Columbian Newspaper

Redaction nation: U.S. history brims with partial deletions
Author: HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer

NEW YORK — Somewhere in the shadows of federal bureaucracy, there was an issue about the drinking habits of Augusto Pinochet.

The National Security Archive, an advocate for open government, had for years tried to gain access to intelligence files about the Chilean dictator, his human rights abuses and his ties to the United States. In 2003, the Defense Intelligence Agency declassified documents that included a biographical sketch of Pinochet assembled in 1975, two years after he seized power. Parts of the sketch had been blacked out, “redacted,” for national security. The archive had no trouble discovering that the missing information included Pinochet’s liking for scotch and pisco sours.

“The sketch been published in full by the government in 1999,” notes Tom Blanton, director of the archive. But, he says, “all it takes to change that is a single objection.”

The censoring of government reports isn’t new, but since Robert Mueller turned in his report last month on alleged ties between Russian officials and Donald Trump presidential campaign, “redacted” has joined “collusion” and “obstruction” as a national buzzword. Attorney General William Barr’s announcement that he would release a “redacted” version of Mueller’s findings, expected Thursday, will likely set off a long debate over what’s behind the darkened blotches.

Barr’s stated guidelines range from protecting intelligence sources to the privacy of those not under investigation. But over the past few decades, the government has redacted everything from the most sensitive information to the most harmless trivia.

“We believe there are real secrets, common-sense secrets, like names of people in the field who would be killed or specifications of weapons of systems,” Blanton says. “But redactions also are overused.”

David Cole, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, says any government official who ever had a security clearance will say the same thing: Whether under Clinton, Bush or Obama, “the problem of overclassification is rampant.”

“It’s partly the consequence of what is safest for the government to do,” Cole says. “If you make a mistake and disclose something you shouldn’t have, that mistake is public. If you decide to keep something secret that doesn’t need to be secret, that mistake is private.”

The secrecy reflex is as old as the country: The American government itself was created behind closed doors, and windows. Framers of the Constitution gathered at the Pennsylvania State House from May to September in 1787 and, anxious to speak freely, were so resolved to keep the public away they kept windows shut (in pre-air conditioned times) even on the hottest days. No official transcripts were logged, and much of our understanding of the debate has been shaped by James Madison’s (revised) notes, which didn’t come out until 1836, after Madison and fellow delegates were dead.

“I think they are pretty reliable,” historian Gordon Wood says of Madison’s notes. “But they may only account for a fraction of what was said at the convention.”

At the time of the Constitution’s drafting, there was no system for classifying government documents and no process for the public to obtain them. Our redaction nation formed over the course of the 20th century as the federal government expanded, the country became an international superpower and means of communication and surveillance grew more sophisticated. By the start of the Cold War, just after World War II ended, new bureaucracies such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council were defined by what they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, reveal.

“In 1947, when you have creation of the CIA and the NSC, you have the production of literally billions of papers and billions of secrets contained within them,” says Tim Weiner, whose “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA” won the National Book Award in 2007. “And the machinery of secrecy far outstripped the ability to demand an open government.”

For years, the general public had few means to request records, and little awareness of how much it wasn’t being told.

The Freedom of Information Act wasn’t enacted until 1966, and broad demands for accountability only began with the jarring revelations of the 1970s: years of official deceit about the Vietnam War as detailed in the Pentagon Papers; the Watergate scandal which forced President Nixon to resign; the Senate’s Church Committee of 1975-76, which confirmed reports of the government’s history of backing the assassination of foreign leaders.

Ever since, it’s been an exhausting process of keeping up.

Names and events change, whether the assassination of President John F. Kennedy or the torture of prisoners during the Iraq War, but millions of documents each year continue to be classified. The NSA and others have even compiled lists of some of the more unlikely information to be withheld:

–Some files from World War I, including a method for opening sealed letters without detection and a formula for German secret ink, were not declassified until 2011. “When historical information is no longer sensitive, we take seriously our responsibility to share it with the American people,” CIA Director Leon Panetta said at the time. (The release followed years of lawsuits and formal requests).

–The redaction in 2014 of remarks about the Cuban Missile Crisis made 50 years earlier by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. The remarks were made in a public speech.

–FBI files about Marilyn Monroe’s alleged Communist sympathies were redacted until 2012, 50 years after her death and more than 20 years after the Cold War ended.

