Writings and observations

Claude Dallas, revisited

When information is locked away by government entities, the reasons sometimes have to do with legitimate reasons such as safety or privacy of private citizens. But a whole lot of the time, it has more to do with avoiding discomfort for someone in public employ.

That thought might be borne in mind in reading the fascinating story out today in the Idaho Statesman by Dan Popkey, which makes the case that what we thought we knew about convicted killer Claude Dallas’ escape in 1986 from an Idaho penitentiary was, in important ways, a fabrication. It isn’t conclusive, but it makes a strong case: “Prison officials faked the fence-cutting to cover up the fact Dallas outsmarted his keepers and simply walked out the front door with a group of visitors shortly before 8 p.m. on March 30, 1986.”

A good Sunday read, and worth considering alongside the question of why so much information gets withheld when and how it does.

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    May 21, 2008

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