At least he didn’t ask for an autograph.
The most serious breach revealed in the new batch of documents, though, didn’t come from the administration. In one string of correspondence between Harf and New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti, the scribe gave the flack an advance copy of a column by Maureen Dowd slated to be published Aug. 7, 2011, in which Dowd took a dim view of the administration’s courting of the filmmakers. “This didn’t come from me . . . and please delete after you read,” Mazzetti wrote, apparently attempting to reassure the CIA people the column wasn’t as critical as they’d feared it would be. “See, nothing to worry about!”
Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993. He began his reporting career at the Rocky Mountain News and joined The Post in 1980. He has covered local and federal courts, the Supreme Court and the State Department. Follow him on Twitter.
(U.S. Navy) - Adm. William H. McRaven revealed the unlikely inspiration behind his own career choice: a John Wayne movie.
A New York Times spokeswoman called the incident “a mistake that is not consistent with New York Times standards, and said in an
e-mailed statement that Dowd had given the column to Mazzetti for help with fact-checking and didn’t know he shared the whole piece with CIA. Earlier, NYT editor Dean Baquet described the apparent lapse a bit differently to Politico, saying it was “an intelligence matter.”
A good idea on paper
Somewhere, a bunch of trees are breathing a sigh of relief.
The federal government is taking steps (perhaps they’re baby ones, but still) toward reducing the amount of tree-killing paperwork that presidential nominees must submit to be considered for such positions. We hear the White House has named Lisa Brown, who is the acting chief performance officer at the Office of Management and Budget, to chair the new working group established in the nomination-streamlining bill that the president signed into law this month. Brown will head up the group tasked with writing a report (sounds as though some more paper will be involved) on how to reduce filing burdens for executive nominees.
That’s always been a headache for nominees, who are saddled with multiple questionnaires and disclosure forms for the Senate and the White House to peruse — some of which are redundant and often require hours with one’s accountant and lawyer to fill out. The goals of the working group include coming up with a single “smart form” for nominees and pooling more of the records electronically.
Sounds as if Brown knows a thing or two about cutting through clutter: At the OMB, she heads up the presidential initiative to “reorganize government functions and agencies to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness.”
Unclear whether the group’s efforts — which have support on the Hill — will take effect in time for the inevitable influx of nominees that accompanies the start of a presidential term — no matter who is in the White House.
With Emily Heil
The blog: washingtonpost.com/
intheloop. Twitter: @InTheLoopWP.