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> Either way, Panda notes that a small redaction in the upper left-hand corner suggests the intelligence community had cleared the image for release by the president.

Worth noting the image was cleared for release.

You skipped over the "suggests" part of that quote and just take it as fact.

Either way, that isn't really the story here since the President could declassify it anyway. The main story is the potential security and diplomatic repercussions from releasing this information in this manner.

That's a wild ass guess. That info could have been proactively redacted before sending to the whitehouse briefing, a standard process for things that are truly sensitive (since not everyone at the whitehouse who might end up seeing it is need-to-know). That doesn't mean it was cleared for public release.

Not really..since the president can retroactively declassify material ( as can the secretary of state see : Hillary emails )

Technically any member of congress can declassify information. If they talk about classified information while they have the floor (I think that's the term), then it becomes part of the public record. They probably won't get much access to classified information afterwards though.

Classified information in the public record is still classified, just compromised.

Yet NPR is fine using "Sensitive" in the headline, because they know it gets more eyeballs and outrage. The image is redacted, doesn't that mean it has been approved declassified?

No, you can use redaction to reduce classification level also.

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