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Rumsfeld issues cautionary media note

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on Monday reminded the press that
their reporting could jeopardize the security of U.S. armed forces, after
newspapers broke the story last Friday that U.S. Special Forces were running
operations in Afghanistan.

"We cannot and will not provide information that could jeopardize the success of our efforts to root out and liquidate the terrorist networks that threaten our people," Rumsfeld said. "To extent that the Taliban and the al Qaeda know the goals and the purposes of our operations, they will be in a better position to frustrate those goals and those purposes. It is not in our country's interest to let them know when, how, or even why we're conducting certain operations."

Rumsfeld specifically criticized Pentagon officials for
leaking classified information to the media.

To show how the military is providing information, Rumsfeld pointed to a
video tape the Defense Department released last weekend showing U.S. Army
Rangers parachuting into Afghanistan.

The video's release marks the first time the Pentagon has put out footage of special operations, Rumsfeld said.

Rumsfeld has been cooperating with the press, although a
bit begrudgingly:

 "I've also agreed . to have daily press briefings here, five days a
week. Some will have more substance than others, I suspect. It's not clear to me
that it's necessary or even desirable, but I've acquiesced in that, and we will
be available."

 - Paige Albiniak