top of page
Search
  • mfredenburgsites

Congressional Pressure Induces Pentagon to Provide Public with F-35 TEST RESULTS

Updated: Jan 11, 2023



FOR DECADES THE DOT&E MAINTAINED A REPUTATION FOR CONDUCTING OBJECTIVE TESTS INDEPENDENT OF VENDOR OR SERVICE INFLUENCES, BUT RECENT ACTIONS TO HIDE F-35 TEST RESULTS FROM PUBLIC ANALYSIS HAVE SOME QUESTIONING ITS INDEPENDENCE



January 5, 2023 Defense News: "The Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation office reversed course after drawing fire from Congress and transparency advocates for relegating information about failures of the F-35 fighter and other major weapons programs to a “controlled unclassified” edition last year for Congress and internal Defense Department use only."Story

CONTROLLED UNCLASSIFIED INFORMATION (CUI)

The Controlled Unclassified Information standard is a relatively new standard that is supposed to label information, that while not classified as being "secret" or "top secret" or "need to know," etc., is of a nature that when collated and analyzed could potentially damage national security. Unfortunately, properly classifying such information is both time consuming, and is often subjective. Consequently, the tendency has been for organizations and individuals responsible for classifying countless millions of documents to resort to mass overclassifying as a strategy to reduce work and risk. In other words, rather than really evaluating each document individually as to whether or not it is deserves to be labeled CUI, masses of documents will just be labeled CUI even if in many or most cases they really should not be.


But beyond reducing the workload -


CUI makes it easy for a government department to slap a CUI designation on information that might be embarrassing or inconvenient, but clearly is not classified. And once a document is classified as CUI, you need a FOIA request to see it. This was likely the case when the DOT&E suddenly decided to restrict access to the public by releasing a public version of the F-35 test results scrubbed of information designated CUI and a version containing that so-called CUI information accessible by Congress and Pentagon personnel. The new public version was short and uninformative, while the non-public version had the level of detail that been available to the public in previous years, but was now restricted.


For more info on CUI and just how extensive over classification is read this congressional testimony published by POGO.



37 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page