Sep
13
2012

The Case of the Disappearing NYT Piece

Mitt Romney

At Huffington Post (9/13/12), Ryan Grim and Michael Calderone are raising questions about the somewhat mysterious disappearance of a New York Times news article: On Wednesday, the New York Times published a provocative story bylined by David E. Sanger and Ashley Parker, leading with the news that Mitt Romney had personally approved the blistering Tuesday night statement on the attacks in Libya and Egypt that landed his campaign in trouble. But hours later, the newspaper wiped the story out and replaced it with a significantly rewritten piece bylined by Peter Baker and Ashley Parker…. The later version, which appeared on […]

Sep
06
2012

NYT Still Has a Torture Problem

What do you call it when prisoners are slammed into walls, forced to wear diapers, placed in stress positions and subjected to drowning? You call that torture–unless you're the New York Times, and the United States is accused of being the torturers. A new report from Human Rights Watch indicates the group has found another victim of CIA waterboarding. This is especially significant because the Agency has long claimed that they had only tortured three people this way. The Human Rights Watch investigation was reported in the New York Times (9/6/12) by Charlie Savage and Scott Shane. But their report […]

May
21
2012

Now They Tell Us: Iranian Diamonds, Megrahi Questions

Two things in the New York Times today that readers should have already known more about: –Reporter William Broad has an article (5/21/12) on the state of nuclear inspections in Iran, particularly the military facility at Parchin. Broad tells readers about the "proposed inspection of a building that the agency suspects Iran used in testing explosives that can trigger a nuclear blast." People following this story know that the facility in question is at the heart of the case against Iran. When the International Atomic Energy Agency released a report last November that finally detailed some of the allegations against […]

Apr
17
2012

NYT: Iranians and Their Lying Religion

There are different ways media talk about how you can't trust Iran. Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, for one, went straight for bigotry: "These Persians lie like a rug," he wrote in 2009. The New York Times took a slightly different route on Saturday (4/14/12) : Maybe Iran can't be trusted because their religion permits–or perhaps even encourages–duplicity. "Seeking Nuclear Insight in Fog of the Ayatollah's Utterances" was the headline over the piece by James Risen. It's hard to know what the fog might be; the Iranian leader who actually has control over the nuclear program–supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei–has […]

Feb
22
2012

James Traub Bids a Fond Farewell to an Era of Constant Warfare

James Traub seemed a little bummed in a Sunday New York Times op-ed ("The End of American Intervention?," 2/18/10), that military cuts and changing priorities will mean fewer humanitarian interventions in America's future. So we must accept, if uneasily, the future which now seems to lie before us: We will do less good in the world, but also less harm. A leading advocate of "humanitarian intervention," Traub doesn't waste many words on the "harm" produced the by two decades of them, but he seems pretty sure about the "good." For instance, he writes that the post-Cold War period "raised the […]

Dec
19
2011

Now It Can Be Told: Libyan Civilian Deaths

The Sunday New York Times (12/18/11) featured a powerful investigation of civilian casualties resulting from the NATO war in Libya–casualties that, to hear NATO officials tell it, maybe don't even exist. The Times' C.J. Chivers and Eric Schmitt report: But an on-the-ground examination by The New York Times of airstrike sites across Libya–including interviews with survivors, doctors and witnesses, and the collection of munitions remnants, medical reports, death certificates and photographs–found credible accounts of dozens of civilians killed by NATO in many distinct attacks. The victims, including at least 29 women or children, often had been asleep in homes when […]

Oct
21
2011

John McCain, Libya Expert

As one would expect, corporate media reacted to the developments in Libya by turning to one of their favorite sources: Republican Sen. John McCain. He was on CNN this morning (and last night as well), and odds are that he'll be on a Sunday show. McCain's line on Libya is that the White House should have waged a more aggressive war. If any of these outlets wanted to challenge him on his record on Libya, all they would need to do is talk about this ancient newspaper article from August 2009: Or perhaps this item from Politico, from way back […]

Sep
14
2011

Bill O'Reilly Polices the 9/11 Boundaries

Fox host Bill O'Reilly knows a thing or two about boundaries. As he told his TV audience Monday night, some "far-left" radicals crossed the line on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote a blog post about how some Republican politicians turned the attacks into a "wedge issue," and referred to George W. Bush and Rudolph Giuliani as "fake heroes." O'Reilly's reaction: Krugman is "insulting his country on the anniversary of 9/11. That is truly despicable." O'Reilly had a little left in tank, so he went after former Times reporter Chris Hedges for […]

Sep
06
2011

NYT's Misleading Rendition of the Reason for Rendition

Documents discovered in Libya suggest a close relationship between the Libyan government and the CIA. The New York Times described it this way on September 3: TRIPOLI, Libya — Documents found at the abandoned office of Libya's former spymaster appear to provide new details of the close relations the Central Intelligence Agency shared with the Libyan intelligence service — most notably suggesting that the Americans sent terrorism suspects at least eight times for questioning in Libya despite that country's reputation for torture. And then today (9/6/11) the Times put it this way: The cooperation appeared to be far greater with […]

Aug
31
2011

The Libya Rebels and Al-Qaeda, Anonymously

FAIR editor Jim Naureckas tweeted recently, "NATO's installation of an Al Qaeda-friendly government in Libya is one of 2011's most underreported stories." He's got a point. The Washington Post today published a pretty interesting look at how the Libyan government viewed the jihadist threat, thanks to some documents recovered in Tripoli: The documents were uncovered days after the regime fell to rebel fighters led in part by a self-proclaimed former Islamist, Abdelkarim Belhadj. He has declared himself the leader of the "Tripoli Brigade" that spearheaded the defeat of Gadhafi loyalists in the capital. Belhadj is the former commander of the […]

Aug
26
2011

Zakaria, Libya and Iraq: Don't Remember What I Wrote

Fareed Zakaria cheers the Libya War in Time magazine this week for not following the Iraq model: It has been prosecuted with the memory of the Iraq war firmly in mind. Only this time the approach has been to view the last war as a negative example. The international coalition–and even the Libyan opposition–is doing pretty much the opposite of what was done in Iraq. Zakaria explains that Obama "was clearly trying to avoid the mistakes of Iraq." Among the mistakes the Bush administration made: Had UN weapons inspectors been given more time in the spring of 2003, the UN […]

Aug
24
2011

NYT Points Out 'Racist Overtones' in Libyan Disinformation It Helped Spread

Today's New York Times has a story by David Kirkpatrick and Rod Nordland running down the exaggerations and misinformation that have been spread throughout the Libya War. There's been "spin from all sides," they report. Gadhafi's exaggerations are well-known, but this passage is rather striking: Still, the rebels have offered their own far-fetched claims, like mass rapes by loyalist troops issued tablets of Viagra. Although the rebels have not offered credible proof, that claim is nonetheless the basis of an investigation by the International Criminal Court. And there is the mantra, with racist overtones, that the Gadhafi government is using […]

Jul
13
2011

Rebel Atrocities 'Pale' Next to Gadhafi's Similar Atrocities

A New York Times piece by C.J. Chivers (7/13/11) presents a scary picture of Libyan rebel behavior: Rebels in the mountains in Libya's west have looted and damaged four towns seized since last month from the forces of Col. Muammar el-Gadhafi, part of a series of abuses and apparent reprisals against suspected loyalists that have chased residents of these towns away, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. The looting included many businesses and at least two medical centers that, like the towns, are now deserted and bare. Rebel fighters also beat people suspected of being loyalists and burned their homes, the […]