- The Department of Defense identifies journalists reporting sensitive military information as "unauthorized recipients" in its training modules.
- The change comes a day after Politico first reported that the Department of Defense described journalists as "opponents".
- During the training, US service members can view videos with various scenarios that highlight the Department of Defense's broader policy to share information with the media.
- The language of these training courses, which include topics such as sexual harassment and racial injustices, is often sterile and without social nuances.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
The Department of Defense marks journalists reporting sensitive military information as "unauthorized recipients" in its training modules, a change that occurs a day later Politico First it was reported that they were described as "opponents".
In its mandatory "Operational safety"Online training module that focuses on the importance of preventing unauthorized disclosures. Service members can view videos with various scenarios that highlight the Department of Defense's broader policy on sharing information with the media.
In a hypothetical scenario of a secret military exercise, anti-government protesters and news reporters turned up to report, Politico reported. Both the demonstrators and news reporters were identified as "opponents" trying to look for "vulnerabilities".
"The protest group was an opponent, not because of their political beliefs, but because their intentions contradicted the success of the training mission," said a narrator in the training module, according to Politico. "Reporters also had conflicting intentions and skills. They wanted to record exercise activities and videos and report them on the evening news. In this case, the reporters are opponents."
The Department of Defense usually warns journalists against publishing information that could endanger the US armed forces or help an opponent. This information usually includes secret skills or missions that are ongoing or planned. The Pentagon has been widely criticized for the fact that reporters who provide the public with information about the US military have groups or organizations that are officially identified as opponents.
In a July 20 memo for all Department of Defense personnel, Esper said that operational security, or "OPSEC," was "critical to protecting our armed forces."
"Unauthorized disclosures put our DoD personnel, operations, strategies, and policies at risk for the benefit of our opponents," Esper wrote in the memo. "Illicit disclosures also distract from the mission's priorities by diverting the attention and resources of military commanders. Whether poor OPSEC in the form of negligent cyber hygiene," easy talking "with colleagues, or the deliberate disclosure of non-public information, the result is the same thing: unnecessary and increased risk of harming our fellow Americans and our mission. "
The military regularly conducts mandatory training – with a post-grading test – through online modules, similar to those done in civil organizations. The language of these training courses, which include topics such as sexual harassment and racial injustices, is often sterile and without social nuances.
The report comes a few weeks after Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was sharply criticized across the country for what he said to heads of state during George Floyd's protests. During the June call, Esper called US cities a "battlefield" and urged lawmakers to "dominate" them, fueling the perception of a highly militarized presence on home soil.
Esper later apologized for his comments about the call.
"Earlier this week, I was quoted as saying that the best way to control street violence was to dominate the battlefield," Esper said, adding, "I would use other wording afterwards to avoid distracting from the more . " important issues at hand or let some suspect that we are militarizing the issue. "
The U.S. military and other federal units have suffered many flattering leaks during the Trump presidency – some of which have been reported by senior officials.
In April 2019 was Newsweek reported that the then U.S. Marine Corps commander, General Robert Neller, had a critical internal memo sent to the Los Angeles Times and NBC News to warn the public about the negative effects of President Donald Trump's national emergency statement in early February.
In the memos, Neller reportedly stated that Trump's plan to divert funding from military projects to fund a barrier on the US-Mexico border was an "unacceptable risk to the Marine Corps' readiness to fight and pay" and that Marines' readiness "will continue to deteriorate under current conditions."