Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education

07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

News Media Matters

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.18 Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]

07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]

07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]

07.18 "Can't Change a Corrupt System by Taking Its Money": Sanders Urges All 2020 Democrats to Reject Insurance, Big Pharma Cash [49:02 video w/ lousy sound]

07.17 Why Democrats’ oversight machine is moving so slowly against Trump

07.17 Here's the real reason Trump is attacking 'the squad': he's scared of their politics

07.17 'Good,' Says Elizabeth Warren, After Billionaire Right-Winger Peter Thiel Says She's 2020 Democrat He Is 'Most Scared By'

07.17 The American Right Defines Patriotism As Complacency About Racism

07.17 This is what today's America looks like. The squad is us

07.16 As Trump Sows Discord, Chief of Staff Mulvaney Reportedly Focused on 'Building Empire for the Right Wing' [And the South shall rise again...]

07.16 George Will's startling assessment of Donald Trump

07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

Justice Matters

07.16 Contempt [Variations of frequent loss & theft of property title by organized legal efforts against black owners]

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

High Crimes
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.18 There are 16 million slaves around the world making our stuff

07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]

07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]

07.17 Trump Murdered the Iran Deal—And Europe Isn’t Too Happy About It [Only psychopathic Saudi Arabia and Russia are U.S. ’allies’ now...]

07.17 Trump’s Unlawful Asylum Policy Is a Jab at Mexico

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Cheney Often Wrong, Seldom Doubted
Newspaper logo

MEDIA SOFT ON RIGHT-WINGERS:

Cheney Often Wrong, Seldom Doubted

Giving ex-VP a free ride in torture debate

SOURCE: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
29 May 2009

If Cheney were not a hawkish former vice president, journalists would not think of quoting him without citing his poor credibility and personal motives, let alone fail to confront him with conflicting evidence. So it's past the time when questions should be directed to Cheney about pro-torture claims; it's time to ask journalists why they are providing such respectful venues to such an untrustworthy figure.

"Dick Cheney seems to be everywhere," declared ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl (World News, 5/13/09), calling the formerly reclusive former vice president "the most visible Republican in the country these days."

Cheney has been hard to miss. Since leaving office in January, in addition to broad coverage of his May 21 speech at the American Enterprise Institute, in recent weeks he has appeared on CBS's Face the Nation (5/10/09), Fox's Your World With Neil Cavuto (5/12/09), Fox's Hannity (4/20/09, 4/21/09) and CNN's State of the Union (3/15/09). Moreover, Cheney's public profile has been amplified by heavy coverage in other media, which have widely quoted and run video clips of the CBS, Fox and CNN interviews.

"If I don't speak out," Cheney told Face the Nation's Bob Schieffer, "then the critics have free run, and there isn't anybody there on the other side to tell the truth." Among Cheney's "truths" are that torture and abusive treatment of detainees, what he calls "enhanced interrogation," have yielded information that stopped attacks on the U.S., and that in scuttling such Bush-era policies, President Barack Obama has put the U.S. in danger.

Cheney's media tour raises some troubling questions, including why, considering his history of false and misleading statements, journalists are still clamoring for his opinions. It's a question that Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, posed recently on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show (5/12/09):

This is the man who, after all, said we know with absolute certainty Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction. We know he has an active nuclear program. We know he has contacts with Al-Qaeda. This is the man who has told more lies from a public pulpit than almost anyone else I know. Why does the media give him so much airtime?

Still, Cheney has been given a prominent platform to sway the torture debate away from the question of legality to the question of whether torture works. Torture is unconstitutional and forbidden under U.S. and international law; debating whether it is sometimes effective is like debating whether genocide can be effective in settling ethnic conflicts. Moreover, the most discussed form of abuse--waterboarding, or depriving a human being of oxygen by controlled drowning--was foremost among the crimes for which the U.S. convicted Japanese soldiers of torture following World War II (Washington Post, 11/4/07).

The efficacy of torture ought to be, at most, a subordinate issue to its legality and morality. But once journalists have allowed Cheney to make torture's efficacy a major theme in the media discussion, the very least they could do is confront him with the broad consensus of opinion among interrogation experts and historians: that non-coercive interrogation works far better than abusive interrogation.

