Cable news shows and the networks, led by Post ally NBC, went nuts, declaring before the paper even hit the streets that official Washington was "reeling" from the disclosures. The series' reporters, Dana Priest and Bill Arkin, were all over the airwaves, declaring their amazement at the enormity of the secret surveillance state and warning that America was faced with a "hidden" black world of analysts and operatives so massive that "its effectiveness is impossible to determine."
Well, after three days of blanket coverage, it's safe to say the Post was right: it was indeed impossible for its team to get its arms around this story or explain the political significance of the secret world it uncovered. The Post never delved into the troubling matter of what it means to have private, for-profit corporations and their executives operating at the highest levels of national security and sharing the government's most sensitive secrets. And much of the series was old news -- fancied up with snazzy graphics and amusing photo spreads -- that could have been told years ago if the paper had been up to the job of covering the massive growth of national security capitalism since 2001.