May
16
2014

Object to a War Criminal at Your Graduation? You Must Be a 'Bigot'

Timothy Egan

New York Times columnist Tim Egan rages against college students who dare to have moral objections to the speakers their administrations chose to garnish their graduations with.

Apr
08
2014

Mary Jo White, Tough on Torture Victims

Mary Jo White

Time thinks Mary Jo White will be a good SEC chair because…she approves of torturing Guantanamo prisoners?

Apr
04
2014

FAIR TV: Russian Troops, Christie's 'Gaffe,' Torture Without the T Word

FP-Russian Forces

Russian troops are massing on the border with Ukraine, set to invade–so say corporate media, relying on unnamed intelligence sources. Plus straight-talking Chris Christie apologizes for straight talk, and the Washington Post's scoop on CIA torture can't say the word "torture."

Apr
02
2014

It's Torture–but Let's Not Call It That

WaPo-PBS-CIA

The Washington Post gets a big scoop about a Senate investigation of CIA torture. But they won't call it torture.

Oct
29
2013

CBS Does CIA PR

Morrell-60 Minutes

60 Minutes' interview with former CIA official Mike Morell was more like a press briefing than an interview with a powerful figure who has never been asked questions by a TV journalist.

Feb
25
2013

George Will's Stop & Frisk Factcheck

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The ABC Sunday show This Week had not one but two roundtables this weekend. Right-winger George Will appeared on both of them, because… well, he knows a lot of stuff.

Jan
08
2013

Is John Kiriakou a Whistleblower?

abc_John3_071210_ssh

The Obama administration has pursued an unprecedented campaign to prosecute whistleblowers. The fact that John Kirikaou is facing such punishment reinforces the sense that he should be viewed as such a whistleblower, someone who was trying to expose the CIA's torture practices. But was that really his motivation?

Jan
07
2013

Brennan's Support for Torture Is Not an 'Accusation'

John Brennan

Reporting on the news that President Barack Obama plans to nominate his terrorism adviser John Brennan to be head of the CIA, the New York Times writes that critics had been "claiming that…Brennan had supported, or at least had failed to stop, the use of interrogation techniques like waterboarding."
That Brennan was a torture supporter is not a claim, though–it's a matter of public record.

Sep
06
2011

NYT's Misleading Rendition of the Reason for Rendition

Documents discovered in Libya suggest a close relationship between the Libyan government and the CIA. The New York Times described it this way on September 3: TRIPOLI, Libya — Documents found at the abandoned office of Libya's former spymaster appear to provide new details of the close relations the Central Intelligence Agency shared with the Libyan intelligence service — most notably suggesting that the Americans sent terrorism suspects at least eight times for questioning in Libya despite that country's reputation for torture. And then today (9/6/11) the Times put it this way: The cooperation appeared to be far greater with […]

Jul
05
2011

Is the Justice Department Holding Torturers Accountable?

The answer might depend on which media outlet you rely on. I read the headline at Democracy Now! on Friday: "Justice Dept Drops 99 of 101 Cases Against CIA for Abuse and Torture" The New York Times, on the other hand, offered a different sort of emphasis: "U.S. Widens Inquiries Into 2 Jail Deaths"

Jun
13
2011

Newsweek's Nostalgia for Arab Dictatorships

If you feel like there hasn't been enough attention paid to the fact that the democratic movements in the Arab world are undermining the power of U.S. elites to have troublemakers tortured and/or killed, rest assured that Newsweek's Christopher Dickey has you covered this week (6/12/11): Among American spies there's more than a little nostalgia for the bad old days. You know, back before dictators started toppling in the Middle East; back when suspected bad guys could be snatched off a street somewhere and delivered to the not-so-tender mercies of interrogators in their home countries; back when thuggish tyrants, however […]

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
10
2011

Newsweek, Like Time, Clutching at Straws to Cheer for Torture

The argument that the finding and killing of Osama bin Laden shows that George W. Bush's torture policies were justified got another rehearsal in Newsweek fromYale professorStephen Carter (5/5/11): In the end, we were able to track bin Laden because he communicated only through two couriers believed to be brothers. And what was the source of this vital clue? The intelligence apparently came from detainees imprisoned in secret facilities overseas and subjected to what has been euphemistically called "enhanced" interrogation…. So the information from the detainees was crucial, and we face an uncomfortable irony, both political and ethical. The finest […]