21 March 2007

This is legitimate secrecy

The US Navy is claiming "state secrets" to avoid unreasonable disclosure of information on a lawsuit regarding sonar alleged harm to marine mammals.

The Navy action is the latest in a string of Pentagon moves to derail the group's lawsuit. The Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups say sonar used in routine training and testing violates environmental laws.

No, the Navy action is in response to a ridiculous motion for information:

on the latitude, longitude, time and date, duration, and name of the exercise for every non-combat use of military sonar by the U.S. Navy anywhere in the world, according to the court filing.

This is an extraordinarily bad idea. Where, when and with whom we use sonar is a state secret. This could potentially harm our warfare development, engagement with allies and potential allies and would produce a map of US Navy activity that would be an intelligence windfall for any potential adversary. Talk about blown OPSEC. Why don't they alter the motion to reflect areas where they have evidence of harm to marine mammals. Oh, that's not what this is really about, is it?

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