Extra! Update June 2004

    The Times' Tortured Terminology

    The New York Times, revealing the interrogation techniques the CIA is using against Al-Qaeda suspects, seemed unable to find a source who would call torture by its proper name. The May 13 article, headlined "Harsh CIA Methods Cited in Top Qaeda Interrogation," described "coercive interrogation methods" endorsed by the CIA and the Justice Department, including hooding, sensory deprivation, withholding of food and medicine, and "a technique known as 'water-boarding,' in which a prisoner is strapped down, forcibly pushed under water and made to believe he might drown." The Times piece took pains to explain that, according to U.S. officials, such ...


    Move to the Right!

    With John Kerry having emerged as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, prominent TV and print pundits are peddling the same campaign advice they give Democratic candidates every four years: Move to the right, abandon progressive stances and occupy the political center. At Newsweek, political reporter Howard Fineman (4/12/04) counseled Kerry to craft "a coherent, centrist vision." Citing anonymous "wise guys," Fineman declared, "There's room in the middle." To Fineman and his unnamed experts, "Kerry can't occupy the center if he's defined as a mere liberal. He has the most liberal voting record in the Senate. What to do?" This claim ...