Sometimes, history itself is censored. Daniel Ellsberg, the former defense department analyst famous for leaking the Pentagon Papers, remembers the long process to make all of the documents public. The Pentagon Papers were a Defense Department-commissioned study about U.S. policy in Vietnam from 1945-67. It took decades, long after the Vietnam War ended, for the full report to come out. When it did, Ellsberg noticed that one of the sections originally redacted referred to the so-called Haiphong Massacre of 1946.

“The French attacked Haiphong and killed 6,000 people,” Ellsberg says. “The entire reference was whited out. The government didn’t want people to know that an ally was seeking to conquer and colonize Vietnam.”

Follow AP National Writer Hillel Italie on Twitter at @hitalie.

Prep highlights: Milton throws two-hitter as Mountain View remains unbeaten
Author: Columbian staff

Trevor Milton threw a two-hit shutout as Mountain View beat Evergreen 2-0 on Wednesday to remain unbeaten.

Milton struck out seven and walked three as the Thunder improved to 13-0 overall and 9-0 in 3A Greater St. Helens League play.

Gavin Trono put Mountain View ahead with an RBI single in the top of the second. The Thunder added a run in the sixth when Riley McCarthy led off the inning with a double, then scored on a ground out.

Dezmon Warren and Connor Bice kept Evergreen close by holding Mountain View to five hits.

Stars of the day

• Tom Lambert, La Center baseball, went a combined 5 for 8 with six RBI in a doubleheader sweep of King’s Way Christian. He also pitched six innings to earn the win in the first game.

• Carter Sutton, Union baseball, hit a grand slam in a 9-8 win over Battle Ground. He went 2 for 4 with five RBI.

• Daniel Joner, Battle Ground baseball, went 3 for 5 with two runs and two RBI in a 9-8 loss to Union.

• Grant Heiser, Camas baseball, went 3 for 4 with three RBI and a triple in a 11-4 win over Heritage.

• Brianna Fehrer, Union softball, went 4 for 5 with 5 RBI in a 15-10 win over Camas.

• Nathan Purvis, Mountain View boys soccer, scored in the first half of a 1-0 win over Fort Vancouver as the Thunder remained unbeaten in 3A GSHL play.

• Mikelle Anthony, Skyview softball, drove in three runs with a bases-loaded triple, the key hit in a five-run sixth inning in a 6-1 win over Heritage.

• Madison Graham, Prairie softball, hit a grand slam to break a 6-6 tie in the fifth inning of a 13-7 win over Evergreen. She was also the winning pitcher, striking out nine and walking three over seven innings.

• Ty Hebert, Prairie baseball, went 2 for 4 with three RBI in a 8-2 win over Kelso. That included a two-run double in a seven-run first inning.

• Sawyer Racanelli, Hockinson baseball, went 5 for 5 with three runs and two RBI in a 8-7 win over Mark Morris.

• Xavier Ulrich, Columbia River baseball, homered twice, including a three-run shot in a six-run six inning for the Chieftains as they rallied to beat Woodland 11-5.

• Lilly Seal, Hockinson softball, went 4 for 4 with three runs, three doubles and an RBI in a win over Washougal.

• David Leon, Prairie boys soccer, scored midway through the second half in a 1-0 win over Evergreen.

• Hailey Paull, Mountain View softball, pitched six innings, struck out eight and also went 4 for 5 with two runs, two doubles and an RBI in a win over Fort Vancouver.

• Zach Stonier, Union boys soccer, scored the Titans’ lone goal in a 1-1 4A Greater St. Helens League tie with Camas.

3 climbers presumed dead after Banff avalanche
Author: Associated Press

BANFF, Alberta — Outdoor apparel company The North Face said Thursday three members of its Global Athlete Team are presumed dead after an avalanche in Alberta’s Banff National Park.

The company said renowned American alpinist Jess Roskelley and Austrian climbers David Lama and Hansjorg Auer are missing. Roskelley climbed Mount Everest in 2003 at age 20. At the time he was the youngest person to climb the world’s highest peak.

The North Face says it is doing what it can to support the climbers’ families and friends.

Parks Canada said the three men were attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak on the Icefields Parkway on Wednesday.

Officials say recovery efforts are on hold because of a continued risk of avalanches.

Parks Canada says safety specialists immediately responded by air and observed signs of multiple avalanches and debris containing climbing equipment.

Roskelley’s father, John Roskelley, was himself a world-renowned climber who had many notable ascents in Nepal and Pakistan, mostly in the 1970s. John Roskelley joined his son on the successful Everest expedition in 2003.

