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Friday, April 9, 2010

Israeli Ban Lifted

The gag order on the Israeli case of Anat Kamm has been partially lifted.

Today, an Israeli court ordered that the media blackout be partially lifted on the highly secretive case we reported on the other day.

Some of the newly released details are rather sordid and reveal the mindset of some of Israel's ideological leftists -- Anat Kamm, a soldier spy who illegally stole and copied to CD highly classified documents -- over 2000 of them, while serving as a soldier in the IDF's Central Command.

More coverage here.

It took time, but eventually the court rescinded the gag order I related to earlier this week. Predictably, the fuller story that is now coming out is different than the one that swirled over the Web recently. That was about the benighted Israeli authorities who had made a young journalist disappear and then blocked the story, just like in Iran (really, that was the line. Go see Richard Silvestein's blog. He's been all over the story for weeks).

The story pouring out the past few hours is quite different. First, however, let's relate to the gag order. I expect when it was first given it was reasonable: investigators of leaks of large amounts of classified documents don't need thoughtless journalists second-guessing their every move and broadcasting the limits of the investigator's knowledge to possible unidentified culprits. This isn't because Israel resembles Iran, it's the nature of police work, anywhere. Eventually, however, selective versions of the story did reach journalists beyond the writ of Israeli gag orders; once this happened, allowing this slanted version to dominate the stage was poor tactics. Especially as we can now trace the time line, and the leaks to the press came late in the investigation. When former supreme court justice Dalia Dorner said this week that the order was causing damage, she knew what she was talking about.

There's still a lot of unanswered questions here and the story is evolving.

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