WaPo Whitewashes Torture, Bush and Self

Veteran media analyst Robert Parry takes apart (Consortium News, 1/10/09) “the Washington establishment–and its chief mouthpiece, the Washington Post“–for “trying to stymie any meaningful accountability for the outgoing administration and thus cover up for their own complicity in Bushâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s crimes and incompetence”:

The latest example is the Post‘s front-page article on January 10 which offers a one-sided defense of torture in the guise of discussing how President-elect Barack Obama is under pressure over his expressed goal of prohibiting abusive interrogation of detainees in the “war on terror.”

The Post article presents those interrogation policies as an undisputed success, even quoting Vice President Dick Cheney as something of an unbiased expert in declaring that the harsh tactics “have been absolutely essential to maintaining our capacity to interfere with and defeat all further attacks against the United States.”

Throughout the article, Obama’s opposition to torture is portrayed as simply campaign rhetoric meant to appease the left-wing Democratic base and some human rights activists. Meanwhile the pro-torture position is described as realistic, hard-headed and patriotic.

Even though the offending piece “appeared in the news columns–not in its reliably neoconservative editorial section“–to Parry “the article read more like a pro-torture opinion piece masquerading as news.” To this end, “the Post included no counter-arguments against the alleged value of waterboarding and other tactics which have been widely condemned around the world as torture.”

Read the FAIR magazine Extra!: “From Water Torture to ‘Waterboarding’: Media Rehabilitate Torture as Aquatic Sport” (5-6/08) by Isabel Macdonald