May
10
2011

USA Today and the Torture 'Debate'

USA Today weighs in today (5/10/11) on the argument that U.S. torture of detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was instrumental to tracking down Osama bin Laden. Like other outlets, the newspaper does a pretty lousy job of summarizing the evidence. Under the headline "Raid Renews Debate on Interrogations," reporter Oren Dorell suggests this starting point: But the revelation that tips prodded from captured Al-Qaeda members subjected to "enhanced interrogations" led to the capture of Osama bin Laden has ignited a debate over whether Obama should revisit the policies he cast aside. There is no strong evidence that torture "led" to […]

May
20
2009

You Don't Get 'Thoughtful Conversation' From an Advocate for War Crimes

Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed columnist Harold Jackson (5/20/09) writes that most of those who have criticized his paper for hiring of pro-torture lawyer John Yoo as his colleague "have their facts wrong." After making a gratuitous swipe at bloggers ("who never let the facts get in the way when they're trying to whip people into a frenzy to boost website hits"), Jackson gets down to specifics: "To set the record straight, no one tried to hide Yoo's becoming a regular columnist," he declares. If that's the case, why isn't Yoo listed on the Inquirer's website along with its other regular columnists? […]

May
15
2009

Philly Paper Welcomes Home Native Torture Hero

Blogger and Philadelphia Inquirer writer Will Bunch has a review (Attytood, 5/11/09) of how, "by late last year, the world already knew a great deal about John Yoo, the Philadelphia native and conservative legal scholar whose tenure in the Bush administration as a top Justice Department lawyer lies at the root of the period of greatest peril to the U.S. Constitution in modern memory": It was widely known in 2008, for example, that Yoo had argued for presidential powers far beyond anything either real or implied in the Constitution–that the commander-in-chief could trample the powers of Congress or a free […]

Mar
03
2009

First Amendment Subordinated to War Needs

"First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully." –The official position of the U.S. government from October 23, 2001 until October 6, 2008 Why do I get the impression that this was seen as a feature, not a bug?