An investigation by Popular Military has determined that the recent reports about US special operations being conducted in Iraq are in direct violation of OPSEC (Operation Security).
CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has published multiple articles this week about the specific operations of the U.S. Army’s most elite and secretive unit, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D), popularly known as “Delta Force”.
Yesterday, Barbara Starr reported “U.S. Special Ops team captures first ISIS operative,” based upon information that was not released through any official channels. Her report even lists the location in Iraq where the US special operators are keeping the prisoner. She stated that US officials “provided details to CNN but asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.”
This information was released despite the White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, stating, “I can’t discuss the details of any missions particularly when it comes to risking operational security” during an official White House press briefing.
When questioned about the release of this information, a public affairs officer for United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) said, “just because information has been released in the public domain does not make it declassified.”
Barbara Starr lists the sources for her information as “anonymous US officials”. Based upon Popular Military’s inquires to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Pentagon’s Department of Army officials, and the USSOCOM, this information was not provided to CNN from an official military source.
Civilians – which include CNN journalists accompanying the U.S. armed forces– are subject to all applicable federal laws for for violating OPSEC. If US military members violate OPSEC general order they are punishable under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Popular Military further inquired about the accuracy of whether or not information that is not released through official military channels about operations in the theater of Iraq is in violation of OPSEC and puts the lives of soldiers at risk.
The USSOCOM spokesperson stated that he would consider this statement to be “valid”.
This is not the first time the government has been accused of overlooking Barbara Starr jeopardizing operational security or the lives of US military members.
In 2013, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes accused the government of having a double standard when dealing with journalists. According to Hayes, when Starr releases classified information it is overlooked by the government because the information aligns with the current political agenda.
The Office of the Secretary of Defense has yet to respond to an inquiry about whether they consider Barbara Starr to be violating operational security.
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