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Thursday, May 2, 2013

News organizations kept silent
about Saudi role in drone strikes

As media critic Cliff Kincaid points out, news organizations once had a deal to keep a CIA drone base's location secret. The news organizations not only concealed the base's exact location, but also the name of the country in which it was located: Saudi Arabia. Is this sort of "informal arrangement among several news organizations" to avoid news coverage also at play in the case of the Saudi national arrested, but then freed, in the Boston bombings? Kincaid wonders.

The Post blew the whistle on the Saudi role only once it learned that a competitor was about to break the CIA news embargo, the Post has reported.

"The Washington Post had refrained from disclosing the specific location at the request of the administration, which cited concern that exposing the facility would undermine operations against an al-Qaeda affiliate regarded as the network’s most potent threat to the United States, as well as potentially damage counterterrorism collaboration with Saudi Arabia.

"The Post learned Tuesday night that another news organization was planning to reveal the location of the base, effectively ending an informal arrangement among several news organizations that had been aware of the location for more than a year."

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