Bush Administration, Civil Rights

Today the New York Times is running a “redacted” version of Flynt Leverett’s op-ed, discussed here. The column, headlined “Redacted Version of Original Op-Ed,” was published with black bars over the parts redacted.

As egalia of the Tennessee Guerilla Women says, “Take a look at the graphic here, and tell me you are not living in a state similar to the USSR.”

According to an accompanying editorial, parts of the original text were

… blacked out by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Publication Review Board after the White House intervened in the normal prepublication review process and demanded substantial deletions. Agency officials told us that they had concluded on their own that the original draft included no classified material, but that they had to bow to the White House.

Indeed, the deleted portions of the original draft reveal no classified material. These passages go into aspects of American-Iranian relations during the Bush administration’s first term that have been publicly discussed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; former Secretary of State Colin Powell; former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage; a former State Department policy planning director, Richard Haass; and a former special envoy to Afghanistan, James Dobbins.

Not only that, the editorial says, all information censored by the White House has been published before. With the editorial are the citations the NY Times provided the censors

… to demonstrate that all of the material the White House objected to is already in the public domain. Unfortunately, to make sense of much of our Op-Ed article, readers will have to read the citations for themselves.

Even weirder, the NY Times op-ed is a condensed version of an already published paper by Leverett that is freely available for download in PDF format from the Century Foundation (per SusanUnPC at No Quarter).

The only logical conclusion one can draw from this is that the op ed was censored because the White House disagreed with Leverett’s opinion.

Looks like Bubble Boy is fixin’ to expand the bubble.

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  1. Marshall  •  Dec 22, 2006 @10:11 am

    Well, at least they had the balls not to just knuckle under and make this disappear.

    In the former USSR the existence of censorship was denied (except for state secrets). You certainly never were going to see something like that.

    (I remember reading (slowly, since my Russian is very poor) the old Pravda; all of the good stuff was buried on the back page.)

  2. Steve  •  Dec 22, 2006 @10:29 am

    Cheers to the NY Times. Their treatment of this absurdity shines a brilliant spotlight on the insanity that is the Bush administration. It’s actually journalistic genius, and much more than I would have expected of them.

  3. Steve  •  Dec 22, 2006 @10:44 am

    With apologies to Humphrey Bogart, more and more I’m getting this image of Bush pacing around in the Oval Office mumbling about strawberries and running three ball-bearings through his fingers, over and over again.

  4. Doug Hughes  •  Dec 22, 2006 @10:53 am

    You are soooooo right, Steve. But Colin Powell and the ISG and the Joint Chiefs (is that a reference to what they smoke?) are not singing from the same music as the Bush Imperial Choir. The press is cooperating less, but I have yet to see mainstream media connect the dots on the Rovian orchestration of ‘news’ leading up the the Great Leader’s decision.

  5. Swami  •  Dec 22, 2006 @11:16 am

    I agree, Steve… It’s good that they put a light on comrade Bush. It allows us to see past the words, so that we can read the fear and weakness of our glorious leader.

  6. Sachem515  •  Dec 22, 2006 @11:28 am

    Thanks for the road map through the absurd, Maha.
    And Steve is on the money. I got a copy of the Caine Mutiny script and found the line:

    “Are you a fool or a mutineer?
    There’s no third possibility.”

  7. GDAEman  •  Dec 22, 2006 @11:53 am

    On 12/20/06 Patrick Briggs commented on the US “sliding toward empire…” I commented that we’re beyond that, a declining empire, which is “sliding toward fascism,” and this article seems support that. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. openly uses the phrase “corporate fascism” to describe our current situation. Otherwise, I enjoy Briggs’ comments.

  8. erinyes  •  Dec 22, 2006 @12:07 pm

    We indeed are following the old USSR.
    We speak of “The Homeland”, give out medals, use the “troops” as wall paper for speeches and political events. I expect goose stepping to be implemented any day now.
    I remember that mild spring day back in 1961 when I asked my 2nd grade teacher Sister Mary Loretto “Sister, what is the difference between Russia and us?” after a lesson on why the communists wanted to take over Cuba. The sweet sister responded ” In Russia, the mommies have to go to work, sometimes in construction, and they have to be in the army too.”
    She went on top explain that in Russia, people could vote, but they could only vote one way,the newspapers didn’t tell the truth, and that the Russians wanted to take over the world..
    Funny how a band of ex-Trotskists have infiltrated our government, caused mayhem, and are forcing us down the same path to destruction.Funnier yet is few have noticed or even give a flyin’ fudgsicle……
    Until the bubble pops……….

  9. stevesh  •  Dec 22, 2006 @1:26 pm

    My sense is that Solzhenitsyn, Sharansky, and ten-million or so Russian dissidents would find the “Bush U.S. = USSR” crack a mite hyperbolic. Thirty years ago in Moscow Leverett and Mann would be dead or “underground.”

