U.S. embassies are discouraging or suppressing negative reports to Washington about U.S. allies, sometimes depriving officials of information they need to make good policy decisions, current and former diplomats say.
One diplomat told The Washington Times that he has decided to resign in part because of frustration with “rampant self-censorship” by Foreign Service officers and their superiors that has gone so far as to ban “bad news” cables from countries that are friendly with the United States. …
Current and former Foreign Service officers said the censorship reached a peak during the Bush administration. They attributed its continuation to a risk-averse institutional culture.
“Even in highly classified cables, people in the [Foreign Service] are very careful not to speak negatively about their host country,” said the diplomat, who is resigning after three overseas assignments. …
The resigning officer said that, during one of his tours, his ambassador, a political appointee of President Bush, “flat out banned any ‘bad-news’ cables, and made it known at all levels that we were only to produce ‘good-news stories’ about our [host] country,” a U.S. ally.
The officer said he had written “several cables critical of senior leaders” in his host country and about “interference by the government in the electoral process,” but many of them “were either quashed or radically altered.”
On the other hand, he said, negative cables are common regarding countries with strained relations with Washington, such as Burma, Zimbabwe and Venezuela.
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A must-read post over at Plan Colombia and Beyond (a blog that should win awards it's so damn good at its subject) about how the US censors stories and only allows "good news" stories from countries deemed 'US friendly' and "bad news" stories from countries with a bad relationship with TheWorldPoliceOfficer™
Shocked! Ah Wuz Shocked Ah Say!
PCAB quotes from this Washington Times report that's a fine piece of journalism. What a refreshing change to say that about Moon Daily. Here's an extract: