“Never provide unnecessary details.” That’s something that I always teach in my Operations Security (OPSEC) classes. I’s a pretty self-explanatory statement, and it should be easy to follow. But today I read an article on Mother Jones, the infamously leftist news magazine, about a current Army soldier who spoke about his involvement with the Oathkeepers organization. With all due respect to him, I’ll point out some fairly gross violations of an OPSEC practice that each and every one of you should develop.
Now OPSEC is sometimes belittled, mainly because it’s misunderstood. The point of OPSEC isn’t to not tell anyone anything and only communicate using dead drops and cut outs. The point of OPSEC is to protect your sensitive information. Now if he’s smarter than your average bear, and some of this information is disinformation, then that’s great, but it’s not going to help his military career.
So back to this article: Oathkeepers and the Age of Treason. I’ll go through the article and point out some specific examples of what you should not be telling strangers, including reporters.
The model that Pvt. 1st Class Lee Pray is saving up for has a 2,500-yard range and comes with a Mark IV scope and an easy-load magazine. When the 25-year-old drove me to a mall in Watertown, New York, near the Fort Drum Army base, he brought me to see it in its glass case—he visits it periodically, like a kid coveting something at the toy store. It’ll take plenty of military paychecks to cover the $5,600 price tag, but he considers the Bushmaster essential in his preparations to take on the US government when it declares martial law.
Telling a reporter that you plan on purchasing a rifle to fight the USG is just bad OPSEC policy, aside from using his name, which I can only hope is a pseudonym.