The Pentagon told military and senior administration officials on Wednesday to shut up about the Osama bin Laden mission.
"It is time to stop talking," Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said at the State Department. "We have talked far too much about this. It's a story that, if we don't stop talking, it will never end and it needs to."
Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates rapped the White House for leaping to the microphone too soon after the operation.
"There were too many people in too many places talking too much about this operation," Gates said. "We had an agreement that we would not talk about any details. ... That [agreement] lasted about 15 hours."
The White House has been widely criticized for changing its version of the mission's operational details multiple times. Administration officials first reported that the Navy SEALs who killed bin Laden were under continuous fire and that bin Laden used his wife as a shield, when, in fact, the SEALs took fire only once and bin Laden's wife had rushed at the Americans on her own accord.
"I'm very concerned about this because we want to retain the capability to carry out these operations in the future," Gates said.
Mullen said no single branch of government is to blame for the information leaks: He also implicated retired military members.
"We've had far too many retired members who have spoken up and we just need to get off the net," he said.