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Open & Shut

A recent collection of funny, fascinating, nonsensical or just notable newsworthy quotations. From the Summer 2004 issue of The News…

A recent collection of funny, fascinating, nonsensical or just notable newsworthy quotations.

From the Summer 2004 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 56.

Everything we did was carefully scripted. It was all part of a communication plan that got derailed almost every day. ”

— Gordon James, a public relations executive hired by the Pentagon to work with U.S. and Arab media in Iraq

Any time I see in the news that the government is refusing to release something . . . I automatically file a FOIA request for it.”

— Russ Kick, publisher of The Memory Hole.org (see cover story)

Oversight is always needed. We like to trust, but also to verify.”

— Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.), chairman of the military construction panel

The Pentagon is “going to ask Larry and Curly to take a look and see what Moe’s doing. I’m sorry, that doesn’t work.”

— Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), on the hiring of private contractors to provide oversight of other private contractors in Iraq

I think there’s just a mystery about what goes on in Guantanamo. A lot of it’s our fault, and that we haven’t opened it up as much as maybe we should have and could have.”

— General James T. Hill, commander of the U.S. Southern Command

If I were you, I would not be insulted if someone refused to acknowledge you as a real journalist.”

— Howard Dean, to a group of credentialed bloggers covering the Democratic National Convention in Boston

This is the single most valuable thing we can do to preserve a free society — protect the right to know what’s going on in our world . . . argue for it, insist upon it, work for it.”

— Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and author William Kennedy

“A free and open democracy depends on free and accessible information. When anything interferes with that access, the foundation of democracy is placed at risk.”

– Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, above

“It’s easy to complain about the press; I’ve been doing it for a good part of my career.”

– Vice President Dick Cheney

No one takes pleasure in trying to decide whether this potty-mouth word or that potty-mouth word is a violation of the law.”

— FCC Chairman Michael Powell


July 24, 2003

It’s important for the Iraqi people to see them, to know they’re gone, to know they’re dead.”

— Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, above, on the Pentagon’s decision to release photos of Uday and Qusay Hussein’s corpses

May 7, 2004

I’ve said today that there are a lot more photographs and videos that exist. If these are released to the public, obviously it’s going to make matters worse. That’s just a fact.”

— Donald Rumsfeld, on the photographs of U.S. soldiers and contractors abusing Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison

May 13, 2004

As far as I’m concerned, I’d be happy to release them all to the public and get it behind us.”

— Donald Rumsfeld, on the abuse photos the government has still not released