When Sarah Palin was announced as John McCain's Vice Presidential pick, I found it a little disturbing that she told the public that her oldest son, Track, would be deploying to Iraq on September 11. Generally, disclosing the date of deployment is against Operational Security (OPSEC) and illegal.
Calling around to a couple of Public Affairs Officers (PAO) who would be handling the flow of information about Track and his unit, VoteVets.org found out that, first, Track is not deploying on September 11. He may be part of a deployment ceremony that day, before going to Kuwait, though one Public Affairs Officer said that any details of the upcoming ceremony hadn't been made public yet by the military.
Governor Palin may have spilled the beans on that one, while showing she doesn't know the difference between a soldier deploying to Iraq vs. one preparing to deploy to Iraq. And while not illegal, if she really did believe that's when he's deploying to Iraq, then she didn't know enough to keep quiet about that to keep from violating OPSEC -- something a potential Commander in Chief should know.
But, more disturbing, and definitely in violation of security, are an explosion of stories that say specifically where in Iraq Track is deploying to, which have been dutifully eaten up by right wing websites, and reprinted. I will not reprint it here, because I would only be compounding the issue. But, unfortunately, it is very easy to find on the web at this point.
It is simply impossible that any reporter could figure this out on their own. Just by knowing Track's name and the date he is heading to Kuwait, one could not figure out specifically where Track and his company would be going in Iraq. There's a reason it's impossible to figure that out -- because the military doesn't want that information out there. It only serves to aid the enemy to know where are troops are moving.
Did the Pentagon release that information to the press?
No, according to another PAO that VoteVets.org talked with. In fact, this PAO said, the military was actively trying to quash this story, and keep reporters from repeating all these details, because it was a clear OPSEC violation. The PAO was adamant that the military has no idea how these details got out there and doesn't want them out there.
So where is this information coming from, if not the military? Certainly not the Obama campaign, which would not gain anything by promoting Track's service. The only people who I can think of would be those in the McCain-Palin campaign.
If the McCain-Palin campaign has disclosed details about Track's company's movements to gain stories in the press about it, they will have put many American lives in danger -- not the least of which would be Track's.
Senator McCain and Governor Palin need to immediately find out if someone in the campaign violated OPSEC by giving a reporter these details, and if they did, the campaign needs to find out where the source got this information from. Whoever that is, is in it deep.
Crossposted at VetVoice.com