FAIR, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
| May. 4, 2011
To hear some tell it, the intelligence clues that ultimately led to Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan were generated by the use of torture. But the evidence available so far does not bear this out.
Full Story »
Most importantly, the Times noted that "two prisoners who underwent some of the harshest treatment—including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times—repeatedly misled their interrogators about the courier’s identity. "
An Associated Press dispatch (5/2/11) reported that
Mohammed did not reveal the names while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He identified them many months later under standard interrogation, they said, leaving it once again up for debate as to whether the harsh technique was a valuable tool or an unnecessarily violent tactic.
This “up for debate” conclusion is strange, given that evidence would suggest that the pro-torture side of the “debate” has little to support their case. And such discussions serve to reaffirm a media narrative that tries to normalize torture by making it a debate that prioritizes outcomes—i.e, Does it work?—over legality and morality. (See Extra!, 1-2/02.)