Monday, April 27, 2009

Fixing The Media Misinformation That Claimed that Waterboarding Worked

When will the rest of the establishment media follow the New York Time's lead by admitting that former CIA officer, John Kiriakou's statements about the effectiveness of waterboarding, that they reported, were false? Will the truth about this previous misinformation about waterboarding be reported  far and wide like the lies of Kiriakou were reported? Or will the media turn this misinformation into disinformation by deliberately failing to retract it? And can even this belated admission help put the "misinformation" toothpaste back in the tube? 

The ball is in your court now establishment media. Let's see what you do with it.

Brian Stelter, NYT
April 27, 2009

In late 2007, there was the first crack of daylight into the government’s use of waterboarding during interrogations of Al Qaeda detainees. On Dec. 10, John Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. officer who had participated in the capture of the suspected terrorist Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002, appeared on ABC News to say that while he considered waterboarding a form of torture, the technique worked and yielded results very quickly.


His claims — unverified at the time, but repeated by dozens of broadcasts, blogs  and newspapers — have been sharply contradicted by a newly declassified Justice Department memo that said waterboarding had been used on Mr. Zubaydah “at least 83 times.”

Some critics say that the now-discredited information shared by Mr. Kiriakou and other sources heightened the public perception of waterboarding as an effective interrogation technique. “I think it was sanitized by the way it was described” in press accounts, said John Sifton, a former lawyer for Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group.

Update: Glenn Greenwald has more information about the widespread media falsehoods about waterboarding and the role Brian Ross, whose original interview of Kiriakou got the misinformation started, has played in disseminating additional falsehoods about Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.

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  1. The only thing I saw yesterday that addressed the false information reported about waterboarding was on the Keith Olbermann show.



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