By Kyle | May 5, 2011
Transparency — President Obama has committed to making his administration the most open and transparent in history, and WhiteHouse.gov will play a major role in delivering on that promise. The President’s executive orders and proclamations will be published for everyone to review, and that’s just the beginning of our efforts to provide a window for all Americans into the business of the government. You can also learn about some of the senior leadership in the new administration and about the President’s policy priorities.
—White House Web posting, Jan. 20, 2009
President Obama ruled out publicly releasing photographs of the deceased Osama bin Laden on Wednesday, and White House officials said they would give no new details about the raid on his compound in Pakistan, an information clampdown that followed fitful attempts to craft a riveting narrative about the killing of al-Qaeda’s leader.
Sure. It’s not like the Bin Laden raid was important or anything. It’s not like reporters would have questions about it. It’s not like conflicting details would be noticed.
The killer paragraph is here, in the “larger narrative” portion of the story, the “pattern of incompetence” bit.
The conundrum mirrored problems that the Obama administration has had communicating its national security approach in the past. From the immediate aftermath of an attempted airliner bombing on Dec. 25, 2009, to the early management of the H1N1 flu crisis, the White House has repeatedly labored to prove its command of inflammatory facts during fast-moving events.
Once WaPo and/or New York Times reporters start pushing the “larger narrative” function key, it becomes major problem. I wonder if someone in the White House communications shop is suddenly going to decide to spend more time with his family. What a muckup this is turning out to be.