Continued from page 1

A Turkish Embassy spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

A classified Jan. 26, 2010, State Department cable said the Turkish government was still debating how to respond to U.S. requests to put the radar and possibly other missile defenses in Turkey.

The cable, made public by the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks, said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had told President Obama that “such a system must be implemented in a NATO context to diminish the political cost that his government will likely bear, both in terms of domestic politics and in Turkey’s relations with Iran.”

“Erdogan is concerned that Turkey’s participation might later give Israel protection from an Iranian counterstrike,” said the cable, labeled “secret.”

The Czech Republic recently pulled out of plans to host a missile early-warning radar as part of the administration’s program. Prague officials claimed their participation was rejected because the system would have provided data on missile attacks but was not connected to interceptors that could shoot them down.

In February, four Republican senators wrote to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates urging him to put the radar in Georgia instead of Turkey.

“We believe the U.S. should deploy the most effective missile defenses possible - in partnership with our allies - that provide for protection for the U.S. homeland, our deployed forces and our allies,” said the letter by Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, James E. Risch of Idaho, James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma and Mr. Kirk.

Leak report

Former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates‘ obsession with hunting down leaks was revealed in an inspector general’s report that investigated the disclosure to The Washington Post of a preliminary report on gays in the military.

Even though the report did not contain secrets, the inspector general said, Mr. Gates demanded the inquiry because it violated rules on documents labeled “for official use only.”

The IG questioned 96 of 101 officials who had access to the report and concluded that the source could not be identified. Five White House officials, likely sources for the leak, refused to be interviewed.

The report provided an inside look at how officials from the military services, public affairs offices and other Pentagon offices tried to gain access to the restricted document on lifting the ban on acknowledged gays.

In response to mounting requests to see one of the 57 copies, Robert Rangel, Mr. Gates‘ special assistant, sent a memo that stated:
“SecDef directs the following: No additional copies provided. If the Services want to grow the number of officials with access, they need to use [non-disclosure agreements] for all involved [and] submit for [SecDef] approval a list of additional officials (beyond the 9) with a brief rationale why.”

The report quotes from numerous emails from The Post reporters about their sources for the article. The report was published Nov. 10 under the headline “Sources: Pentagon Group Finds There is Minimal Risk to Lifting Gay Ban During War,” by Ed O’Keefe and Greg Jaffe.

After publication, the IG said Douglas Wilson, assistant defense secretary for public affairs, told officials, “I think we do need to address the fact that this has been leaked. We need to do this without implicitly indicating that the leaker’s information is either right or wrong.”

Story Continues →