The Air Force announced the creation of a new "consolidated" nuclear command today. Well actually, they briefed reporters on it Wednesday, but asked them to embargo it until today. Why? Because yesterday was the 64th anniversary of Hiroshima.

The move will consolidate ICBMs and nuclear bombers under one command in Louisiana. It's about time! But reporters at a briefing Wednesday wanted to know why they had to wait until today to report it, and a Pentagon flack out-and-out admitted that it's bad PR to announce a nifty new nuke policy on the anniversary of the day nukes killed 140,000 people:

Q: Everybody in this room wants to know why this is embargoed and why we can't use it today. It's an interesting story. What was the rationale? Why is this embargoed for use Friday? Why can't we use it today? Everybody's got this on their mind. What's the rationale for doing it?

MODERATOR : The reason we did this for Friday morning or Friday — anytime Friday — (inaudible) — is just, as we looked at this historically and we know what's happened in world history on Aug. 6— (inaudible) — we didn't want necessarily a bunch of news on that day appearing, when the event isn't actually till Friday. If you remember, on August 6th in history, that was the date the bombing of Hiroshima occurred.

The transcript of the briefing is posted on the Pentagon's web site. We guess this is what Obama means by "open government": Instead of deviously trying to manipulate the press for dark reasons, they just openly manipulate the press for obvious reasons. Either way, the news didn't get out until they wanted it to get out. Transparency!

[Via Cryptome.]