Monday, December 18, 2006

White House Censors Op-Ed Critical of Administration's Iran Policy

This is from today's edition of the Daily Progress:

INTELLIGENCE -- WHITE HOUSE CENSORS OP-ED CRITICAL OF ADMINISTRATION'S IRAN POLICY: Middle East analyst Flynt Leverett, who served under President Bush on the National Security Council and is now a fellow at the New America Foundation, revealed last week that the White House has been blocking the publication of an op-ed he wrote for the New York Times. The column is critical of the administration's refusal to engage Iran. (For more, see Leverett's new policy brief, "Dealing with Tehran: Assessing US Diplomatic Options Toward Iran.") The CIA had confirmed that the op-ed contained no classified information, but the White House intervened. Leverett explained, "I've been doing this for three and a half years since leaving government, and I've never had to go to the White House to get clearance for something that I was publishing as long as the CIA said, 'Yeah, you're not putting classified information.'" According to Leverett, the op-ed was "all based on stuff that Secretary Powell, Secretary Rice, Deputy Secretary Armitage have talked about publicly. It's been extensively reported in the media." Leverett believes the White House is trying to "silence an established critic of the administration's foreign policy incompetence," and says the incident shows "just how low people like Elliot Abrams at the NSC [National Security Council] will stoop to try and limit the dissemination of arguments critical of the administration's policy." "Their conduct in this matter is despicable and un-American in the profoundest sense of that term," Leverett said in a statement.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Entirely predictable, especially when one considers how the administration botched Iranian overtures in 2003.

Though I find myself on the other end of the spectrum, I do believe that this administration will carry out a limited (probably unsuccessful) military strike on Iranian facilities in the Spring/Summer timeframe of 2007.

What a shame.

On a more positive note, excellent blog. It's great to see that there are other individuals in Washington that understand the stakes on this issue.