CNN crossed a line, Shaw says in a post called "Should CNN have read Stevens' Journal?", by using the diary to track down leads regarding Stevens' fears that al Qaeda was taking over in the area and his life was in danger. Here's a sample:
Where can we expect the media to draw the line on something like this? Is the personal journal of a dead man not off bounds? (Though clearly the State Department deserved a look at it.) A private journal is not some official government document obtained through a Freedom of Information request. And they can’t claim that it’s the same as an interview. (I’ve done more than a few myself.) When a reporter wants to ask about your private musings, you can refuse. Or, at a minimum, insist that the conversation is off the record. Ambassador Stevens had no such opportunity. CNN tore into his book, whipped out their cell phones and began getting ready to go to press over the objections of the dead man’s family.I simply could not disagree more.
It seems to me that in the course of a murder any documents of interest relating to the crime are necessary to determine what happened.
It also seems to me that, whether written in the capacity of a government official or not, a "diary" account of what was happening in the landscape is significant to understanding present and future security issues.
Shaw complains that, simply because something is "newsworthy" it should not automatically become public knowledge, a point of view I don't disagree with.
Shaw also says that CNN appeared to not have cooperated with the State Department, thus making them outlaws, or, shall we say, purveyors of truth for a change in this administration.
But a murder was committed here and our government has repeatedly dissembled, lied about and peed on the public's right to know, much less the family's.
CNN performed a public service by exposing Stevens' fears about the lack of stability in Libya and his concern over his own safety.
For God's sake, the man was slaughtered.
How we can be talking about a 7 page diary as off limits after what happened is beyond belief.
For their part, CNN thought they got around political liability by using the information inside Stevens' diary to corroborate with outside sources.
Shaw says CNN should have allowed State to handle the diary and the details, but we know how that goes, considering that they claimed for days that the assault was not planned.
Add to that the fact that this diary became public knowledge by virtue of its lying on the floor unsecured and unclaimed by any investigators, and you have a witches' brew of deception, sloppiness and unconcern about the safety of human beings.
It was more important apparently to try to convince the Libyans that we weren't a threat rather than keep Americans, their allies and documents safe.
And that's a brew that culminated in the death of four Americans and continues to this day in concealing the truth.