The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Saturday, March 13, 2004
 

The New Pentagon Papers? One slight problem...


As the old lady said (almost), Where's the papers?

My guess is that, in Karen Kwiatkowski's Salon article, what we have is plausible but drutherful mush.

War Party folks - such as Max Boot - make much of her association with supposedly out there sites like Lew Rockwell.

My concern would be corroboration: the piece is not wanting in potentially checkable assertions - of the kind that tripped up Jayson Blair, for instance. Personnel details, job titles, locations, that sort of thing.

And colour: for instance,
The newly named director of the OSP, Abram Shulsky, was one of the most senior people sharing our space that summer. Abe, a kindly and gentle man, who would say hello to me in the hallways, seemed to be someone I, as a political science grad student, would have loved to sit with over coffee and discuss the world's problems.

But this is not the sort of stuff that can be checked by a layman, however long his sojourn with Mr Google.

My suspicion is that, behind the inside baseball locker-room gossip, there's nothing new. Perhaps there's something collateral, incidental, something that switches a light on in someone's brain.

Of course, the piece may only be groundbait, to get some name recognition. Or (more fancifully) we may have something like the (Hollywood boilerplate) story arc I suggested for the John Kerry/Alex Polier story: KK deliberately throws doubt on her own credibility with a feeble piece now, so that, when the (putative) nugget is eventually revealed, it will initially be scoffed at. Her ultimate vindication in Act Three thereby proving all the greater.

Besides this, I have no idea.

But, Pentagon Papers? Clearly, round at Salon, the end must be nigh-er than we thought!

[Kevin Drum is also unimpressed, I see.]


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