On Nov. 8, Mr. Esper emailed his successor, Protection Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, about his considerations. When he submitted the manuscript for evaluation in Might, Mr. Esper wrote, he was assured it contained nothing that was categorized or compromised nationwide safety, a view he nonetheless holds.
However when the workplace returned the manuscript to him final month, “a number of phrases, sentences and paragraphs from roughly 60 pages of the manuscript have been redacted,” Mr. Esper wrote. “No written clarification was provided to justify the deletions.”
Mr. Esper stated that in follow-up conversations, the workplace was not capable of affirm that “the redacted objects comprise categorized info or compromise nationwide safety.”
He stated that a number of the redactions “requested me to not quote former President Trump and others in conferences, to not describe conversations between the previous president and me, and to not use sure verbs or nouns when describing historic occasions.”
“I used to be additionally requested to delete my views on the actions of different nations, on conversations I held with overseas officers, and concerning worldwide occasions which have been extensively reported,” Mr. Esper continued. “Many objects have been already within the public area; some have been even revealed by D.O.D.”
He stated that in one other redaction, protection officers sought a change to info that the division had made public in January 2020. Mr. Esper by no means heard again from Mr. Austin. However for every week, he requested the division to justify its redactions and edits. As an alternative of a justification, he acquired discover every week later that his amended manuscript was prepared.
Mr. Esper didn’t determine particular aides within the prepublication workplace with whom he was talking, however he described them as skilled in his interactions. In his e-mail to Mr. Austin, Mr. Esper wrote that on Nov. 5 he had mentioned the evaluation course of with the protection secretary’s chief of employees, Kelly Magsamen, and the division’s director of administration and administration, Michael B. Donley, to attempt to advance the method. They advised that he sit with the unit proposing many of the redactions “to attempt to discover compromise language.”