Featured photograph: General George C. Marshall (1880-1959) was one of the most decorated military leaders in American history. A graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, he was a World War I staff officer and later became assistant commandant at the U.S. Infantry School. He was named chief of staff when World War II began in Europe in 1939.
Leak after leak. Big book deal, more leaks, more book deals and still — even more leaks.
Unfortunately, in recent years, this seems to be more par for the course for those involved in the national security establishment of the United States.
This wasn’t always the case, though.
General George C. Marshall, the World War II Army Chief of Staff, who went on to serve as both the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, turned down big money to write his memoirs. General Marshall felt it unethical to profit from service to the United States or benefit from the sacrifices of men under his command.
The Nobel Peace Prize recipient was not only a great soldier — he was a great statesman.
Now more than ever, America needs to return to the George Marshall standard for officials in our national security apparatus, including the National Security Council, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State.
Gen. Marshall realized that we were at war with the Axis powers, and understood real detriment to American national security would occur if leaks were rampant, or if officials took advantage of lucrative book deals. Think about it — planning the Normandy invasion, conducting the secret research associated with the Manhattan Project, or yes, even what the British did in breaking the “Enigma Code.”
All of these were vitally critical to the free world remaining so.
Leaks by nameless officials at the State or War Departments could have caused grave damage to the chances of an Allied victory and cost countless American lives.
Thank God we had men like Gen. George C. Marshall at that time.
He put America, and not their self-interests, first.
Today, though, America is at war. Surely, it’s a different sort of war.
But it’s a war that is far more complex and changing all the time.
Today we are confronted with the most complicated foreign policy landscape America has ever faced. We are also dealing with the most complex national security challenge of our lifetime — cyber warfare.
Not to mention, the nuclear and ballistic activities of Iran and North Korea and Russia trying to reconstitute the old Soviet Union. And then there’s communist China, not only executing a real plan to steal critical national security technology like that related to artificial intelligence (AI), but also outspending America 30-1 in an effort to win the quantum race.
Make no doubt, whoever wins the quantum race wins the cyber war also; whoever wins the cyber war will have the upper hand in any future military conflict.
Today, America needs the same kind of mindset from officials at the NSC, State, and Defense Departments, just like that of General Marshall and the “Greatest Generation,” that generation who served under him.
The Greatest Generation always put America first.
There is no place for playing politics with National Security and we must have officials at the NSC, State, and Defense Departments willing to not only forgo lucrative book deals when they leave, but also possess the kind of character and backbone to not even think about leaking sensitive information to the press.
This president and future presidents deserve this and should expect it in order to carry out their role as commander in chief, keeping America and her citizens safe and secure.
Additonally, just to be sure that we drastically reduce the amount of leaks emanating from key government offices related to national security, let’s offer substantial cash rewards to government employees with information leading to the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of government employees who violate the U.S. espionage laws by leaking sensitive classified information and committing other crimes.
Such an incentive would yield immediate investigatory results and, more importantly, would have a chilling effect on other members of the Deep State so inclined to participate in criminal behavior.
President Trump could even implement such a policy: the “No Book Deal” ban of key employees in national security positions by executive order.
If a potential national security official won’t agree to the “No Book Deal,” then they have no business working for the American people. We should also look at the possibility of having something like the “Official Secrets Act” like Great Britain.
Compellingly, just last year, then-Prime Minister Theresa May sacked her own Defense Secretary for allegedly violating the “Official Secrets Act” by disclosing plans to allow Chinese telecom giant, Huawei, to help build the UK’s 5G network.
These are dangerous times.
We must not forget the reason the states came together in the first place to create the federal government — to provide for the common defense of its citizenry.
We need to be able to rest assured that we have officials at the NSC, Department of Defense, Department of State, and Intelligence community wholeheartedly agree that it’s time to ensure that the Gen. George C. Marshall standard is once again the standard, one permeating that permeating both the national security and intelligence establishments of the United States and our government.
Our nation deserves no less.