Over at the Washington Note, we see that the New York Times is set to reject a White House-led effort to block publication of an essay critical of its foreign policy.
Last week the paper was set to publish an op-ed piece by Flynt Leverett, a former Bush Administration official who worked at the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, and on the National Security Council, which criticized the White House for its disastrous diplomatic approach towards Iran.
The CIA reviewed the article and cleared it for publication, but the White House put the brakes on it, saying it contained classified information that the CIA missed. Leverett cried foul: "All of my publications on Iran -- and, indeed, on any other policy matter on which I have written since leaving government -- were cleared beforehand by the CIA's Publication Review Board to confirm that I would not be disclosing classified information."
Now Steve Clemons, a friend of Leverett's, reports on his blog (ed.: see editorial note below) that tomorrow the Times will run the op-ed "with redacted lines 'blacked out.'" Clemons told me by phone that the Times will instruct readers where they can find the omitted information in other (unclassified) publications -- like, for instance, in Leverett's paper on the same topic called "Dealing with Tehran," published through the Century Foundation.
The information the White House had redacted, according to Leverett, "include Iran's dialogue and cooperation with the United States concerning Afghanistan in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and Iran's offer to negotiate a comprehensive "grand bargain" with the United States in the spring of 2003."
(ed.note: After this post was written, the post by Steve Clemons, which we referenced above, was taken down from his site, The Washington Note. The post which subsequently took its place contains some of the same information but not the key points referenced above --jmm.)