Is a Puzzlement

Posted: August 6, 2007 in News and politics

In the online edition of the Washington Post this morning there is an article entitled “Weapons Given to Iraq are Missing” we get to a paragraph:

A military commander involved in the program at the time, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the report, acknowledged in an e-mail, "We did issue some items, including weapons, body armor, etc. to new Iraqi units that were literally going into battle."

Once again we confront the nefarious person “speaking on the condition of anonymity.” While this is only annoying most of the time in this case a puzzlement is encountered. We are led to believe that the NSA is reading our e-mail to determine whether we are terrorists or terrorist financiers. If the reporter is honest and some high-level official imparts the divulged information via an e-mail message wouldn’t it be a relatively simple matte to determine who he/she is by doing a search of messages sent from officials that would know this information?

A couple of possibilities raise their ugly heads here. First, is the reporter is creating a fictitious official to represent the reporter’s conjecture as coming from an official source. Second, the official really did send the reporter that information using e-mail. If that is true, and the government has the facilities to find the perpetrator might we find an article exposing the firing of an official for leaking this classified information? Of course this opens a can of worms because the fired official might invoke the whistle-blower law. But, if that’s the case (assuming some court determines the information was falsely classified) why wouldn’t the official and the newspaper consult an attorney (or the newspaper’s attorneys) to determine whether the source is covered by the whistle-blower law? Could it be that military commanders aren’t covered by the whistle blower law? Now, that’s an extreme possibility.

It still begs the question of why the military couldn’t determine who sent the offending e-mail message. Maybe we could just watch the papers and see what might happen as a result of this very damning information.

I would like to add that possibly the reason so many incidents of incompetence is rampant in all levels of government and military is their heart just isn’t in it. It might back up the quote from Shakespeare, “They sheathed their swords for lack of argument”. We can only hope that our warriors do sheath their swords soon. Not that I am advocating mass refusal to obey orders from the Commander in Chief – perish the thought.


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