The Washington Post Defends Torture

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Katherine Graham must be turning over in her grave. In a piece appearing on  Saturday, August 29, 2009, Washington Post writers Peter Finn, Joby Warrick and Julie Tate penned a chirpy missive enthusiastically defending torture as a means to flip Khalid Sheik Mohammed from a “truculent enemy” into what the CIA considered its “preeminent source” on al-Qaeda.

The Post alleges this was accomplished after Mohammed “was subjected to simulated drowning and prolonged sleep deprivation, among other harsh interrogation techniques.”

According to the Post’s two “unnamed sources” who are cited as the source for the tale of Mohammed’s transformation depict him not as broken man suffering from “learned helplessness,” but almost professorial, holding court in the interrogation room, lecturing forth on Greek philosophy and admonishing his American captors for their shortcomings. “In one instance, he scolded a listener for poor note-taking and his inability to recall details of an earlier lecture,” the Post claims.

Keep in mind, this an interrogation subject who was waterboarded 184 times by the FBI.

If Mohammed, referred to as KSM, was reduced to “learned helplessness,” as the Post’s unnamed sources claim, how could he possibly risk scolding his FBI interrogators? This is a specious assertion at best and doesn’t pass the smell test. Yet, the Post’s writers are ready to believe it and even troubling,  they want their readers to believe it too.

Reading the article made me wonder if Dick Cheney himself was in the room when Post writers Peter Finn, Joby Warrick and Julie Tate typed away at their computers holding a gun pointed at their heads? I never thought I would see day when the Washington Post would outdo the Moon-owned, right-wing Washington Times for pure, unabashed, neocon propaganda but, that day has arrived

This entry was posted in Human Rights, Media, News, Propaganda, Torture, Washington Post and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Washington Post Defends Torture

  1. Joe in Colorado says:

    I thought the Post began leaning to the right when Bush and Cheney were in office. I don’t understand is why they’re so invested in giving Dick Cheney cover for his role in authorizing torture. Maybe they slept through the last election and don’t know there is a new sheriff in town and he’s a Democrat?

  2. Big Hank says:

    The media had a good idea of the lawlessness being carried out by the Bush administration in the name of “protecting the Homeland (puke)” and they sat on their hands and didn’t report it.

    Remember, as long as Bush and Cheney could get away with claiming “we’re a nation at wur,” they could get away with murder and that’s exactly what they did.

    I don’t think the Washington Post is providing Cheney with cover, they’re covering their own asses for failing to report what they knew was taking place.

  3. Rachel says:

    Great blog piece, Christopher. I thought it was long understood that torture doesn’t work? People will say anything you want them to say to make the pain associated with torture stop? It’s an unreliable way to gather information. I see Cheney was on FIXED Noise this morning once again, defending his role in torture. Why can’t he just have a massive coronary and die? I’m so sick of these ghouls.

  4. VicoDANIEL says:

    It’s curious to say the least that none of the 3 Post writers queried their sources about the claim Khalid Sheik Mohammed was tortured and morphed into a font of useful (useless?) information on al Qaeda.

    But look at the MSM in general?

    You would have to be as crazy as Glenn Beck to mistake CNN’s Wolf Blitzer for a journalist. The same with the teleprompter readers on the evening news shows. Just wind them up and drop a coin between their butt cheeks and get out of the way.

    I have to say, I’ve been watching Ed Schultz a lot lately and he’s quiet fearless and very informed. He’s a good addition to Keith and Rachel. Tweety has his good days and lots of bad days as well.

  5. Dmitris says:

    I expect Cheney will keel over from a fifth and final heat attack before he ever gets sent to prison. He’s been breaking and skirting the law since he arrived in Washington DC and this will never change.

  6. bradfrmphnx says:

    It’s bad enough that this country was made to go against its own beliefs and use torture. But to have a printed news source like the Washington Post sanctioning those actions seems like rubbing putrefying decay into a fresh wound. The cover ups and turned heads against those crimes reeks of conspiracy. When existing laws and signed treaties were broken we do what…nothing? Just write about how good it was? I hope AG Eric Holder Jr. continues his investigation and heads roll.

  7. libhomo says:

    I wonder if the “unnamed sources” are the same ones that said Iraq had WMDs.

  8. Peace Nick says:

    I think Vico Daniel is spot on.

    The people in network, cable and print news don’t care about breaking the news or educating their audience or readers — what they care most about is getting that all-important invitation to the annual Washington Correspondence Dinner so they can meet the power brokers and come home with free swag.

  9. R.J. says:

    I wonder what Dana Priest, the WaPo reporter who broke the story on renditions to Afghanistan’s notorious Salt Mine outside of Kabul, thinks about this.

  10. Aunt Peg says:

    How sad for our nation.

    I’m old enough to recall a time when torture was an unimaginable act for any American soldier or law enforcement officer.

    Today, torture reaches all the way to the office of the vice president.

  11. Harry says:

    This picture of Khalid Sheik Mohammed always reminds me of John Belushi in an SNL skit.

  12. Even if people don’t see that torture is illegal, immoral, and unethical, then they should at least realize that it does not help obtain any usefull intel! The tortured will say whatever to make the pain stop. I don’t know why this is even debatable.

  13. Wasn’t it determined that Khalid Sheik Mohammed was schizophrenic and basically lied about his involvement in, well, everything? The best thing we can all do is not read the WaPo. After their dotcom site dropped Froomkin, is there any reason to bother?

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