Down the Memory Hole

Bush switches in three hours from refusing to discuss warrantless wiretaps, in order to protect intelligence sources and methods, to confirming their existence and defending them. Will anyone notice?

At 6 p.m. EST Friday evening the President refused to discuss his secret orders for warrantless wiretapping because it would endanger national security to discuss intelligence sources and methods.

At noon EST Saturday the President confirmed that he had authorized warrantless wiretapping and defended that action as necessary for national security.

At no time will any mainstream journalist notice the contradiction. Winston Smith would be proud of them.

Update Wrong! Good for Tim Russert.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: