The State Department just announced that Washington, D.C., will host the United Nations' 2011 World Press Freedom Day celebration, which honors the capacity for states to criminally prosecute and relentlessly seek to silence web sites that publish illegal information.

At a time when Attorney General Eric Holder is pursuing an active criminal investigation into Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange for publishing State Department cables, when Sen. Joe Lieberman is bullying companies into refusing to do business with them, and when the entire federal bureaucracy has lapsed into a childish conniption designed to prevent government employees from becoming contaminated with the information contained in the cables, the U.S. is inviting governments and reporters from around the globe to celebrate press freedoms.

Someone forgot to read the press release before sending it out, because we're pretty sure State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, whose colleague was warning Gawker last week that no Americans should be "propagating" the cables by writing about them online, is really "concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information." Nor is he really that excited about how "new media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals' right to freedom of expression."

Or maybe they just hope Assange will be stupid enough to show up?