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Censorship The Media Government United States Politics

White House Forces Censorship of New York Times 356

Posted by Zonk
from the beating-on-the-grey-lady dept.
VE3OGG writes "It would seem that scientists are not the only ones facing censorship from the White House. According to several news sources the New York Times originally had intended to run an article co-authored by a former employee of the National Security Council, critical of the current administration's policies toward Iran. The article had passed the CIA's publication review board, but was later redacted on orders from the White House. Article authors Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann were former advisers to the White House, and thus all of their publications are scrutinized by a board before they can be published. Of the numerous documents this pair has published since leaving their positions, they say this was the first that was actively censored.
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White House Forces Censorship of New York Times

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  • Hmmm (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23, 2006 @02:48PM (#17348940)
    How shocking! Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Film at 11!

    In other news: Four legs good, two legs bad. And FP!
  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Saturday December 23, 2006 @03:00PM (#17348988) Homepage Journal

    While the NYT is free to publish almost anything they want, the co-author (by nature of his/her employment) is not, which was the problem in this situation.

    Leverett is now at the New America Foundation, and left the CIA some time ago. Since he *used to* work at the CIA, the article had to be reviewed by the CIA. The CIA approved it. What is disconcerting in this instance is that the White House injected itself into the secrets review process. This raises flags because if the White House an override the CIA during the secrets review process, it could easily manipulate that ability for domestic political ends. Want to keep the discussion on Iran policy from going in a certain direction? Want to blunt an attack by a knowledgeable ex-CIA agent? Control the secrets review process.

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) * on Saturday December 23, 2006 @03:19PM (#17349072) Homepage Journal
    Flynt Leverett Talks


    He basically tells C-Span what Dear Leader didn't want published in the New York Times.

    Apparently the CIA had okayed it, but Bu$hCo didn't want that sucker out.

    This boils down to

    1. the previous reports of Iran offering to negotiate a comprehensive deal for peace in the Middle East, and,
    2. The dialog that Iran had with the USA right after 9-11 and the lead up to Afghanistan.
    Remember, the Iranians are Shiite, the Taliban are Wahhabi Sunni. Basically the Iranians don't like them, either.

    The conclusions of the Op-Ed were that we're being lied to in order for Dear Leader and Big Time Dick to get this war on again with Iran.

    On You Tube here [youtube.com]. [Thanks to Uncle $cam [moonofalabama.org]]

    Billmon suggests the Cheneyburton Corporation wants Total War [billmon.org] in Iraq. Read what Bernhard's barflies think about that here [moonofalabama.org]. This is doubtless the reason the Joint Chiefs are pissed [blogspot.com]: when you go to War, you need an objective endpoint, and a pogrom is not an endpoint.


    9:07 PM [blogspot.com]

  • public information (Score:3, Informative)

    by Nasarius (593729) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @03:38PM (#17349194)
    The authors provided ample evidence [nytimes.com] that the information that was redacted had already been publicly disclosed.
  • by alphaseven (540122) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @03:55PM (#17349312)
    You're right, some of this stuff could be guessable, and guessing the origin of redacted words by analyzing length has come up before on slashdot: Student Uncovers US Military Secrets [slashdot.org].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23, 2006 @04:02PM (#17349352)
    I saw this guy talk about the issue on C-SPAN. As far as I know all of the following are true:

    1. He does *NOT* work for the government anymore.

    2. All information in his article is public knowledge combined from a variety of sources who have made public statements to the same effect.

    3. The CIA reviewed the document and declared that it contained no sensitive information.

    4. This isn't this characters first time doing this.. He's cleared some 30 different articles with the CIA and has not once including and until now had any issues.

