Mar
01
2007

Back to the Future in Nicaragua

Can U.S. media forgive Ortega for Washington’s attacks on him?

Imagine that the United States government was under attack from a foreign power that organized a guerrilla army to attack ordinary civilians, killing tens of thousands. And suppose that opposition politicians and media outlets in the U.S. were obviously and in some cases openly receiving support from that same foreign power. Now imagine, difficult as it may be, that during the attacks the U.S. government allowed those media outlets to remain open. And the politicians who were cooperating with the foreign enemy weren’t jailed—instead, the administration allowed them to continue to run for office and serve as opposition legislators. The […]

Feb
23
2007

Alfred McCoy on Torture, Ali Abunimah on Rice's Mideast Trip

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The depiction of torture on primetime TV has reportedly increased since 2001; this is particularly so in scenes where supposed "good guys" are the torturers. But as TV dramas and policy discussions portraying torture in a positive light are on the rise, so too are myths about torture's effectiveness and regrettable necessity. We'll talk to University of Wisconsin history Professor Alfred McCoy, the author of A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror. Also on the show: Was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s recent trip to the […]

Sep
15
2006

Robert Parry on Armitage/Plame, John Stauber on 'The Best War Ever'

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Do those who called the outing of covert CIA official Valerie Plame Wilson a scandal owe the White House an apology for suggesting it outed her as revenge against her husband Joe Wilson? In light of recent revelations about former State Department official Richard Armitage, some commentators seem to think so. We'll be joined by journalist Robert Parry for the latest on the coverage of the Plame Wilson affair. Also on the show: The Washington Post has decided to hire a professional spinmeister from the Bush White House to be the new voice on […]

Sep
01
2006

The Party Line on Plame Wilson

The naming of Richard Armitage as the first Bush administration official to out covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson was treated by the Washington Post editorial page (9/1/06) as proof that there was nothing to the controversy after all. Armitage, according to the Post, only "reluctantly" supported the invasion of Iraq and was "a political rival" of the officials accused by Plame Wilson's wife, Joseph Wilson, of twisting intelligence about Iraq. Citing a Post news story (8/29/06), the editorial claimed that Armitage told columnist Robert Novak about the leak "in an offhand manner, virtually as gossip." Therefore, the Post concluded, […]

Dec
01
2005

The Consequences of Covering Up

Washington Post withholds info on CIA prisons at government request

On November 2, the Washington Post carried an explosive front-page story about secret overseas prisons set up by the CIA for the interrogation of terrorism suspects. While the Post article, by reporter Dana Priest, gave readers plenty of details, it also withheld the most crucial information—the location of these secret prisons—at the request of government officials. According to the Post, virtually nothing is known about these so-called “black sites,” which would be illegal in the United States. Given the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay, news that the U.S. government maintains a secret network of interrogation and detention sites […]

Nov
04
2005

The Consequences of Covering Up

Washington Post withholds info on secret prisons at government request

On November 2, the Washington Post carried an explosive front-page story about secret Eastern European prisons set up by the CIA for the interrogation of terrorism suspects. While the Post article, by reporter Dana Priest, gave readers plenty of details, it also withheld the most crucial information--the location of these secret prisons--at the request of government officials. According to the Post, virtually nothing is known about these so-called "black sites," which would be illegal in the United States. Given the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay, news that the U.S. government maintains a secret network of interrogation and detention […]

Nov
01
2005

Spinning the Libby Indictment

Pundits attack Wilson, downplay perjury

The indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby in the CIA leak investigation was major news. Libby--who promptly resigned from his position as Dick Cheney's chief of staff--is portrayed in the indictment as repeatedly, and deceptively, claiming he learned about Valerie Plame Wilson's classified status at the CIA from reporters. This explains why special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was so adamant about getting reporters to testify. After Friday's announcement of the indictments (10/28/05), however, some journalists seemed to think that the story was not so newsworthy. On ABC's Nightline, Ted Koppel devoted only a few minutes to the indictment before beginning a […]

Oct
28
2005

Laura Rozen on Niger-Uranium, Jeff Chang on Village Voice-New Times merger

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: While the CIA leak investigation has the Beltway establishment on edge, a parallel scandal of sorts is playing out in the Italian media. The story gets to the heart of the Bush administration's case for the Iraq war. So why aren't we hearing more about it? We'll talk to journalist Laura Rozen about the scandal unfolding in Italy, and what it could mean for the White House. Also on the show: "Village Voice turns 50, merges with chain" --that dry wire service headline unfortunately does tell the story. The owners of New York's and […]