Jan 14, 2011

Out InThe Cold: Just For Laughs

Both of these gems are from Al Kamen's Post column.

Frosty exit for Wolfowitz
On Saturday, counterinsurgency guru and Center for a New American Security President John Nagl held his annual post-Christmas party at his home in Alexandria, attended by dozens of Iraq war veterans, Obama administration officials and journalists.

Also in attendance was Iraq war architect and former deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz, whose jacket somehow vanished from the coat room.

In all likelihood, it was a simple case of mistaken identity.

But as Wolfowitz, now at the American Enterprise Institute, headed home without his coat on a frigid Washington night - temps around 26 degrees with gusting winds up to nearly 30 mph - conspiracy theorists couldn't help but wonder whether foul play was involved. The big question as the party was winding down: Did a disgruntled Iraq veteran walk off with the jacket as a last measure of revenge, or was it the work of a left-leaning Obama-ite?

For once, no one seemed to blame the journalists.

That's why it's a secret 

One of the favorite ploys used by government bureaucrats to thwart freedom-of-information requests (aside from just stalling) is the old B5 dodge. That refers to a section of the Freedom of Information Act that exempts from disclosure any information that the agency deems might be a sensitive part of the internal "deliberative processes" of government, such as inter- or intra-agency communications and such.

The National Security Archive recently won an appeal from the State Department over a B5 classification of something written by a department official on a proposed House resolution. The January 2000 resolution, sponsored by Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Bill McCollum (R-Fla.), expressed "the sense of the House of Representatives that Pakistan should be designated a state sponsor of terrorism."

A State Department official had written something on the proposed resolution that the department decided was exempt from disclosure. The Archive went through the department's appeals process and two years later won the right to see the hidden writing on the resolution.

It said: "What a bunch of crap!!"

Ah, the old deliberative process ain't what it used to be.


gerald said...

The key thing is it was still there AND disclosed, wonder what Putin would have done.


M1 said...

Sure -- that fact does come to boggle the mind at times.