Pay No Attention to the Report Behind the Curtain

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This is almost too ridiculous to believe, but according to Time:

It's not exactly every day that the Pentagon warns military personnel to stay away from Fox News. But that's exactly what some hopeful soul at the Department of Defense instructed, in a memo intended to forbid Pentagon staff reading a copy of the Taguba report detailing abuse of detainees at prisons in Iraq that had been posted at the Fox News web site.

Yup. Because the now ubiquitously available memo is classified, this e-mail warns employees: "If you have accessed this document on the Internet, CALL POLICY IT SECURITY IMMEDIATELY!" Which means DOD employees may be the last Americans not to have read the report. Someone, please tell me this is a gag that slipped by the Time editors…

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  1. “INFORMATION SERVICES DIRECTORATE” does anyone else find this name to be mildly disturbing? It seems all too perfectly Orwellian that an organization with that title is trying to restrict access to information…What’s next, a “Ministry of Truth” putting out propaganda about the war?

  2. Look, write your congressman and ask him to pass a law saying “Security regulations no longer apply to any document that has been posted on a website with more than 10,000 visitors.” Then we don’t get silly stuff like that. Until then the security people are legally obligated to enforce the rules no matter how many people without clearances have seen it.

  3. No, the answer is for less classification.

    Write your congressman and advocate that every fucking document a public employee writes to be open to the public. Last year over 14 million documents were classified, a 25% increase over the year before. The public (you and me) is now considered the enemy until proven otherwise. That is not good government and it does not increase security a whit.

    Sunshine cleanses.

  4. Sunshine also gets people killed.

    Some things do need to be kept secret, and many of those things are written by public employees.

    The U.S. Army Captain who writes up a patrol plan does NOT deserve to get shot because the enemy is reading his patrol plan on the world wide web just because he is “a public employee.”

    Our foreign intelligence operatives who are helping the United States keep YOU safe do not deserve to be executed by hostile foreign governments because their identities were revealed in a memo written by “a public employee.”

    Your urge to know everything from the comfort of your ergonimic computer chair is… less important than the lives of those who are actually out there doing what is necessary to keep you safe in your ergonomic computer chair.

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