Reading between the lines of this Wired article… oh, sorry, here’s the executive summary. Somebody at the DoD wrote the grown-up equivalent of We Should Totally Have Laser Guns That We Can Shoot At The Bad Guys – complete with wicked cool drawings! – that the rest of us were doing when we were nine. Somebody leaked the document – which I will henceforth refer to as the Laser BURNINATOR document to Wired, possibly in the hope that the resulting embarrassment might do more to prevent such things; and the document is just classified enough (“For Official Use Only”) that the government could make a little bit of a stink if they wanted to. And apparently they wanted to, and apparently Wired has decided not to indulge them. This has led to a steady increase in government… well. ‘Harassment’ is too strong a word, and ‘whining’ is too weak.
Anyway, reading between the lines: I suspect that nobody at the top of the administration particularly cares about the Laser BURNINATOR document, or in fact even knows about the Laser BURNINATOR. What the administration does particularly care about is stopping leaks, and as near as I can tell they have given the agencies carte blanche to go out there and plug leaks wherever those leaks might be found. Which in itself might not be all that much of a practical problem (the ethical questions are a matter for a different post), except that the Obama administration clearly doesn’t really feel the need to oversee any of this. The President’s naive, childlike faith in the ability of anonymous bureaucrats to do their jobs without ever, ever mucking it all up is in full display here. Makes you wonder what else is bubbling away down there…
PS: If Wired had been writing this story about a Republican President in an election year, they would have found a way to drag in the opposition party somehow. Their curious inability to do this to Obama goes a long way in explaining why Democrats slap around the media so often; it’s because they can.