Thursday, May 01, 2003

What are they hiding?
According to Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball at Newsweek:
Even as White House political aides plot a 2004 campaign plan designed to capitalize on the emotions and issues raised by the September 11 terror attacks, administration officials are waging a behind-the-scenes battle to restrict public disclosure of key events relating to the attacks.

At the center of the dispute is a more-than-800-page secret report prepared by a joint congressional inquiry detailing the intelligence and law-enforcement failures that preceded the attacks--including provocative, if unheeded warnings, given President Bush and his top advisers during the summer of 2001.

The report was completed last December; only a bare-bones list of "findings" with virtually no details was made public. But nearly six months later, a "working group" of Bush administration intelligence officials assigned to review the document has taken a hard line against further public disclosure.

Is there something in this report that could embarass the administration, even damage their reelction prospects? Possibly. But staffers from the original investigation are puzzled about some of the things that have been classified. Some of the classified parts are already well known to the public, like the "Phoenix Memo." So what's going on here?
[C]ongressional staffers close to the process say it is unclear whether the administration’s resistance to public disclosure reflects fear of political damage or simply an ingrained "culture of secrecy" that permeates the intelligence community—and has strong proponents at the highest levels of the White House.

Naturally I'm hoping it's something jucy and embarassing to the White House, but if it is just their knee-jerk "none of your business" habit, that in itself should be made into an issue. It shows an ugly contempt for the American people and denys us the information we need to function as a democracy.

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