"Empathetic interrogation works; coercive interrogation, i.e., torture, doesn’t work; the historical record is very clear on that point," University of Wisconsin historian Alfred McCoy told FAIR's national radio show CounterSpin (2/23/07). McCoy--author of A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror--said that FBI counterintelligence officers have been using empathetic interrogation, where a human bond is established between interrogator and subject, for decades, noting the method came into common use following World War II, when the Marines discovered that by using it, they were able to obtain "complete order of battle intelligence," the hardest kind of intelligence to get, according to McCoy, within 24 hours.

Cheney’s media campaign began on CNN's State of the Union, when host John King helpfully asked him whether the use of "waterboarding or a black site" had "stopped another attempt" to attack the U.S. on the level of the 9/11 attacks.

Cheney responded:

John, I've seen a report that was written based upon the intelligence that we collected then that itemizes the specific attacks that were stopped by virtue of what we learned through those programs. It's still classified. I can't give you the details of it without violating classification, but I can say there were a great many of them.

But there are many reasons to doubt Cheney's claims about torture's effectiveness. "The CIA inspector general in 2004 found that there was no conclusive proof that waterboarding or other harsh interrogation techniques helped the Bush administration thwart any 'specific imminent attacks,'" McClatchy's Mark Seibel and Warren P. Strobel reported (4/24/09). The inspector general's findings were bolstered last December, when Vanity Fair reporter David Rose asked FBI director Robert Mueller if "any attacks on America [had] been disrupted thanks to intelligence obtained through what the administration still calls 'enhanced techniques'?" Answered Mueller: "I don't believe that has been the case."

Giving added weight to McCoy's academic conclusions, Rose interviewed several active intelligence and interrogation experts who told him that abusive interrogations had not only been a bust, but had actually hindered intelligence gathering by making counterterrorism agents waste time on false leads. Rose forcefully challenged the Cheney claim that without harsh interrogation "our intelligence community believes that Al-Qaeda and its allies would have succeeded in launching another attack against the American homeland":

Really? In researching this article, I spoke to numerous counterterrorist officials from agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. Their conclusion is unanimous: Not only have coercive methods failed to generate significant and actionable intelligence, they have also caused the squandering of resources on a massive scale through false leads, chimerical plots and unnecessary safety alerts--with Abu Zubaydah's case one of the most glaring examples.

Here, they say, far from exposing a deadly plot, all torture did was lead to more torture of his supposed accomplices while also providing some misleading "information" that boosted the administration’s argument for invading Iraq.

This doesn't preclude the possibility that Cheney may produce the odd document in which intelligence officers express enthusiasm about information that they obtained through torture. But his claims are rejected by top intelligence officials, counterterrorism agents in the field and leading experts on torture. Moreover, Cheney's involvement in a program that by any reasonable assessment systematically violated laws against torture and prisoner abuse puts him in jeopardy of future legal action, giving him a personal motive to divert the discussion away from legal issues.

As if Cheney's credibility were not already thoroughly demolished, emerging stories suggest his office instructed interrogators to torture some subjects, not for national security reasons, but to elicit statements linking Iraq to Al-Qaeda--statements which would help justify the Iraq War. According to some of these reports (e.g., McClatchy, 4/21/09), the torture obtained false statements making the Iraq/Al-Qaeda link, just some of many false statements and leads gained through the abusive treatment.

If Cheney were not a hawkish former vice president, journalists would not think of quoting him without citing his poor credibility and personal motives, let alone fail to confront him with conflicting evidence. So it's past the time when questions should be directed to Cheney about pro-torture claims; it's time to ask journalists why they are providing such respectful venues to such an untrustworthy figure.


Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting is a nonpartisan media watchdog organization. Visit http://fair.org for more information, or share your opinion about this story by writing to fair@fair.org. Republished in the Chronicle with permission from F.A.I.R.


Copyright © 2008 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on May 30, 2009.

 

Public Service Ads: