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FAS Intro: Following an epidemic of leaks of classified documents to the Washington Times, Defense Secretary William Perry issued the following memorandum to senior Pentagon officials. A copy was obtained by the FAS Project on Government Secrecy


THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20301

31 JUL 1996

MEMORANDUM FOR:
SUBJECT: Unauthorized Disclosure of Intelligence

Request ASD(C3I) take the lead in the Department to implement corrective action in response to concerns raised in the referenced memorandum dated July 31, 1996 (attached). Please take immediate action with respect to the following:

( 1 ) Work with the Director of Central Intelligence and his staff to review procedures for protecting intelligence sources and methods.

(2) Work with all senior managers in the Department to ensure that correct procedures for the control of classified information and documents are followed.

(3) Separately, review Defense intelligence dissemination procedures to ensure that intelligence gets to its intended audience without compromising sources and methods.

(4) Request and support an official FBI investigation of circumstances surrounding unauthorized leaks of sensitive intelligence reporting that may affect our ability to provide force protection and execute our other military missions.

Please provide me with a status report on these actions by August 23, 1996.

[signed]
William J. Perry


THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20301

31 JUL 1996

MEMORANDUM FOR:
SUBJECT: Unauthorized Disclosure of Classified Information

During the past few months, there have been a number of newspaper articles based on highly classified intelligence reports. It appears that one or more DoD employees are deliberately and illegally releasing this classified information. As a result of those releases, our intelligence sources and methods are being inevitably compromised and, therefore, will become less effective. In the worst case, the compromise can actually endanger the life of one of our intelligence sources. Additionally, such unauthorized releases could cause the intelligence agencies of other countries to believe the U.S. to be an unreliable collaborator. They could fear that unauthorized releases in the U.S. media would reveal their sources as well as our own and, therefore, become less willing to share intelligence with us.

I cannot imagine what reasons any of our staff would have for making these unauthorized releases, but I do know that they are reducing the effectiveness of our intelligence operations. In some future conflict, our military personnel may have to pay a heavy price because of this reduced effectiveness of the intelligence they need to support them. In summary, such unauthorized releases are not only illegal, they ultimately are endangering the lives of U.S. military personnel.

Because of my deep concern with this problem, I am taking the following actions:

[signed]
William J. Perry


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