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Censorship The Media Government United States Politics

White House Forces Censorship of New York Times 356

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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  • another misstep (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nanojath ( 265940 ) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @02:59PM (#17348986) Homepage Journal
    It seems like the Bush admin. has really lost their mojo... This is so badly played. If this article had been allowed to run without obstruction, how many people would really have noticed it? Another dry opinion piece promulgating one aspect of one of the five dominant Opinions on What Ought We to Do with Iraq. Instead, with the NYT's unusual decision to run it redacted with an explanation, the spotlight is on every piece of information they wanted to keep out of the press, and it is making headlines in places it never would have (it certainly never would have shown up on Slashdot just as the story it was).

    For the first time in a while I'm looking forward to the next year's politics... Not because "my team" is winning (my team doesn't seem to exist and if they did they wouldn't get on any ballot), but because it's just going to be such a clusterfuck... Watching that three ring circus known as the Democratic party try to joust its razor thin margin against this newly politically tonedeaf lame duck administration, while the GOP try to figure out how to put solid distance between themselves and the ever less popular Bush&Co while holding onto all those endearing litte traits that keep the various "bases" happy...
  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @03:07PM (#17349016) Homepage Journal
    What should have happened:
    1) NY Times runs the article
    2) Attorney General investigates to see if any laws or contracts were broken.
    3) Attorney General prosecutes or sues co-author for breaking law or breaking contract. Use FISA or other closed-court hearings if necessary to protect state secrets.
    4) Message is sent to others: Don't do what he did.
    5) Citizens see article and see the author is being sued or prosecuted, and make up their own mind at the polls in '08.
    6) Next president considers Presidential Pardon.
  • by Joebert ( 946227 ) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @03:22PM (#17349086) Homepage
    I wonder if they were smart enough to at least alter the structure of the censored words.

    But Tehran was profoundly disappointed with the United States response. After the 9/11 attacks, xxx xxx xx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xx set the stage for a

    The last censored word in that strip could very well be "to", as in "to set the stage".

    By the way, my title is "Are you fucking kidding me ?!"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23, 2006 @03:49PM (#17349266)
    This story is a few days old and this is the first I've heard of it. I haven't seen any mention of it on any of the major news stations. They have instead been preoccupied with the actions of Miss USA and the feud between Donald Trump and Rose O'Donnell's. Why has this not been seen as a major story in the mainstream media?
  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @04:22PM (#17349448) Journal
    But the author would be found shot dead in his car a few months later.

    You mean kinda like Cliff Baxter [], the Enron guy who agreed to talk not only about Lay and Skilling, but also about the private "consultations" between Enron and Dick Cheney?

    Funny how someone can commit "suicide" by shooting themself in the head from "two to three feet away". That takes some serious talent.

    But hey, we've forgotten all about that little blemish. Why squabble over illegal manipulation of the energy market when we have a WAR on TERRORISM to fight, in a completely unrelated country formerly run by a secular semi-democratically-elected leader, that coincidentally happens to contain the second largest oil reserves on the planet.
  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @04:45PM (#17349554) Journal
    Well, american instutitions are much enthusiastic about advertising american values about free speech, transparent government, democracy, freedom and such to the world.....and [now] see that the u.s. government is actively censoring what it does not like, and than, to add insult to injury, we are seeing people here that can actually support such a blatant blashpemy of values.

    There is a culture war in the US that is actually a microcosm of the al-quida-versus-civalization battle. Religious fanatics beleive that the ends justify the means: that is, lying, cheating, and dirty-play is "okay" if it acheives "God's goals". The far right in the US is becomming like the Taliban, just with a different brand of diety. Thus, they are slowly starting to use similar tactics.

    Actually, it is all a three-way war between world-wide moderates, Christian fanatics, and Muslim fanatics. The moderates are the only group that puts principle over results.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23, 2006 @06:04PM (#17349934)
    I always ask myself why Japan with the stelllar quality of life,has so much suicides.
  • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @07:03PM (#17350182)
    Remember, the Iranians are Shiite, the Taliban are Wahhabi Sunni. Basically the Iranians don't like them, either.

    That hasn't stopped them from supporting Hamas, which is also a Sunni organization.

  • by dircha ( 893383 ) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @01:21AM (#17351708)
    "You think Bush came along and blanked out a few lines just because the authors criticized him?"

    Yes. Someone in the White House obviously did. Someone who decided to override the CIA.

    According to the analysis of several sources, the redacted portions of the article probably deal with several specific actions and policies of the Bush administration, which are public knowledge, that have basically undermined our chances for success in Afghanistan by alienating coopoerating Arab states, particularly Iran.

    The Bush administration does not want the public to know this. Why not? Because the Bush administration now, just as it has all along, wants to villainize Iran in order to prepare the American people for bombing Iran.

    There are many people with high level connections making the lecture and talk show circuits who consider it a foregone conclusion that the Bush will order the bombing of Iran before he leaves office.

    I think the administration sees in Iran a chance to get the American people on board. Just like our public institutions have managed to sustain the impression of WWII as "the good war", where we were fighting real evil, the administration sees the chance to frame bombing Iran as "the good war" of Bush. Iran is making it very easy for them. What with their president saying that Israel should be wiped off the map.

    All signs indicate we are on our way to bombing Iran. We have all the telltale signs we saw in 2001-2002. We have villainized their government. We are starting a military buildup. We are calling for and passing UN resolutions demanding cooperation. And just as it was clear that Saddam was not willing - or perhaps could not if he wanted to - satisfy the U.S.'s demands, it seems clear that Iran will not cease uranium enrichment, which, by international treaty, it is permitted to do.

    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.

    I hope that "Never Forget" for this and future generations will come to apply to the Bush administration as much as it applies to 9/11. Never Forget how not recounting ballots in a few Florida counties in one election, so dramatically changed the country and our standing in the world. We are always one election away from tyranny. We have come dangerously close.
  • by mabhatter654 ( 561290 ) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @01:38AM (#17351770)
    Simple, these guys aren't actively working in govt positions right now. If they came to any knowledge on their own, that happened to be true, it's unethical for the prez to censor it because he doesn't like it. They can't know (or at this point shouldn't know) one damn thing about the White House policy on Iran.. if what they might write is TRUE and the White House does act in some manor they said, it's either "procedure" set up ahead of time, or they are planning something far in advance, for example an unprovoked attack on Iran, and the prez would have huge egg on his face if the report was to be published and the media started adding up the pieces to see the prez is acting disingenuous in the Iran matter...

    The simple fact is that the CIA cleared the report... only THEY are authorized in international intelligence and illegal spying. They keep tabs on who we attack with our armies (national security) and who we don't. They also like to keep their secrets for a very long time. The FBI on the other hand, is a POLICE organization, not intelligence. They have no more right to secrets about the past than your local cop does about a traffic stop.... they are civilian, police, and law enforcement... they have no right or need for secrecy beyond immediate investigations. Again, this would lead one to believe that somebody is going to be "making up" an "attack" by Iran real soon now... because there have not been crimes committed in the USA related to Iran and terrorism.

    IN short, it's a report policy and official opinion that are being censored, not the facts and not secrets. Like the "conspiracy" nuts have said about Iraq, that it was all a setup start to make sense for Iran also now.. more than likely the report contained "forward looking statements" about Iran from too long ago.. and when something DOES happen with military action in Iran, the Prez wants it to be a "surprise" to the congress and people and to hide knowledge that the game was rigged from the start. Remember, these guys have been moved on for a while... they shouldn't know secret stuff, unless the secret stuff is something PLANNING or SET UP to be done... and that should never be secret!!!

  • by Shaper_pmp ( 825142 ) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @11:17PM (#17357406)
    "The Bush administration has never done this with anyone. Least of all Joe Wilson."

    Boy, what newspapers have you been reading?

    "Or is the "false ad hominem attack" that his wife worked for the CIA?"

    No. The fallacious ad-hominem attack was that his wife had used her CIA connections to arrange a nice little junket for her husband. This was later found to be untrue (his wife didn't arrange it, and Joe Wilson was perfectly qualified to undertake the duty), but that got rather lost in the whole "Holy fuck, the Whitehouse just deliberately outed an undercover CIA operative on a personal grudge" thing.
  • by Anonymous McCartneyf ( 1037584 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @09:36PM (#17362498) Homepage Journal
    "...Meanwhile the steady erosion of press freedom in the United States, France, and Japan is extremely alarming."
    "The United States (53rd) has fallen nine places since last year, after being in 17th position in the first year of the Index, in 2002."

    The November 2002 elections changed control of the Senate from Democrat to Republican. In January 2003, exactly one party controlled the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Presidency.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"