In *Above Top Secret* (ISBN:  0-688-09202-0), author Timothy Good
describes a British government mechanism known as a "D-Notice":

  A  D-Notice  is  a  formal  letter  of  request  circulated
  confidentially to newspaper  editors,  warning them that an
  item of news, which may be protected  under  the  [British]
  Official   Secrets   Act,   is   regarded  by  the  defense
  authorities as a  secret  affecting  national security.  It
  has no legal authority and can only be regarded as a letter
  of advice or request, but it warns that "whether or not any
  legal sanction would attach  to  the  act  of  publication,
  publication  is  considered  to be contrary to the national

  ...since a D-Notice warns  an  editor that publication of a
  given news item may violate the [Official Secrets] Act, the
  effect is similar to censorship.

Does  the United States have some sort of similar mechanism?  Has
the  U.S.  government  ever  contacted  prominent  news  outlets,
suggesting that pursuit  of  a  particular  story could adversely
affect national security?  At least one instance comes  to  mind:
ABC  News  had reportedly been set to air a story on how the U.S.
government seems to  have  had  prior  knowledge  that the Murrah
Building in Oklahoma City was about to be bombed.  The story  was
pulled  at  the  last minute, however, reportedly due to concerns
that its airing might  greatly  weaken  and  even topple the U.S.

In "The Secret Report and  the  Death Warrant" (CN 9.02), Sherman
H. Skolnick describes how the late Vincent  Foster  was  employed
for  years  by  the  National Security Agency (NSA), and may have
been doing some "freelance" work on the side:

  The report goes  on  to  show  that  since the early 1980s,
  Foster  held  the  equivalent rank of Military General with
  the   super-secret   satellite   spying  and  code-cracking
  operation of the U.S., the National Security Agency  [NSA].
  Foster  continued  this  work for the few months before his
  death  in  the  Clinton  White  House.  Travelling for NSA,
  hundreds of thousands of miles, Foster was the  master-mind
  of an NSA Project that tracked wire transfers between banks
  worldwide -- trillions of  dollars  per  day, of banks both
  friend  and  foe.   Because   of   being  on  top  of  this
  enterprise,  Foster  never  believed  that  project   might
  someday find his  purported  foreign  secret coded accounts
  that  could  finger him as having violated various American
  espionage laws.

Skolnick's allegations are  corroborated  in  a classic series of
reports by J. Orlin Grabbe, "Allegations Regarding Vince  Foster,
the NSA, and Banking  Transactions  Spying."  [1] Further support
for claims that Vince Foster  was  a  high-ranking  NSA  official
appear  in a story in the May 15, 1996 Washington Times newspaper
("Spy  Agency  Holds  Large  File  On  Foster,"  by  Bill Gertz.)
Referring to revelations contained in the April 24, 1996 issue of
Strategic Investment newsletter,  the  Washington  Times  article
reports  that  "secret  documents  held  by the electronic spying
agency [NSA] indicate Mr. Foster's  death was a matter of 'highly
sensitive national security.'"

There's that word:  "national security."  Was  Foster's  death  a
"national  security"  matter and, for that reason, were prominent
news outlets in the  U.S.  given  some version of the "D-Notice?"
That would explain why most mainstream journalists here have been
so  remarkably  blind   regarding   inconsistencies   surrounding
Foster's  supposed "suicide."  Furthermore, given that Foster was
a high-ranking NSA employee and had apparently violated his trust
by engaging  in  espionage,  it  ought  to  be considered whether
Foster had been secretly sentenced  to  death  by  some  sort  of
secret  tribunal.   A  clue  to  this possibility is found in Dr.
Stanton    Friedman's    book,    *Top    Secret/Majic*    (ISBN:
1-56924-741-2).   Friedman  writes  about  mere  =civilians=  and
the  possible  extreme  penalty  they   can  be  subject  to  for
violations of "national security":

  Civilians  unfortunate  enough  to  be  caught  up  in  the
  security web were made to sign  silence  agreements  ending
  with  the  phrase  "upon  penalty  of death" according to a
  witness who very  quietly  spoke  to  me  about  it after a

If a civilian can potentially  be  secretly  found  "guilty"  and
sentenced  to  death,  then  the same fate could definitely await
high-ranking NSA officials who violate  their trust and engage in

But why, if Foster had been secretly sentenced to death, was  the
sentence  executed  so  sloppily?   Surely  NSA could have done a
neater job of terminating the  errant Foster.  Widely reported as
a deep-level cohort of Foster was Hillary Rodham Clinton.  If Ms.
Clinton had been involved in Foster's alleged espionage,  then  a
poorly executed termination of Foster might have been designed to
embarrass  the  First  Lady,  weaken  her  influence, and thereby
incidentally punish her as well.

--------------------------<< Notes >>----------------------------
[1] Grabbe's reports are archived at

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