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Monday, September 27, 2010

Government muzzles officer, censors key information about terror attacks

Book approved by the Army, however, the DIA and NSA ordered changes after copies already sent out

In an attempt to censor a book about the war on terrorism, the government has handed terrorists a road map to information they should never see. The case also raises political questions regarding intelligence community efforts to keep critical information regarding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks from the American people.

The government mounted its second intervention so late in the process that galley copies of the original work already had gone out to potential reviewers, and the New York Times obtained a copy and ran a side-by-side comparison of an original and redacted page. The redactions thus tell insurgents exactly what the DIA and NSA think should be kept out of their hands. Buying up and pulping all the existing unredacted copies of the book give an air of desperation; it also brought far more attention to the book than it would have gained otherwise. The attempted coverup was a sloppy, ill-conceived, poorly timed response. This matter required quiet professionalism but instead became a public embarrassment.

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