Today's Washington Post has a very good article on the latest about the Blackwater shooting. It's based on the leaked conclusions of a preliminary, two-page report from the U.S. embassy that suggests some of the guards at least some of the guards were quite trigger happy. More on that later. For now, let me just flag the following sentence:
According to the report, which was obtained by The Washington Post, the incident occurred shortly after noon as three Blackwater teams moved to escort one "principal" back to Baghdad's Green Zone.
I read this on the Washington Post's Web site. You know, the kind of site that probably has servers capable of, say, posting a two-page report. So why hasn't the paper posted it?
Is it so hard to fathom that readers might actually be interested in reading original documents? Is the WP afraid that people will skip the articles and go straight to the original source? (If true, it's a ridiculous fear. After all, if the papers and reporters are doing their jobs they should be adding plenty of context and reporting to the docs.) Did the reporters promise the source who they "obtained"* the document from that they wouldn't post it for whatever reason, valid or not? (If so, the paper should say in the article.)
Papers have gotten better about this. Maybe about half the time now you'll see original source documents. Why it's not near 100 percent is beyond me.
*BTW: That turn of phrase--"obtained" is way annoying. It's amazing how the NYT also managed to "obtain" the report yesterday too!