Technological Issues

Via Josh Marshall comes a copy of the SSCI Report featuring searchable text. Which leads to the question, why did we need some folks at MIT to put this together? Why didn’t the committee release it this way? The document in question, pretty clearly, was typed up on a computer and the technological process for turning a word processor file into a searchable PDF is neither difficult to master, nor some kind of high-level secret. Instead, though, the committee had someone print out a copy of the report, literally black out the redactions (instead of doing virtual redaction ont he computer), and then scan the whole thing to create a non-searchable image file. This procedure seems to be both less useful to the public, and more logistically complicated than the alternative. Maybe it was just done by morons, but I can’t help but think that the staff was deliberately trying to create a hard-to-use public version of the text so as to leave reporters maximally dependent on spin briefings from the staff rather than on the primary document. And as I’ve previously stated, an awful lot of stuff has been redacted — I think there are people who don’t really want us to know what this thing says.