White House Tried To Interfere With Washington Post's Report, And To Change Quotes From NSA

from the not-the-crime,-but-the-cover-up dept

Among the many, many incredible revelations from the Washington Post report on the abuses by the NSA is a tidbit about an interview that the Post was able to do with the NSA’s director of compliance, John DeLong, followed by the White House’s attempt to completely whitewash the interview and block his quotes from being used, despite the Post being told otherwise initially:

The Obama administration referred all questions for this article to John DeLong, the NSA’s director of compliance, who answered questions freely in a 90-minute interview. DeLong and members of the NSA communications staff said he could be quoted “by name and title” on some of his answers after an unspecified internal review. The Post said it would not permit the editing of quotes. Two days later, White House and NSA spokesmen said that none of DeLong’s comments could be quoted on the record and sent instead a prepared statement in his name. The Post declines to accept the substitute language as quotations from DeLong.

Read that again. This is the same White House that has been saying that they want to be as transparent as possible and to rebuild trust. And yet, here they are trying to block the Post from using an interview — an interview they suggested in the first place — and then to replace it with a bland and bogus “statement.”

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Comments on “White House Tried To Interfere With Washington Post's Report, And To Change Quotes From NSA”

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Baldaur Regis (profile) says:

Scenario 1: During the interview, Mr. Delong passed out so much confidential information that a review determined that NONE of the information was permissible. Conclusion – Mr Delong, the NSA director of compliance, is a moron who can’t keep his mouth shut.

Scenario 2: The White House and the NSA used Mr. Delong as a cats-paw, never intending his remarks to made public and relying on vague statements to generate reader burnout or apathy to make the whole thing go away. Conclusion – The U.S. government perceives its citizenry as morons who are easily distracted.

Mr. Obama, the internet is filled with OCDs who WILL pay attention, who WILL dig into every attempt to use the ‘Look, Squirrel!’ ploy. Try the truth sometime – you may be surprised to learn most citizens are mature enough to realize that HOW mistakes are handled is often more important than the mistakes themselves.

JWW (profile) says:


The White House doesn’t want to “rebuild” trust per se, they just want to be granted trust. Without all the responsibility and honest dealings that would be required of them to actually _earn_ it.

It is fairly disturbing how much Obama seems bothered that there are still some people out there that do not fawn all over everything he does.

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s gone far beyond justified spying into the realm of uncalled for. The attempts at cover-up just keep coming and still no calls at all from government nor it’s heads to actually deal with ending this travesty masked as authorized.

Each day seems to bring another black mark against the practices of spying on Americans.

Here’s a news flash! The terrorists are over seas. They are not here in huge numbers. Despite all the attempts at making it look like they are everywhere by the FBI’s setup cases.

It is time to call an end to the authority of this mass spying on its own people. Here is where real budget cutting can happen and be meaningful in its results.

Again I still hear no call for a special investigator not linked to those in charge. No call for impeachment. No call for serious changes. Coverup can only take you so far. After that it begins to look like just what it is.

DannyB (profile) says:

You're using the wrong definition of Transparency

> Read that again. This is the same White House that has been
> saying that they want to be as transparent as possible

They are using a Secret definition of transparency.

Transparency (noun): To do something that you don’t want the public to see, in an invisible way, so that they never see it, thus making it transparent.

Hope that helps.

Rich Fiscus (profile) says:

The Washington Post is part of the Exalted Brotherhood of Holier Than Thou Journalists. They’ve anointed themselves The Fourth Estate – representatives of the people who keep the government in check by holding them accountable.

How exactly does caving in to White House censorship demands hold the government accountable? If they’re so committed to those high minded ideals what stopped them from publishing the quotes unedited?

Mostly they would have been taken off the super privileged media guest list. Instead of getting their lies in person they’d get them second hand like the commoners. No more official unofficial leaks from the President.

I can think of a lot of words to describe that – sycophant, toadie, boot licker, lackey, flunky, maybe even accomplice or co-conspirator. Journalist not so much.

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