Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Information Chutzpah

The day began with Al Jazeera English reporting on McClatchy; so it is fitting that it should end with a follow-up from McClatchy reporter Warren P. Strobel:

The Pentagon on Wednesday canceled plans for broad public release of a study that found no pre-Iraq war link between late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the al Qaida terrorist network.

Rather than posting the report online and making officials available to discuss it, as had been planned, the U.S. Joint Forces Command said it would mail copies of the document to reporters — if they asked for it. The report won't be posted on the Internet.

This seems to be the second time that our Department of Defense has earned itself a Chutzpah of the Week award, as if limited the distribution to explicit requests from reporters is going to be much of a limitation. The first time was actually far more egregious, since they were playing with the finances of a man seriously injured in battle. This time they are just playing with information, which we can all expect to see sooner or later. Meanwhile, those interested in learning more about the source material that Al Jazeera used can find a hyperlink to the earlier McClatchy report and the end of Strobel's story.

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