Declassifying the transcripts is

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Declassifying the transcripts is not compatible with national security. But taking the transcripts, cutting the individual words into scraps and pasting them back together into incriminating sentences might be okay.

How far different is this …

U.S. officials told NBC News that the full record of Clarke’s testimony two years ago would not be declassified. They said that at the request of the White House, however, the CIA was going through the transcript to see what could be declassified, with an eye toward pointing out contradictions.

That’s the last graf from a late story from NBC.

You know something’s wrong — when an <$Ad$>administration is truly out of control — when they discuss their dirty tricks on background.

Look at what this is: using the CIA and the classification process for an explicitly and exclusively partisan purpose, at the direct behest of the White House. Call me old-fashioned but back in the good-old-days this used to be done with a bit more indirection, subterfuge and cover, no?

It’s one thing to declassify the whole thing. Perhaps there’s some rationale for that — though why Clarke’s testimony and no one else’s should be released seems questionable.

But the whole thing won’t be released — which would be the only way to really judge what he said — only portions which can be selected to highlight apparent contradictions.

We’re moving on to dangerous enough ground when the White House starts using the nation’s intelligence agencies for explicitly domestic political purposes. But you know we’re really in trouble when they don’t even try to hide it.

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