Via The Vanity Press, the New York Times has been "Bushed". Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann, both former long career public servants of the US government, had written an op-ed piece regarding the need for a dialogue between the US and Iran. Prior to publication, the piece was submitted to the CIA for national security vetting. The CIA Publication Review Board cleared the piece... and then the White House intervened and interfered with the review process. The Rovians pulled out the black marker and hacked the article, despite the fact that the CIA PRB was satisfied that it contained no classified information.
The New York Times ran the redacted op-ed, complete with black marks.
The authors then told the story of the White House act of censorship.
HERE is the redacted version of a draft Op-Ed article we wrote for The Times, as 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.And, if that isn't bad enough, it becomes clear that Flynt Leverett is now flagged by 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.
The decisions of the C.I.A. and the White House took us by surprise. Since leaving government service three and a half years ago, Mr. Leverett has put more than 20 articles through the C.I.A.’s prepublication review process and the Publication Review Board has never changed a word or asked the White House for permission to clear these articles.Which would suggest that Mr. Leverett is on a "watch list". He's politically unpalatable.
If I were Mr. Leverett, I would be careful when flying. Stay out of crowds and watch for people with long coats. And, if he sees this aircraft on the tarmac in any airport - he should RUN LIKE HELL.
Torture, suspension of habeus corpus, illegal wiretapping, extraordinary rendition and censorship. All brought to you by the greatest democracy in the world.