CIA Publication Review Board Accused of Politically-Motivated Censorship
Saturday, June 02, 2012
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been accused of playing favorites when it comes to clearing material in books authored by former government officials.
At the center of the controversy is the CIA’s Publications Review Board, which is charged with evaluating manuscripts and censoring any information deemed a threat to national security.
When former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Ali Soufan published his memoirs, which included critical accounts of the CIA’s interrogation tactics against prisoners, the review board redacted large segments of the book. So much was blacked out, in fact, that Soufan published his book, The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda, with the redactions to demonstrate to readers the extent of the CIA’s censorship. In his account, Soufan claims the CIA withheld information from the FBI about two of the 9/11 hijackers which could have helped thwart the attack. He also says the CIA’s use of torture on detainees was unnecessary and counterproductive.
But when, Jose Rodriguez Jr., former director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service—the man who authorized the destruction of tapes showing prisoners being tortured—published his memoir, Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives,the board approved portions that contained the same details blacked out of Soufan’s book.
“Absolutely there are things that he was able to talk about that were redacted from my book,” Soufan told The Washington Post. “I think it has more to do with trying to protect a narrative rather than protecting classified information.”
To Learn More:
CIA Probes Publication Review Board over Allegations of Selective Censorship (by Greg Miller and Julie Tate, Washington Post)
CIA Censors FBI Agent’s 9/11 Book (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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