Jess Roskelley grew up in Spokane, where his father was a county commissioner. John Roskelley told The Spokesman-Review the route his son and the other climbers were attempting was first done in 2000.

“It’s just one of those routes where you have to have the right conditions or it turns into a nightmare. This is one of those trips where it turned into a nightmare,” John Roskelly said.

John Roskelley had climbed the 10,810-foot Howse Peak, via a different route, in the 1970s and knows the area well. On Thursday he was preparing to go to Canada to gather Jess Roskelley’s belongings and see if he could get into the area.

“It’s in an area above a basin,” he said. “There must have been a lot of snow that came down and got them off the face.”

The elder Roskelley said: “When you’re climbing mountains, danger is not too far away…It’s terrible for my wife and I. But it’s even worse for his wife.”

Portland Business News

Q-and-A: Laura Day, operations director of Yerba Buena
Author: Andy Giegerich
The insider weighs in on regulation, interstate trade and the banking issues that have vexed her sector.
Oregon's maturing cannabis industry still coping with oversupply and finance issues (Infographic)
Author: Brandon Sawyer
Cannabis businesses are most preoccupied with the state's abundance of marijuana and federal regulation but financing and cash flow issues are also concerns.

NYT Politics

The Mueller Report Is 448 Pages Long. You Need to Know These 7 Key Things.
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, produced a report of more than 400 pages that painted a deeply unflattering picture of President Trump but stopped short of accusing him of criminal wrongdoing.
‘This Is the End of My Presidency’: 4 Dramatic Moments From the Mueller Report
The report detailed private conversations and described the president’s despondent reaction to the appointment of the special counsel.
‘This Is the End of My Presidency’: 4 Dramatic Moments From the Mueller Report
The report detailed private conversations and described the president’s despondent reaction to the appointment of the special counsel.
Kentucky’s Senator McConnell Supports Bill to Raise Minimum Age to Buy Tobacco to 21
Seeking re-election to a seventh term, the senator cited the rise in teenage vaping as a reason to curtail sales of tobacco and other products.

Clark County Sheriff

Update: Criminal Investigation of the Homicide of Cowlitz County Deputy Justin DeRosier

Timeline of events.

On 04/13/19 at approx. 2126 hours local resident calls in a motorhome and white pick-up blocking the 100 block of Fallert Road.

At 2129 hours, Deputy DeRosier was dispatched to the call and responds.

At 2211 hours, Deputy DeRosier arrives at the 100 block of Fallert Road.

At 2213 hours, Deputy DeRosier broadcasts shots have been fired and he is hit.

Deputy DeRosier was able to make it back to his patrol vehicle, retrieve his patrol rifle and was kneeling at the rear of the vehicle when two Kalama Police officers arrived and performed an officer rescue.  Deputy DeRosier was able to provide a description of the suspect and direction of the suspect’s escape.

The license plate was run on the motorhome and the registered owner was contacted.  The owner relayed they had given the motorhome to Brian Butts a year prior. 

On 04/14/19 at approx. 0200 hours, Matthew Veatch is located walking down the roadway on Modrow Road.  Veatch provides a statement and is subsequently arrested for Rendering Criminal Assistance 1st degree.  Probable cause is developed for his residence at 389 Fallert Road where a search warrant was served.  Matthew’s brother, Michael, was contacted along with their mother, Cheryl Veatch.  Michael was arrested on a Department of Corrections warrant.  Through subsequent interviews it was learned Brian Butts made his way to the Veatch residence immediately following the shooting.

Throughout the day officers from multiple agencies, multiple tactical teams, and searching assets continued to search the area for Brian Butts. 

On 04/14/19 at approx. 1900 hours information was received by Cowlitz County of a suspicious person at the 400 block of Spencer Creek Road.  The suspicious person was contacted by two Kelso Police officers and an armed confrontation ensued.  Brian Butts was identified as the male killed by officers during the confrontation. 

Detectives are conducting forensic analysis of evidence obtained at the homicide scene, the Veatch residence, seized vehicles, and the officer involved shooting scene.

The investigation continues.  If anyone has any information in regard to the homicide or the officer involved shooting please contact Clark County Sergeant Todd Barsness at 360-397-2020 or Vancouver Police Detective Jason Mills 360-487-7425. 

No further information at this time.  An updated press release will be issued Monday, April 22.