    Given all that’s out there on Iran ante & post 9/11 it looks like both sides – WH and NYT – are engaging in what could only be described as a tete-a-tete that’s closer to a sophomoric stunt.

    And the Queeg analogy? – pure projection.

    Feliz Navidad.

  10. Swami  •  Dec 22, 2006 @1:33 pm

    erinyes..I remember we used to sing a modified little tune taken from the Pepsodent toothpaste commerical that went..’You wonder where the yellow went, when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent”. Our verision was..” you wonder where your parents went, when they speak against the government”.

  11. maha  •  Dec 22, 2006 @1:38 pm

    And the Queeg analogy? – pure projection.

    Yeah, I still say he’s more like that kid who controlled people with his mind in that old Twilight Zone episode.

  12. Joe  •  Dec 22, 2006 @1:54 pm

    @stevesh … “it looks like both sides – WH and NYT – are engaging in … a sophomoric stunt…”

    I’ll agree that the NYT’s action was a “stunt”, although not sophmoric in my opinion. The reason for publishing the article in this way was to make a point, which is what newspaper opinion pages do.

    But how could you classify the WH actions as a stunt?

  13. moonbat  •  Dec 22, 2006 @2:08 pm

    I dunno stevesh – I read some years ago a quote by Nina Krushchev, the daughter of the former Soviet premier, now living in the USA for some time. She said a key difference between the Soviet Union and the USA is that in the former, nobody believed the government. Here, some people still do.

    No, Leverett hasn’t been disappeared, a la Solzhenitsyn, but we do have our Gitmo, and who knows how many other prisons overseas, with who knows how many detainees who have been condemned without the famous American due process.

    Yesterday the Pentagon interviewed a bunch of hand-picked soldiers who thought the Great Leader’s new plan was just swell. Last month, I saw an interview on ABC Nightly News of a group of soldiers wives, who were 100% behind the war.

    Fascism is a progressive disease and looks different wherever it crops up, but the underlying themes are the same. Good for the NYT who, with the Leverett piece hasn’t quite descended to the level of Pravda.

  14. Steve  •  Dec 22, 2006 @2:51 pm


    I think it is quite funny — in a sad and pathetic way — that people still have confidence in George Bush. I trust you’re happy and optimistic for the future of world peace, a safe environment, and a healthy economy. Maybe self-delusion is a good place to be this time of year. Seems to be working for Bush.

  15. stevesh  •  Dec 22, 2006 @5:52 pm

    Steve, my brother in Steveness, I’m not self-deluded. Very much like Maha, I have great confidence in this nation, and the Constitution. I think that Socialism/Communism did not “take” in this country for very similar reasons that I think Fascism will also never take here. We are on the same side. Neither Bush nor Bubba nor Mrs. Bubba can change that. BTW, no President in history (nor any world leader ever) has been able to do much about world peace. To think otherwise – that is delusional.

    And Moonbat, the American military is the absolute last institution in this nation that threatens Liberty. “Soldiers wives…” ?!?!! Good gracious.

    C’mon people, enjoy the gift for two seconds.

  16. moonbat  •  Dec 22, 2006 @6:14 pm

    ..the American military is the absolute last institution in this nation that threatens Liberty. “Soldiers wives…” ?!?!! Good gracious.

    You missed the point, which I admit was a bit subtle. It’s not about the military threatening Liberty – indeed I see them as our final hope if the sh*t really hits the fan. It’s about how the media is showing us is only one point of view: Everyone, All the time in support of Great Leader and His Glorious War. Just like Pravda and Tass.

    Just like when there were millions in the US and around the world who very vocally opposed our going into this war, as far back as 2002. Somehow this barely made front page news, if it did at all.

    Even today, those of us who were right about this war can barely get serious time in the paper’s opinion pages or national TV.

    BTW, there’s a terrific diary over at Kos, written by a psychiatrist on what makes Bush tick, esp regards the latest plan for Victory.

  17. Swami  •  Dec 22, 2006 @6:53 pm

    Good link, moonbat..

  18. stevesh  •  Dec 22, 2006 @7:07 pm


    You’re right. I jumped too early on your military angle. Glad to see your appreciative of their dedication and honor (so you can’t really be a total “moonbat” – just joshing).

    Let me say this: if we both watch the media, and use resources like Maha and (I’ll pick a blogger Maha sometimes gives cred to for honesty on the right) Rick Moran, doesn’t that go a long way in keeping the MSM honest. Anyway, the NYT hasn’t exactly gone along with the GWOT like Hearst and the Span/Am War. Just throwing in a little histoire.

    I didn’t agree with the anti-war opposition in 2002, but I sure was aware you were getting your message out. How is that? I read it in the Times, saw it on the tube.

    The election just turned on the war issue so the media must have informed alot of Americans.

  19. erinyes  •  Dec 22, 2006 @7:08 pm