Clinton’s Answer On Nuke Launch Time Used ‘Extremely Classified’ Info, Military ‘Not Especially Thrilled’
On Thursday’s broadcast of “CNN Newsroom,” CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr reported that Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement about the time it takes to launch nuclear weapons is “extremely classified,” and while there is a lot of information available to public on what the process is for launching nuclear weapons, “if you know information to be classified, and you’re a government official, even if it’s in the open source, even if it’s on the Internet, you are not supposed to disclose it.” She further stated, “the bottom line is, the US military, not especially thrilled to be discussing in precise detail what it takes to launch nuclear weapons.”
Starr said that whether Clinton’s comment violated any operational security was a “fairly complicated question.” She continued, “A military spokesman told us that they do not discuss operational timelines for launching nuclear weapons. This is some of the most classified information. I asked Defense Secretary Ash Carter at a press conference earlier today. He declined to answer the question because it involved politics. Is it really classified? there’s a lot of open-source information about — you know, publicly available information on the Internet about what is involved in launching nuclear weapons, and when we asked the Clinton campaign, they sent us a number of citations of that publicly-available information. But here is the bottom line: The US military does not discuss the precise specifics of the timeframes of launching nuclear weapons. That, by all accounts, is extremely classified, and if you know information to be classified, and you’re a government official, even if it’s in the open source, even if it’s on the Internet, you are not supposed to disclose it. Could somebody be prosecuted for it? Who knows. That’s, you know — this is one of these constant questions in Washington nowadays. What exactly is classified, what’s disclosed, what is prosecutable? But the bottom line is, the US military, not especially thrilled to be discussing in precise detail what it takes to launch nuclear weapons.”
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