Monday, August 6, 2012

Editorialist Weighs Value Of Open Secrecy

    Sunday’s online New York Times edition ran editorialist BILL KELLER’s essay The Leak Police, which didn’t appear in the print version that some New Yorkers still hold dear enough to give their attention. Writing – In the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, this newspaper famously published a number of stories regurgitating the Bush administration hype about Saddam Hussein’s supposed arsenal of mass destruction. A few journalists elsewhere — notably Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel, then of the Knight Ridder newspapers — dug deeper, discovered contrary intelligence, and challenged the official line. Later, The Times also published some excellent work on how an administration eager to justify its decision to go to war cherry-picked the intelligence to make its case.
  Mr. Keller’s case is that the journalists who got it right, got it from government officials, with access to classified information, who risked their jobs to confide the truth to journalists. Critics call these “leaks,” although such stories hardly ever spill out unbidden, and they are painstakingly assembled by teasing out bits of information, triangulating, correcting, testing, confirming. I’d call them a public service.
  Then Mr. Keller keeps stepping on toes. He writes – Washington is currently going a little nuts on the subject of leaks. The Obama administration has already surpassed all previous administrations in its prosecution of leakers. Congress has mandated surveillance systems that make it easier to identify leakers and prevent unauthorized downloads of classified material.
  He asks – Is this latest outbreak of leak panic just another mood swing? Or is something else going on? Mr. Keller theorizes more secrets are spilling these days, in part, because so much material is automatically, needlessly classified that officials tend not to take classification as seriously. He suspects another factor is the enthusiasm with which senior officials contribute their notes and self-serving recollections for behind-the-scenes books, setting a permissive example for those farther down the official ladder. Assuring top officials their place in history while the juniors are prosecuted.
  And then Mr. Keller points out how this is the game as usual. “Presidents make ‘secret’ decisions only to reveal them for the purposes of frightening an adversary nation, wooing a friendly electorate, protecting their reputations. Military services conduct ‘secret’ research in weaponry only to reveal it for the purpose of enhancing their budgets, appearing superior or inferior to a foreign army, gaining the vote of a congressman or the favor of a contractor. The Navy uses secret information to run down the weaponry of the Air Force. The Army passes on secret information to prove its superiority to the Marine Corps. High officials of the government reveal secrets in the search for support of their policies, or to help sabotage the plans and policies of rival departments. Middle-rank officials of government reveal secrets so as to attract the attention of their superiors or to lobby against the orders of those superiors.”
  Mr. Keller is quoting Max Frankel, the then Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, in a 1971 deposition defending the paper’s publication of the secret Vietnam War history called the Pentagon Papers. Frankel acknowledged the self-serving nature of these transactions on both sides, but concluded that this “cooperative, competitive, antagonistic and arcane relationship,” as he called it, was essential to the working of democracy. Without this trafficking in secrets, he said, “there could be no adequate diplomatic, military and political reporting of the kind our people take for granted, either abroad or in Washington, and there could be no mature system of communication between the government and the people.”
  Which should leave us wondering about this era’s leaking Internet celebrity(ies), care of that medium that has changed the nature of privacy, secrecy, fame and obscurity. Where anyone becomes a star. Well not quite. Did you know the notorious scourge of government secrecy Julian Assange has his own Julian Assange Show broadcast by Russian government financed English language broadcaster Russia Today? That picked the U.S. apart calling us the America Surveillance Society. And interviewed our own government’s leaker, Thomas Andrews Drake, who went public on 60 MINUTES after spending years defending his American right to speak freely about the covering up of bureaucratic mistakes. Still, it’s hard to not feel the government shouldn’t give up on holding Mr. Assange responsible, while wishing him well avoiding the federation’s clutches. Because government boundaries, by the people for the people, make sense only when the truth comes out.
8/6/2012
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George W. Bush Simply Apologize
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September 18 - ..., 2018
Editorialist Weighs Value Of Open Secrecy
