Esper claims Defense Department inappropriately blocks parts of his brief

On November 8, Mr. Esper emailed his successor, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, regarding his concerns. When he submitted the ...


On November 8, Mr. Esper emailed his successor, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, regarding his concerns. When he submitted the manuscript for review in May, Mr Esper wrote, he was convinced it contained nothing that was classified or compromised national security, a view he still maintains.

But when the bureau returned the manuscript to him last month, “several words, sentences and paragraphs of around 60 pages of the manuscript were redacted,” Esper wrote. “No written explanation was offered to justify the deletions.”

Mr Esper said during follow-up conversations, the office was unable to confirm that “the redacted material contains classified information or compromises national security.”

He said some of the redactions “instructed me not to quote former President Trump and others in meetings, not to describe conversations between the former president and me, and not to use certain verbs. or names to describe historical events ”.

“I have also been asked to suppress my views on the actions of other countries, on conversations I have had with foreign officials and on international events that have been widely reported,” Esper continued. “Many articles were already in the public domain; some have even been published by the DOD ”

He said that in another editorial, defense officials asked for a change in information the ministry released in January 2020. Mr Esper never heard back from Mr Austin. But for a week, he asked the department to justify his redactions and redesigns. Instead of a justification, he received a notice a week later that his edited manuscript was ready.

Mr Esper did not identify any specific assistants in the prepublication office he spoke to, but he described them as professional in his interactions. In his email to Mr Austin, Mr Esper wrote that on November 5 he had discussed the review process with the Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense, Kelly Magsamen, and the Director of Administration and the management of the department, Michael B. Donley, to try to move the process forward. They suggested that he sit down with the unit offering most of the writing “to try to find a compromise language.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Esper claims Defense Department inappropriately blocks parts of his brief
Esper claims Defense Department inappropriately blocks parts of his brief
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