Don't Call It A Coincidence

Was it a coincidence that, on the day that the Central Intelligence Agency released more of an unredacted inspectors general report on torture and interrogation, on the day that the Attorney General decided to review the interrogation records for possible prosecution, on the day when memos requested by Vice President Cheney highlighting the alleged effectiveness of the "EIT" were made public, that the White House decided to leak news, on Sunday, to several newspapers about its new, high-value terrorist interrogation group?  Not at all. "We knew that with everything else happening, we wanted to show that the President was on top of the situation." an administration official conceded last night.  The idea wasn't so much to distract journalists from reporting the sensational CIA news; it was more to foster an impression that the new administration is actively working on the problems left to them by the last administration. 

Was it a coincidence that the Office of Management and Budget let it be known late last week -- on a Friday afternoon, no less -- that its midseason budget review would put projected deficits at $10 trillion over ten years?  Nope. It was done to let the air out slowly... hoping to blunt the inevitable portrayal of the news when formally released today. And, of course, it was not a coincidence, an administration official concedes, that the President's team leaked word to financial journalists last night that Obama would reappoint Ben Bernanke to the Fed, a move designed to sooth the nerves of the economic congnoscienti. 

Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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