Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Blog Simple would like to second Glenn Greenwald's question of why 'senior administration officials' chose to remain anonymous while briefing reporters about the six month delays in how to close Gitmo and how to try 'enemy combatants'. He also questions why the media agreed to the anonymity, but by now we should all know that our guardians in the press are never as happy as when they have information that they can withhold from us, the general public.

Being part of the 'in crowd' is something reporters like Jake Tapper (ABC), Peter Finn (WaPo) and David Johnston (NYT) require in order to separate themselves from unruly bloggers like Greenwald, who persists in asking difficult questions. Their organizations are also proud and willing to suppress information upon requests by the government, it's really part of their purpose to deliver only the 'news that's fit to print'.

But why, in this case, did the administration choose to use not just anonymous officials, but senior officials to announce nothing but a delay? They do, of course, get the benefit of paragraphs like this from the NYT:
Still, the missed deadlines seemed to underscore the gravity and complexity of the legal, political and policy problems confronting the administration as it tries to put into place new interrogation rules and figure out what to do with the detainees.
Grave and complex, mama mia, what seriousity our officials and reporters bring to their jobs. Look how important this all is, according to ABC:
The Guantanamo Executive Order called for a complete review of the detainees. For the past 6 months, once a week, a 65-person task-force -- made up of representatives from agencies like the FBI, Pentagon, the CIA, and attorneys from the Justice Department -- met on a secure floor within a secure facility to discuss the review.
A secure floor within a secure facility! Wow! What could be more secure than that? They'd have to go into a secure room on the secure floor. Then they might activate the cone of silence. And what does he mean by "like the FBI, Pentagon, the CIA...", does that mean perhaps another agency is involved, so double secure and secret that no one can say its name in public?

So I guess I've answered the question, the administration's demand for anonymity is the best way to get unthinking stenography from the press. It makes everyone involved happy. I had actually hoped that there might have been some change with the new administration in these matters. I was wrong.


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