Intelligence officials sue to end pre-publication government review of writings


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The action was brought in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland, against DNI Dan Coats, CIA Director Gina Haspel, NSA Director Paul Nakasone, and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.


It’s not just a problem for the intelligence services. I knew a guy once who worked for the state department and had done service in Africa. I talked to him about writing a book about it, but he didn’t think it was worth the hassle of dealing with the review system.

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This article is a little ambiguous as to what the publication approval requirements are for someone who has held/holds a national security position. The article implies that one must get prior approval before release of any information(speeches,publications,etc). This is not the case. Prior approval is only required when releasing information related to the specifics of your employment and the information you had access to. There is no need for prior approval of publications not related to your employment or the specifics thereof. There is good reason for this. Not everyone is trained in the classification of information, beyond the basics. To preclude the inadvertent release of classified information, prior to release, any information specific to one’s employment and the information one had access to must be review by an entity capable of making the determination as to the classification of the information to be released.

Agreeing to subject oneself to these publication requirements are voluntary and a condition of employment, just as the non-disclosure agreements many employees sign upon accepting positions with commercial entities.

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