The Pentagon said Wednesday that top military officers and civilians had to sign a letter promising to keep details secret as they work on the military’s budget.
Defense Department press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters that Secretary Robert Gates made the unusual request out of concern for national security. He said the department didn’t want any leaks to “unravel” the budget process.
“This is highly sensitive stuff involving programs costing tens of billions of dollars, employing hundreds of thousands of people and go to the heart of national security,” he said. “And so he wants this process to be as disciplined and as forthright as possible.
“And he thinks that by having people pledge not to speak out of school, if you will, on these matters while they are a work in progress, that you’ll create a climate in which you can ultimately produce a better product, because people can speak candidly with the confidence that it will not be leaked,” he said.
Gates remained as secretary under Obama after serving under President Bush, but this year is the first time he is requiring the non-disclosure statements.
That explains the CNO’s email the other week.