[Ed. – See below for update.]
If you thought the term deep state applied only to agencies in the U.S. government responsible for the safety and well-being of Americans at home and abroad, be prepared to have that opinion altered.
According to The Hill, the National Archives — the government agency charged with the preservation and documentation of government and historical records — “acknowledged this week that it altered a photograph of the Women’s March, which took place the day after President Trump’s inauguration in 2017.”
Among the alterations are the blotting out of the word “Trump” in a placard that reads “God Hates Trump,” and the blurring of the same word in another sign that reads “Trump & GOP — Hands Off Women.” Words on other signs referencing female anatomy were also altered.
Shades of the memo released by the Obama Justice Department noting that juvenile delinquents would henceforth be known as justice-involved youth.
Miriam Kleiman, a spokeswoman for the Archives, explained that the “bowdlerization” of the images was an attempt on the part of a non-partisan, non-political federal not to engage in current political controversy. Of course, by changing the record, the Archives is doing precisely that. (RELATED: The new face of ‘statuegate’: Tearing down statues because they depict men)
Historian David Brinkley is quoted as having said:
There’s no reason for the National Archives to ever digitally alter a historic photograph. If they don’t want to use a specific image, then don’t use it. But to confuse the public is reprehensible. The head of the Archives has to very quickly fix this damage. A lot of history is messy, and there’s zero reason why the Archives can’t be upfront about a photo from a women’s march.
The news media might take cue from Brinkley. The networks and major papers were all over the Women’s March but conspicuously absent from the March for Life several days later.
*UPDATE* At 2:16 this afternoon, the National Archive tweeted out an apology:
We made a mistake.
As the National Archives of the United States, we are and have always been completely committed to preserving our archival holdings, without alteration. pic.twitter.com/VTWOS4R7GY
— US National Archives (@USNatArchives) January 18, 2020
An optimist would say that the agency has seen the error of its ways. A realist would say they are likely to repeat the indiscretion unless they fire the current archivist, an Obama appointee, and carefully vet the rest of the staff.
Meantime, when can we expect similar mea culpa from the FBI and other denizens of the deep state?