Code Names

Listen / Download

This week Washington learned that the Defense Department has been keeping a big secret. Turns out it’s been running covert intelligence operations since 2002 — without anyone, including the CIA, knowing. The military has always been in the business of keeping secrets –that’s nothing new. But what is new is the extent to which all that classified information is being shielded from the public and the civilian leaders who are supposed to oversee such activity. The defense analyst William Arkin says that post 9.11 — the military has become obsessed with secrecy…and that obsession is hurting its ability to protect the nation at home and abroad. He argues that the elaborate system of classification and code names not only blinds the public and the politicians — but it distracts the military as well.


William Arkin, author of “Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs, and Operations in the 9/11 World.”

Retired Colonel Patrick Lang, former head of Middle East and South Asian intelligence and counter- terrorism for Depart of Defense.