  • by Charcharodon (611187) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @04:36PM (#17349512)
    Doesn't matter if they are former or current. If the article is about anything doing with their job past or present the boss get's a say. That's how it goes when you work for the DOD or other security branches of government. That is also how it is in many civilian jobs in the tech industry as well. The moment you sign a non-disclosure or non-competition aggrement you pretty much are giving up your rights within the framework of the agreement. It's as simple as that.
  • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @04:59PM (#17349610)
    No offense, but if you come to Slashdot for accurate news coverage to form an opinion from, you're already going to get a skewed image. This place has political leanings and is well-known for its sensationalist news coverage. Despite all that, we're still the most free place on Earth, or else we wouldn't even be allowed to post sensationalist coverage of this story and talk about it and the so-called "Bush regime."
  • by Oligonicella (659917) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @05:05PM (#17349644)
    Detail you forgot to quote from your own link:

    "Wagner said that murder could not be ruled out, despite the evidence suggesting that the shooting was a suicide."

    Mishandling of a case doth not beget governmental conspiracy murder.
  • I'm just curious why I'm not seeing "prior restraint" anywhere; this should have only been decided by a federal magistrate.
    Oh, sorry, forgot what century it was. all that posse comitatus, ex post facto, habeas corpus & prior restraint crap is Sooooo 20th century!
  • Re:2 things (Score:3, Informative)

    by dfenstrate (202098) * <dfenstrate@@@gmail...com> on Saturday December 23, 2006 @09:49PM (#17350890)
    What troubles me is that terrorist/insurgent propaganda is uncritically forwarded as the truth, and any release that supports American activities or interests is mindlessly decried as propoganda.

    Propaganda- media efforts to garner and maintain support for any serious national undertaking- is absolutely vital to an endevour's success. We seem to have forgotten this and yielded the propoganda floor largely to the islamists we're fighting.

    I certainly don't expect you to agree that we should be making much more serious efforts to 'sell' this war- and we can do it without lying- but hey, it's the topic of conversation, so what the hell.

    By the way, Fox is a piss-poor propoganda organ for the USA. But it's resistance to being endlessly supercritical of the administration and occasionally supporting it gets it labeled as such.

    When your only basis of comparison is typical 'if it bleeds it leads' and 'no news is good news' outlets, I can see how you would come to that conclusion.
  • by bigred85 (1030936) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @12:00AM (#17351372)

    ...like pretty clear evidence that explosives were used...

    You're right, explosives were indeed used to bring the towers down. I'd say huge jetliners filled to capacity with fuel and flown into buildings qualify as "explosives".

    Or are you talking about C4 (or something equivalent), which has pretty much been debunked by, let's see here, most of the credible scientific community? There's just something about "pretty clear" evidence that has them not exactly swayed.

    Mod parent flamebait, please.

  • by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @12:03AM (#17351396) Homepage

    How are the voters guaranteed that it really is a matter of national security, and not a political matter, as is being alleged here.

    Or do you have some fundamental objection to the rule of law [wikipedia.org] that you would like to elaborate on?

  • by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Sunday December 24, 2006 @05:18AM (#17352516) Journal
    Breach of contract is a civil matter.

    Ordinarly, yes, but the contracts you sign to gain access to classified materials also come under special legislation [state.gov]

    -jcr

  • by Cyryathorn (6591) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @02:07PM (#17354596) Homepage
    "The very sad thing is that, it seems that whether we know about it or not, there is nothing we the people can do to stop this administration from going to war against Iran if they are determined to do so. It shouldn't be this way."

    The people elected Democrats to Congress, who now can deny funding for such a thing, and make things much more difficult by *not* passing the Iran-equivalent of the "Authorization for Use of Military Force". And repeal the last one for good measure!

    On an unrelated note, back to the original topic: I can see a useful distinction to be made for not censoring "random so-and-so's speculate that such-and-such happened", while censoring "fmr cia/nsc dude & the nyt confirm that such-and-such happened". So just because the "such-and-such" is available via other sources, it doesn't necessarily follow that the WH is doing something underhanded.

    Oh, and finally, I certainly hope that the CIA can't operate indepdently from the president, running their own foreign policy and what-not. Goodness gracious, I remember when the CIA was the boogie man of the left, and now it's the protector of all that is good and true!

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