In response to the Feb. 21 Ombudsman column “A threat to press and academic freedom”: There are some questions that need to be answered in regard to this policy on the handling of classified information.

With newspapers publishing information disclosed by WikiLeaks or that has otherwise been disclosed without authorization all willy-nilly, do I need to sign a non-disclosure agreement as I get to the newsstand or can it wait until I can get to the special security office? How does a government press corps respond to questions about this information that they can’t read themselves? Should I forget anything I learned in history class in case somebody decides to reclassify history? How should I catalog my book collection so I know what info to forget when they disappear?

Let’s face it: The information is out there. Our enemies are data-mining WikiLeaks as we speak to find weaknesses and anti-U.S. material. Instead of pursuing a policy of forced ignorance, we should be scrubbing this data ourselves and adjusting our operations to minimize damage caused by disclosure.

The keys to war are to know thy enemy and to know thyself. Ignoring what our enemies know of us is not a way to win.

Spc. Eric Cunningham

Camp Humphreys, South Korea

Newspaper has run its course

I started reading Stars and Stripes several years ago. In those days it was a solid newspaper with plenty of local and regional news. Today, Stars and Stripes is a repeat of things I’ve already read on the web. Even your website is nothing more than links to other media outlets with few original stories posted near the bottom of the site.

The time has come for the federal government to cut funding for Stars and Stripes — it is a waste of taxpayer dollars. The active-duty soldiers assigned to Stars and Stripes should be reassigned to regular Army units, civilians should be given pink slips and the paper should be shut down. In this day and age, Stars and Stripes is irrelevant.

Tim Mertley

Kandahar, Afghanistan

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