NPR: CIA Says Sites That Never Existed Now Closed

Catching Morning Edition correspondent Tom Gjelten asserting that Barack Obama’s prohibition of “the CIA from holding any detainees in secret prisons” is “not a big change” since “those prisons are all closed anyway, according to U.S. officials,” blogger mytwords (NPR Check, 1/23/09) is amazed by the “brilliant reasoning”: “All the CIA secret prisons are closed because U.S. officials–who ran these covert, CIA criminal black sites for years and years–say they’re shut down.” But NPR‘s lack of skepticism fails to surprise the long-time public radio critic:

Yes, NPR is really out in front on this one. The CIA torture sites were making news way back in 2004 as this report from Human Rights Watch and this one from the Guardian indicate, but NPR didn’t get around to the story until November of 2005, when it was safely out in the open in the Washington Post.

And as others have noted, there is no sense of moral/legal revulsion at the practice–only relentless suggestions that the practices have helped keep us secure or saved lives.

Read the FAIR magazine Extra! Update: “The Consequences of Covering Up: Washington Post Withholds Info on CIA Prisons at Government Request” (12/05) by Peter Hart & Jim Naureckas