November 13, 2005

Egregious Disclosures

'On Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., called for a congressional investigation into the disclosure of the existence of the secret prisons.

If the Post story is accurate, "such an egregious disclosure could have long-term and far-reaching damaging and dangerous consequences, and will imperil our efforts to protect the American people and our homeland from terrorist attacks," the lawmakers wrote while asking for a joint leak probe by the Senate and House intelligence committees.' -- from an article in the Washington Post some time last week.

What's egregious (and utterly predictable) here is the relentless focus on the leak rather than what was leaked. Sure, investigate and publicise the leak -- but also "[call] for a congressional investigation into the [...] the existence of the secret prisons" themselves, no? "If the Post story is accurate", it seems likely to me that the existence of such prisons "could have long-term and far-reaching damaging and dangerous consequences, and will imperil our efforts to protect the American people and our homeland from terrorist attacks". But hell, that'd be focusing on substance rather than presentation....
'Concerning the leak of information about prisons, the letter asked, "What is the actual and potential damage done to the national security of the United States and our partners in the global war on terror?"'
Let's rewrite that a little:
'Concerning the information about the prisons, the letter should have asked, "What is the actual and potential damage done to the national security of the United States and our partners in the global war on terror?"'

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