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Jack Reed on DoD Secrecy

Sen. Jack Reed D-RI interviewed by The Hill's "Bisnow:"

Available at Bisnow:

Q: Who's turning you down, exactly?
A: Well, I think it goes all the way from Secretary Rumsfeld all the way through, it is the civilian leadership...my sense is it's Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and the other civilians.

Q: What for example are you asking for that you're turned down on?
A: Well, I've been asking for months for a report that was prepared on Iraq security forces by General Carl Eichenberry...I think it would have been very useful for the Congress to look at this documentation...and that stonewalling has not only prevented us from doing our job but hurt them too, because they've been in denial for months now about the Iraqi security forces and finally they're admitting that they don't have the right equipment or the right leadership or the right numbers.

Q: Why do you think they're turning you down?
A: Well, I believe there's this overall sense of secrecy and of making decisions closely held, and, you know, when it comes to national security matters that's usually done by the process of classifying information, which we respect. Here it's a much more sort of political angle. They just don't want anything getting out. They don't want to share information, they don't want to encourage a constructive dialogue between the the Congress and the Defense Department.

Q: Are you suggesting the Bush administration is unique?
A: I think the Bush Administration has taken a natural reluctance to talk about these tough issues to a new height...I think this bespeaks not a Republican-Democrat but just a mindset in the Pentagon that, you know, you people have no role in what we're doing, you don't need to know anything, and just butt out.


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