Don Latham

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search

Donald C. Latham (Don Latham) is Vice President at LORAL[1]

On May 17, 1984, Donald C. Latham was nominated during the Ronald Reagan administration to the new position of Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence) (C3I):

"Since 1981 Mr. Latham has been serving as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense. Previously, he was with the Riverside Research Institute in 1980-1981; division vice president, engineering, at RCA Corp., government systems division, in Moorestown, NJ (1978 - 1980); director of engineering at Martin Marietta Aerospace, Orlando division, in 1977 - 1978; Deputy Chief, Office of Microwave, Space, and Mobile Systems, Department of Defense, in 1974 - 1977; Chief, Engineering Staff, National Security Agency, European Headquarters, in 1971-1974; and at Martin Marietta Aerospace, Orlando division, in 1963-1971.
"He graduated from The Citadel (B.S., 1955) and the University of Arizona (M.S., 1957; E.E., 1965)."

  • Member, Tau Beta Pi, The Engineering Honor Society[2]

An April 21, 1995, article in TIME Magazine called Latham "a former Pentagon communications czar."

In "The National Guards" published May 1987 in OMNI Magazine, Donald Goldberg wrote:

"The Pentagon has installed a system that enables it to seize control of the nation's entire communications network -- the phone system, data transmissions, and satellite transmissions of all kinds -- in the event of what it deems a 'national emergency.' As yet there is no single, universally agreed-upon definition of what constitutes such a state. Usually such an emergency is restricted to times of natural disaster, war, or when national security is specifically threatened. Now the military has attempted to redefine emergency.

"The point man in the Pentagon's onslaught on communications is Assistant Defense Secretary Donald C. Latham, a former NSA deputy chief. Latham now heads up an interagency committee in charge of writing and implementing many of the policies that have put the military in charge of the flow of civilian information and communication. He is also the architect of National Security Decision Directive 145 (NSDD 145), signed by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in 1984, which sets out the national policy on telecommunications and computer-systems security.

"First NSDD 145 set up a steering group of top-level administration officials. Their job is to recommend ways to protect information that is unclassified but has been designated sensitive. Such information is held not only by government agencies but by private companies as well. And last October the steering group issued a memorandum that defined sensitive information and gave federal agencies broad new powers to keep it from the public.

"According to Latham, this new category includes such data as all medical records on government databases -- from the files of the National Cancer Institute to information on every veteran who has ever applied for medical aid from the Veterans Administration -- and all the information on corporate and personal taxpayers in the Internal Revenue Service's computers. Even agricultural statistics, he argues, can be used by a foreign power against the United States.

"In his oversize yet Spartan Pentagon office, Latham cuts anything but an intimidating figure. Articulate and friendly, he could pass for a network anchorman or a television game show host. When asked how the government's new definition of sensitive information will be used, he defends the necessity for it and tries to put to rest concerns about a new restrictiveness. 'The debate that somehow the DoD and NSA are going to monitor or get into private databases isn't the case at all,' Latham insists. 'The definition is just a guideline, just an advisory. It does not give the DoD the right to go into private records.'"


  • Defense Science Board.
  • "a lead participant in the 1997 Defense Science Board study that examined the role of the military in responding to CBW threats to the territory of the United States."[3]
  • Defense Science Board Task Force on Advanced Modeling and Simulation for Analyzing Combat Concepts in the 21st Century, May 1999[4]
  • Defense Science Board Task Force on Information Warfare Defense[5]

Other Related SourceWatch Resources