Various Resources

“The Bush administration has left in its wake a demoralized national-security press corps, battered by leak investigations, subpoena-happy prosecutors, and a shift in the legal and wider culture away from the previous understanding of journalism’s mission and First Amendment protections,” writes Laura Rozen in the Columbia Journalism Review.  See her story “Hung Out to Dry” along with a series of other articles on openness and secrecy.

“Secrecy” by Peter Galison and Robb Moss, a movie that critically examined the national security secrecy system from several contrasting perspectives, is now available on DVD.  It premiered last year to appreciative reviews.

Attorney Sheldon I. Cohen represented a naturalized American of Israeli origin who was initially denied a security clearance after he said that he would not bear arms against Israel in the event of a conflict between Israel and the United States.  Mr. Cohen describes the resolution of the case in a new write-up (pdf).

The admiration that many Americans feel for President Obama is celebrated and ridiculed in a new anthology of Obama speeches and writings, published in the form of a “Little Blue Book” that “easily fits into pocket or purse.”  President Obama’s “guiding principles will enlighten the minds of the people and prepare the way for a new era of change,” the booklet promises.  “In order to master the President’s ideology, it is essential to study many of the basic concepts over and over again, and it is best to memorize important statements and apply them repeatedly.”

No Responses to “Various Resources”

  1. J January 22, 2009 at 3:22 PM #

    The client in Sheldon Cohen’s security clearance case is a dummy. That’s a famous question, and it is not a trap. It’s simply a stark way of asking, “When interests are not aligned, whose side are you on?” It’s not that hard to answer it, however distasteful or unfair the suspicions implied by the question might seem. Where there is such a blindingly obvious right answer, it seems pointless to fret that the right answer would appear disingenuous.

    Nobody involved is looking for a nuanced response involving deep thoughts about geopolitics, history, the Democratic Peace, or 4F status; I’m told by one person who has faced that question that the response sought is not simply “yes,” but a quick yes. In other words, if you have to stop and think about it, an unfavorable inference is liable to be drawn.