a closed-door hearing before the House Armed Services Committee. Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said afterward that he was satisfied with the steps the Pentagon was taking to crack down on leakers.