…or is it the reporting that needs a clue?
adj1. arranged according to some system of classification2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy)Â Government (of information) not available to people outside a restricted group, esp for reasons of national security3. (of information) closely concealed or secret
Collins English Dictionary â€“ Complete and Unabridged Â© HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
Thursday, Obama White House officials held a “classified” briefing for senators on plans for possible action in Libya;
Undersecretary of State for Political AffairsÂ Bill Burns led the briefing and was accompanied byAlan Pino, National Intelligence Officer for the Near East,Â Gen.Â John Landry, National Intelligence Officer for Military Issues,Â Nate Tuchrello, National Intelligence Manager for Near East, Rear Adm.Michael Rogers, Director of Intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Rear AdmiralÂ Kurt Tidd, Vice Director of Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Several senators emerged from the briefing convinced that the administration was intent on beginning military action against the forces of Col.Â Muammar al-Qaddafi within the next few days and that such action would include both a no-fly zone as well as a “no-drive zone” to prevent Qaddafi from crushing the rebel forces, especially those now concentrated in Benghazi.
Could it be the ones reporting don’t understand that a meeting where senators come out and immediately tell the press everything that went on inside isn’t really “classified”? Or is it the senators who are told going in that what they are about to hear is “classified” but then come out telling all they heard inside don’t get it?
Looking at what they were told in theÂ briefing;
“It looks like we have Arab countries ready to participate in a no-fly and no-drive endeavor,” Sen.Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told reporters after the briefing.
Asked what he learned from the briefing, Graham said, “I learned that it’s not too late, that the opposition forces are under siege but they are holding, and that with a timely intervention, a no-fly zone and no-drive zone, we can turn this thing around.”
Asked exactly what the first wave of attacks would look like, Graham said, “We ground his aircraft and some tanks start getting blown up that are headed toward the opposition forces.”
While not exactly a plan of attack one would seem to have to keep secret (seems the only plan useful in this situation), it’s the word “classified” being tossed around that really grabs the attention. It makes you think you are about to be privy to something only “special” people should know about.
Information classification levels in the US are as follows;
This is the highest security level that if publicly disclosed would cause “exceptionally grave damage” toÂ national security.
This is the second-highest classification. Information is classified secret when its release would cause “serious damage” to national security. Most information that is classified is held at the secret sensitivity.
This is the lowest classification level of information obtained by the government. It is defined as information that would “damage” national security if disclosed to the public.
Unclassified is not technically a classification; this is the default and refers to information that can be released to individuals without a clearance. [Also known as For Official Use Only (FOUO), includes Privacy Act information.]
Technically, then, any government meeting covered by any reporter which covers national security issues could properly be called a “classified” meeting; the classification level could merely be “Unclassified“.
You are now better able to throw the “bullshit” flag with greater accuracy. Congratulations.
Here’s your diploma.