Air Force Rescinds New Guidance on WikiLeaks

Secrecy News reported Monday on strange new guidance from the Air Force Materiel Command declaring that Air Force employees and even their family members could be prosecuted under the Espionage Act for accessing the WikiLeaks web site. On Monday night that new guidance was abruptly withdrawn.

Lt. Col. Richard L. Johnson of Air Force Headquarters released this statement:

“Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) recently published an internal news story that discussed the implications of downloading presumed classified information from WikiLeaks. The release was not previously coordinated with Headquarters Air Force and has been removed from the AFMC website. The Air Force has provided guidance to military members and employees to avoid downloading what could be classified information into Air Force unclassified networks and reminded them that publication of information does not itself constitute declassification of such information. The Air Force guidance did not address family members who are not Air Force members or employees. The Air Force defers to the Department of Justice in all non-military matters related to WikiLeaks.”

A copy of the withdrawn release is archived here.  See also “US air force backtracks over WikiLeaks ban” by Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian, February 8,  and “No espionage charges for airmen on Wikileaks” by Scott Fontaine, Air Force Times, February 8.

No Responses to “Air Force Rescinds New Guidance on WikiLeaks”

  1. Beth Smart February 9, 2011 at 9:58 PM #

    I would like to know if the 1st amendment still exists? Cause whatever is out there to be viewed should not be held against someone who wants looks at it and even comment on it the way the individual sees fit to. . Then I say the military should be more careful, if something is classified and should be hush hush.. stick it under the mattress for heaven sakes if they dont want it viewed. People in America would like to know what is going on.. it’s the peoples money which pays the govt’s salary. So in my opinion the govt is the employees and the people are the employers. NOT the other way around. I understand military stratagies. thats fine, but the stuff which came out before about the “he said,she said”, “he did she did” and who had what affair was totally ridicullous to keep in classified docs. Plus the fact is govt’s (just generalizing, there are good and bad) need to get their morals,scrupples, and values back in order..and God back in their lives. This sounds like a huge soap opera… like the Lee Greenwood song goes, “GOD BLESS THE U.S.A..” Thanks