The State Department wants you to know: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got her facts wrong. They REALLY want you to know it.

In a transcript of Clinton's remarks about cyber freedom this morning, an asterisk was appended to Clinton's introductory homage to Sen. Richard Lugar  (R-IN). 

Here's what Clinton said:

Although I can't see all of you because in settings like this, the lights are in my eyes and you are in the dark, I know that there are many friends and former colleagues.  I wish to acknowledge Charles Overby, the CEO of Freedom Forum here at the Newseum; Senator Richard Lugar* and Senator Joe Lieberman, my former colleagues in the Senate, both of whom worked for passage of the Voice Act, which speaks to Congress's and the American people's commitment to internet freedom, a commitment that crosses party lines and branches of government.

At the end of the speech, there is this:


*Senator Lugar was not a co-sponsor of the VOICE Act. Senator Kaufman was one of the co-authors and leading co-sponsors.

Had Clinton's infinitesimally small mistake -- a verbal typo -- been remotely relevant to policy, one would assume that such a clarification would be warranted. But the person in the department's transcription services bureau (or whatever the shop there is called) evidently decided that accuracy was more important than ... unnecessarily embarrassing the Secretary. Generally, White House transcription folks will add a [SIC] to a sentence containing an extremely minor error.  But not the Department of State. 


Such... rectitude is right out of a scene from the beloved British television show "Yes, Minister," which chronicled the gently contentious relationship between the minister of a fictional cabinet agency and his permanent secretary, a member of the oft-reviled civil service.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.