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An Inconvenient Rewrite

4:29 PM, Dec 31, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Yesterday the Washington Post reported, three paragraphs from the end of a piece on the intelligence failures that led to the Christmas Day attack, that

Abdulmutallab remains in a Detroit area prison and, after initial debriefings by the FBI, has restricted his cooperation since securing a defense attorney, according to federal officials. Authorities are holding out hope that he will change his mind and cooperate with the inquiry, the officials said.

That seemed like a pretty startling revelation -- just as government agencies were connecting the dots on this guy, and discovering numerous ties to al Qaeda, the bomber had clammed up on advice of counsel. The government's response, rather than employing some of the highly effective enhanced interrogation techniques used by the Bush administration, was to "hope" that the bomber would change his mind.

Apparently hope and change isn't just an interrogation strategy, it's an editing style, too. The story now reads:

Abdulmutallab remains in a Detroit area prison and, after initial debriefings by the FBI, has restricted his cooperation since securing a defense attorney, according to federal officials.

Has the administration given up any hope of further cooperation? Or was the line simply so embarrassing that the administration called in a favor at the Post and had that detail removed from the report?

HT: Powerline