Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The New York Times as propaganda

In an article provocatively entitled "Book Cites Secret Red Cross Report of C.I.A. Torture of Qaeda Captives," the NY Times writes:
Red Cross investigators concluded last year in a secret report that the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation methods for high-level Qaeda prisoners constituted torture and could make the Bush administration officials who approved them guilty of war crimes, according to a new book [written by Jane Mayer] on counterterrorism efforts since 2001. ....

Citing unnamed “sources familiar with the report,” Ms. Mayer wrote that the Red Cross document “warned that the abuse constituted war crimes, placing the highest officials in the U.S. government in jeopardy of being prosecuted.” Red Cross representatives were not permitted access to the secret prisons where the C.I.A. conducted interrogations, but were permitted to interview Abu Zubaydah and other high-level detainees in late 2006, after they were moved to the military detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
So, the basis for these allegations is merely claims by terrorists. He claims as an example of torture, that some prisoners were “slammed against the walls,” something that is not unusual for guards at the best prisons to do to misbehaving prisoners and Al Qaeda prisoners do have a reputation for attacking guards. The NY Times, however, reports no context at all. By printing terrorist's claims uncritically, the NY Times is just serving as a vehicle for enemy propaganda.

Hat tip: BotW.

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