I’m beginning to agree with Rayne’s comment of the other day that the only explanation for the length of the WaPo series on contractors is to please the Pulitzer committee. The other most (perhaps more) likely explanation for the style of the piece is that editors have tried so hard not to piss off the security establishmentand to stop short of voicing the conclusions that Dana Priest and William Arkin’s work supportthat they’ve turned Priest and Arkin’s work into a bunch of disembodied fluff.
Peter Feaver's response to yesterday's article:
The major claim that the complexity of the intelligence community has made it hard to manage in a centralized fashion is neither new nor proven in a novel way. I am sympathetic to the charge -- anyone who has worked in government understands how complex the national security establishment is and can probably name a publication or an organization that, in one person's humble opinion, could be dropped without fatally wounding national security. The difficulty is that when you aggregate across a variety of experienced perspectives, you do not come up with a common list of things to axe. One man's meat is another man's fluff, and vice-versa. You need look no further than this very series to establish this fact. The Washington Post team have spent two years talking with scores of people and compile all of the complaints without producing (yet, yet ... perhaps the best is yet to come) any coherent and viable set of reforms.
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