Thank goodness for international trade and the web.

Glenn Greenwald has an excellent piece telling us what the New York Times essentially told us if anyone cared to notice: the New York Times admits that it enabled the U.S. government’s lying about a CIA agent in Pakistan named Raymond Allen Davis.

The U.K. newspaper, The Guardian, broke the story but stated that some U.S. newspapers were aware of the facts too but hadn’t disclosed them. The New York Times fessed up. Its reporters, MARK MAZZETTI, ASHLEY PARKER, JANE PERLEZ and ERIC SCHMITT, wrote:

The New York Times had agreed to temporarily withhold information about Mr. Davis’s ties to the agency at the request of the Obama administration, which argued that disclosure of his specific job would put his life at risk. Several foreign news organizations have disclosed some aspects of Mr. Davis’s work with the C.I.A.

On Monday, American officials lifted their request to withhold publication, though George Little, a C.I.A. spokesman, declined any further comment.

Greenwald notes:

It’s one thing for a newspaper to withhold information because they believe its disclosure would endanger lives. But here, the U.S. Government has spent weeks making public statements that were misleading in the extreme — Obama’s calling Davis “our diplomat in Pakistan” — while the NYT deliberately concealed facts undermining those government claims because government officials told them to do so. That’s called being an active enabler of government propaganda.

Greenwald goes on to point out that the NYT’s obedience is bipartisan:

Following the dictates of the U.S. Government for what they can and cannot publish is, of course, anything but new for the New York Times. In his lengthy recent article on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, NYT Executive Editor Bill Keller tried to show how independent his newspaper is by boasting that they published their story of the Bush NSA program even though he has “vivid memories of sitting in the Oval Office as President George W. Bush tried to persuade [him] and the paper’s publisher to withhold the eavesdropping story”; Keller neglected to mention that the paper learned about the illegal program in mid-2004, but followed Bush’s orders to conceal it from the public for over a year — until after Bush was safely re-elected.

Greenwald also handles here the various criticisms of his piece.