Phil Carter, whose blog joins the blogroll. reflects on the journalistic responsibility not to publish order-of-battle information that would be useful to an enemy. His argument is a solid one. But he does not reflect on the documented willingness of the Defense Department to use operational security as an alibi to hide whatever is embarrassing. Optimally, the press wouldn’t publish anything genuinely threatening to operational security, and the Pentagon flacks wouldn’t try to hide anything else. But we live in a suboptimal world. It’s natural, though wrong, for the flacks to regard any information that gets to journalists other than through them as a Bad Thing, and for the reporters to regard any information they can get from other than official channels as a Good Thing. The abuse of the classification system for political and bureaucratic advantage discredits the whole system, and the people who carry out such abuse need to take their share of responsibility for the resulting casualties.