Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Rampant Self-Censorship" by Foreign Service Officers

The Washington Times has a story today about what one U.S. diplomat calls "rampant self-censorship" in reporting.

U.S. embassies are discouraging or suppressing negative reports to Washington about U.S. allies, sometimes depriving officials of information they need to make good policy decisions, current and former diplomats say.

One diplomat told The Washington Times that he has decided to resign in part because of frustration with "rampant self-censorship" by Foreign Service officers and their superiors that has gone so far as to ban "bad news" cables from countries that are friendly with the United States.

-- snip --

More than a dozen diplomats serving in Washington and abroad told The Times that they agreed with most of the officer's critique, and that the censorship has continued to a lesser extent in the Obama administration. All asked not to be named to avoid retribution.

Read the whole story here.

1 comment:

Charles Crawford said...

Most interesting. I have taken up this issue with examples from my own career in the UK diplomatic service here:

Thanks for highlighting the story.