Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"These Screw-Ups Happen" (And I Get Away With Them)

The inadvertent on-line posting by the General Printing Office of sensitive but unclassified information regarding the locations of hundreds of U.S. civilian nuclear sites and activities, information that was compiled for the International Atomic Energy Agency, seems to me to be one of those things that sounds much worse than it really is.

Still, couldn't the New York Times have found a more credible source to quote to that effect in its story on the incident?

“These screw-ups happen,” said John M. Deutch, a former director of central intelligence and deputy secretary of defense who is now a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It’s going further than I would have gone but doesn’t look like a serious breach.”

Deutch is a certifiable expert on security screw-ups, but on the extremely serious kind that he personally committed with impunity while serving as the Director of Central Intelligence, rather than on the harmless type that is the issue here.

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