8/6/2102 concluded: Which should leave us wondering about this era’s leaking Internet celebrity(ies), care of that medium that has changed the nature of privacy, secrecy, fame and obscurity. Where anyone becomes a star. Well not quite. Did you know the notorious scourge of government secrecy Julian Assange has his own Julian Assange Show broadcast by Russian government financed English language broadcaster Russia Today? That picked the U.S. apart calling us the America Surveillance Society. And interviewed our own government’s leaker, Thomas Andrews Drake, who went public on 60 MINUTES after spending years defending his American right to speak freely about the covering up of bureaucratic mistakes. Still, it’s hard to not feel the government shouldn’t give up on holding Mr. Assange responsible, while wishing him well avoiding the federation’s clutches. Because government boundaries, by the people for the people, make sense only when the truth comes out.
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Freedom of the Press, Yes 
  This view's greeted my arrival for work the last few weeks in Manhattan. Even succumbed to photographing the front of one of those many MTA buses staring New Yorkers down in the streets. 
  No simple humongous bus-length broadside the star's celebrants are drawn into trailing. Just Candice Bergen, as Murphy Brown, baronially styled, staring at your watching her channelling the male association with imagining Walter Cronkite's reincarnation in a woman's suit? Leave it to a man to let that mediocre joke fly, nor even improve it much. Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Connie Chung, Sue Simmons, all wore woman's versions of male business attire that blended with the patriarchical standard of forthright respectability. Long overduedashikis on The News? 
  PRESS EXPOSURE for The New Murphy Brown includes the Washington Post headline, 'Murphy Brown' once sparked a feud with Dan Quayle. Now the reboot is courting one with President Trump. Plus other ASSORTED PRESS reiterates the same insinuated "the game's afoot" pitch as Sherlock Holmes said. Such as CBS, The New York Times, TIME, Fox News, Daily Beast, Yahoo!, Associated Press, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, USA TODAY, The Buffalo News, New York Times (1993), 
"activism in a sitcom" - "expecting backlash"
CBS Sunday Morning
  American politics taken seriously in a comedy will either be seen, or enough of us will hold perceptions dear enough that the point's not worth wanting realized. Another commercial enterprise bites the dust happens all the time. Why it's a luxury to fumble around with announcements spreading daily press coverage around so as to always be one of the conveyors of -, ..., "fake news." Apparently little's real if you've not gotten the hint. 
  My era ago 1998 essay, The Unsinkable Murphy Brown, concluded by paraphrasing the character Jim Dial's - "You'll" still "get em, Slugger," without meaning a do-over's getting done. The point was Murphy Brown's independent women's voice was worth carrying on. CBS this week is advertising a nice prime time clip from the original show. 
  Advertising "now's the time," this Murphy Brown, as the Established Press echoes, isn't a remake, but embarks on that fortuitous, but tortuous, journey of necessary relevance. Betting the franchise's legacy? You betcha. They're promising it will not be Murphy Brown 2. The time-lapse was just an hiatus and maybe it was just the country that had the long vacation? And now in this one media programming instance, the ever more distracted and told what not to think about public canvas will convey much about the American obsession with imagery however narrowly twisted. There'll be the knowledge of what the country has a sense of what's worth knowing, and hopefully, finally, see what Eldin saw in his murals. Or wonder if something'll be said for Marion Seldes' character, Murphy's Aunt Brooke? 
  Maybe in response something derogatory about liberal icons will be flippantly tossed around in that arrogantly self-righteous archaic tone of indifference to this country's complete economic, political, evolution? Roy Cohn dart repellent's a bargain at any price?
  The Washington Post article's thrust was the president wouldn't appreciate the gist of the new Murphy Brown show. Probably just whitewash some anti-religious fervor across her brow and, of course, shrug off the rest as if insight were worthless without marketing punch to the punch drunk electorate. Because by not facing all that's reality, because the word treason's been so loosely thrown around, is sitting on our hands. The Soapbox View reduced to openly taking offense at all the willy-nilly liberties taken disregarding upright morality's perversion in the face of common sense. Embellishment or not, is a real question. But not to his honor, The Serial Waffler? Easier to just change that last sentence, no?
  May 1998 The Unsinkable Murphy Brown was written after seeing an Entertainment Tonight announcement that the original Murphy Brown was concluding along with Seinfeld - the mobile throne enthusiast. I'm proud of what I wrote
  Though the production studio's in town, all the necessary extra insight for this essay was had hearing Ms. English at New York City's Museum of Television History in 1993.  
  How difficult's perceiving a Stalinesque aura's cult of personality sycophantism's considered politically loyal?
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September 27th, 2018's Murphy Brown Premier
  Need to change this first sentence. Pursuit of truth's often muddled. 
  The star ... 
The Soapbox View pursues the Twin Legacies 
Andy Rooney and I.F. Stone 
plus Murphy Brown
For Good Measure

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