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Thursday, September 07, 2006


Credibility where credibility isn't due

Reporting on the transfer of 14 "high-profile suspects" to Guantanamo, The New York Times "informs" its readers:
The transfer of the high-level suspects to Guantánamo Bay effectively suspended the extraordinary program, in which the intelligence agency became the jailer and interrogator of suspects counterterrorism officials considered the world’s most wanted Islamic extremists.
Really? On whose say so? On the say so of people who have spent years denying (or "refusing to confirm") the existence of such prisons to begin with? And they don't even say so on the record! Much further down in the article, we read this:
A senior intelligence official said there had been fewer than 100 detainees in the C.I.A. program since its inception shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks. Beyond the 14, the remainder have either been turned over to the Defense Department as so-called unlawful enemy combatants, returned to their countries of origin or sent to nations that have legal proceedings against them.
Maybe they have. Maybe they haven't. Since even the source of the information isn't public, the information itself can hardly be deemed credible.

As it had in the AP article it ran yesterday, the Times mentions the new "no-torture manual" issued by the DoD, while failing to note its lack of applicability to secret CIA facilities:

The Pentagon released a new Army Field Manual that lays out permissible interrogation techniques and specifically bans eight methods that have come up in abuse cases.
There's another thing missing from the Times article, as well as all the other coverage of this prisoner transfer that I've seen. The Bush Administration has belittled the idea that actual terrorists (as opposed to invented ones) are best dealt with using the standard justice methods of police and courts, rather than with wars. Of the 14 prisoners in question, as near as I can tell none of them were captured in battle (or anywhere near a battlefield). A fact which seems like it just might be worth mentioning.

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