Charlie Savage and Scott Shane are two reporters who were party to a lawsuit filed under the Freedom of Information Act by the New York Times to try and force the Obama administration to make public memoranda and related materials providing the legal justification for the targeted killing of a United States citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki. In early January a federal judge ruled in favor of the government.
A report written by the same journalists (along with Mark Mazzetti) and published on Sunday begs the question: were Savage and Shane provided with any of the classified information they had sought through FOIA? If so — and it seems virtually certain that they were — then they seem to have seriously compromised their own journalistic integrity.
How can someone argue that the memoranda need to be made public but then go and serve the interests of the administration that refuses to release them, by allowing that administration to cherry pick which portions of the memoranda it wants to reveal?