Former Bush Official: CIA Censored Op-Ed Because It Was Forced To ‘Bow To The White House’

flevoped.gif Middle East analyst Flynt Leverett, who served under President Bush on the National Security Council and is now a fellow at the New America Foundation, revealed last week that the White House has been blocking the publication of an op-ed he wrote for the New York Times. The column is critical of the administration’s refusal to engage Iran.

Leverett’s op-ed had been cleared by the CIA, where he had been a senior analyst. Today in an op-ed for the New York Times, Levrett explains more:

[The] Op-Ed article we wrote for The Times, [was] blacked out by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Publication Review Board after the White House intervened in the normal prepublication review process and demanded substantial deletions. Agency officials told us that they had concluded on their own that the original draft included no classified material, but that they had to bow to the White House.

The redacted version of Leverett’s original op-ed is here (and pictured above). He has provided his original citations “to demonstrate that all of the material the White House objected to is already in the public domain.” All of the citations Leverett provides are available online from newspapers, think tanks, and government websites.

Last week at the Center for American Progress, Leverett noted that this incident “just how low people like Elliot Abrams at the NSC [National Security Council] will stoop to try and limit the dissemination of arguments critical of the administration’s policy.” (Hear his remarks here.)