How do you run an intelligence agency when your internal memos are leaked to the press virtually the minute they are received? Beats me. But it’s happened again… newly-appointed DCI Porter Goss’s discussion of reforming the CIA having been slipped to The New York Times seemingly before the laser print dried. (Okay, it dries immediately, but you know what I mean.) The Times, of course, published their version of this memo via Douglas Jehl. That’s their job. They’re in the news business. The leaking is the leaker’s fault, not theirs.
But I have a suggestion for The Times. In cases like this, why not also publish the memo in its entirety? If you’re going to run leaks, take the CSPAN approach and run them unedited. Let us make our own judgments. It’s impossible to know whether Jehl’s selected quotes from the memo reflect an accurate view of the document without having read the whole thing.