I've been following this story for a few days, but I haven't posted
about it because it's hard to write about a document without knowing
what it's about.
American Civil Liberties Union:
week after the American Civil Liberties Union moved to quash an
unprecedented government grand jury subpoena demanding "any and all
copies" of a previously "secret" memorandum, the government today
backed down from the fight, asking a judge to withdraw the subpoena and
saying that the document in question has been declassified.
what was the document -- plans for a doomsday device, the missing
strategy for Iraq, photos of Dick Cheney in bed with a hooker? Turns
out, it's almost literally nothing.
Wired's 27B Stroke 6:
wondered what the document could be and it turns out to be simply a
memo regarding news rules about how the media and the military can
There's nothing at all secret in here.
Nothing. It could have been sent to every reporter and grunt and
insurgent in the world and nothing would have been compromised. Hell,
it probably would have been good public relations. But this
administration is so utterly in love with secrecy, the Justice
Department attempted to abuse the grand jury process to keep Americans
from knowing that the media and military need to follow Geneva
Convention rules on not shaming detainees. The only thing embarrassing
in here is that there's no protections for a soldier who photographs
Abu Ghraib-like torture in order to stop the practices.
the Bush administration fights these kind of fights all the time. The
point of it is to create legal precedent for govt. secrecy. It doesn't
matter so much what the memo actually says, what matters is that the
Bush administration discover some new way to recover documents.
the administration won this fight, they'd have a way to keep something
that was actually embarrassing secret in the future. It's not about this
document, but potential documents in the future. Eventually, someone's
going to get a hold of something other than rules for photography or
new regulations on the size of envelopes in the Pentagon mail room and
the administration wants to be ready.
Too bad this much forethought wasn't put into the Iraq war. Instead, it's put into keeping you ignorant.