Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said today that he "recognized and respected" a free press, but that he was troubled by the leaking of classified information.
He said that such leaks reduce the chances that the government has to track down and deal with the people who perpetrate terrorist attacks and "put men and women at risk." Rumsfeld said that, to his knowledge, sloppy handling of classified information played no role in Tuesday's tragedy.
The defense department has been particuarly concerned about estimate of deaths at the Pentagon, which have varied from a little over 100 to 800, though the latter figure is now generally considered to be too high. Rumsfeld would not comment on those figures. - John Eggerton