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Not Satire: Obama Administration Bans Officials from Mentioning the News

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Reprinted from Daily Kos

By *David Harris-Gershon (The Troubadour)

From President Obama
President Obama
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When President Obama stated last year that his White House is "the most transparent administration in history," he acknowledged that this pronouncement did not necessarily translate to the national security arena.

What he failed to say is that, with regard to "national security" concerns, this White House has become historically and bombastically opaque -- so much so that articles such as this one require the "not satire" tag.

Per The New York Times:

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"The Obama administration is clamping down on a technique that government officials have long used to join in public discussions of well-known but technically still-secret information: citing news reports based on unauthorized disclosures.

"A new pre-publication review policy for the Office of Director of National Intelligence says the agency's current and former employees and contractors may not cite news reports based on leaks in their speeches, opinion articles, books, term papers or other unofficial writings."

Meaning: both current and former officials are now prohibited from mentioning the existence of a news report based upon leaked classified information. We're not talking here about a prohibition against leaking information or validating that a leak has occurred. We're talking about a prohibition against acknowledging that, say, a New York Times article about leaked information which everyone has read even exists.

The penalties for doing so -- for neutrally citing the existence of a news report -- include demotions and loss of security clearances. This policy is apparently part of the directive set in March by Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, prohibiting officials at 17 intelligence agencies from talking to the press without prior approval.

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