Accuracy in Media

A story in Thursday’s Washington Post about establishing Obama’s “foreign policy legacy” goes a long way toward explaining why the Senate Democrats and the media have been trashing the Bush administration’s very productive enhanced interrogation program as “torture.”

Titled “Obama’s foreign policy plans collide with wars abroad and politics at home,” the story by Greg Jaffe and Juliet Eilperin made it clear that CIA director John Brennan’s defense of the agency had thwarted Obama’s plan “to move the country beyond what he [Obama] has described as the fearful excesses of the post-9/11 era.” While Obama has banned what he calls “torture,” he has failed to close the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base (Gitmo), established by the Bush administration to house terrorist suspects. Other problems outlined in the Post article include the continuing war in Afghanistan and a new war in Iraq and Syria against ISIS.

What Obama calls “torture” is what the media call “torture.” If you needed any more proof of a pro-Obama media bias, just look at how regularly the personalities on CNN, supposedly more moderate than MSNBC, have adopted his terms of the debate. This is the media’s way of saying that Obama was right and that it’s good he has banned this way of getting information from terrorists. Never mind that Obama’s way of murder through drone strikes is decidedly more “harsh.” Bush grilled them, Obama kills them.

Without a foreign policy “legacy” of some kind, Obama’s two terms will look like a failure and the Democrats will be doomed in 2016.

Domestically, his only real “accomplishment” at this point looks like the Eric Holder policy of suspending enforcement of federal marijuana laws. This will be a “legacy” of interest to fellow pothead members of Obama’s “Choom Gang” in Hawaii, and the emerging cannabis industry.  But it’s doubtful most people will appreciate this historic development.

Obama’s signature “accomplishment” in domestic affairs, Obamacare, has been exposed as a massive fraud and deception. According to a new CBS News poll, race relations have dramatically deteriorated under the first black president. It’s true he is moving forward unconstitutionally with amnesty for illegal aliens. But House Republicans are promising to do something about that next year. The economy is still lackluster. So foreign policy is really his only hope of doing anything positive, and he’s running into the facts of life there, too. The terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans is only one part of his legacy. The legacy of that attack hurts both Obama and Hillary Clinton, his former Secretary of State and likely 2016 Democratic candidate. And it’s doubtful that an Iran with nuclear weapons would qualify as a positive foreign policy legacy for Obama, either.

One can suppose that Obama will try to claim he was the one who got Osama bin Laden. But Brennan made it clear on Thursday that the enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) from the Bush-era played a role in killing the terrorist kingpin. Brennan said, “It is our considered view that the detainees who were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques provided information that was useful and was used in the ultimate operation to go against bin Laden. Again, intelligence information from the individuals who were subjected to EITs provided information that was used in that. Again, I am not going to attribute that to the use of the EITs; just going to state as a matter of fact, the information that they provided was used.”

What Brennan is saying is that he cannot pinpoint with any degree of accuracy that a particular form of interrogation led to the terrorists divulging certain information. That’s because nobody was taking precise notes on when terrorist X or Y said one thing or another at any particular time in the interrogation process. But the record is clear that the EITs contributed to the terrorists getting to the point where they decided to spill their guts.

CNN, which is increasingly trying to sound like MSNBC, headlined the Brennan news conference as “Brennan: No Proof Harsh Tactics Led to Useful Info.” How can his phrase that “intelligence information from the individuals who were subjected to EITs provided information that was used” to get bin Laden be interpreted as “proof” that it wasn’t useful? CNN was lying. CNN gave the opposite impression of what he actually said.

Before he held his news conference, Brennan met with Obama and was probably instructed to finesse his language somewhat so that a certain amount of ambiguity could be left in some minds. CNN and other media tried to take advantage of that for Obama’s sake. Still, Brennan’s statement was a vindication of the Bush policy. That means that any attempt by Obama to claim credit for the death of bin Laden will ring hollow. There goes his foreign policy legacy.

These facts help explain the desperation of the media and why they have adopted Obama’s rhetoric on “torture.” They must figure that if they use the term often enough, many people will assume that the techniques were, in fact, torture. In order to drive that point home, Andrea Mitchell of NBC News used the Brennan news conference to mention some of the techniques. She referred to “waterboarding, near drowning, slamming people against the wall, hanging them in stress positions, confining them in small boxes or coffins, threatening them with drills, waving guns around their head as they are blindfolded…”

She could have mentioned the horrible deaths suffered by those in the World Trade Center or the Pentagon or Flight 93 on 9/11. She could have mentioned the 9/11 jumpers—the people who jumped from the towers rather than be burned to death.

But Mitchell didn’t think it was worth mentioning any of that.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper have been fixated by a phrase in the Senate Democratic report on “rectal rehydration.” Tapper called it a form of torture. In fact, it’s a medical procedure to keep the terrorists alive when they resist sustenance. Would Tapper have preferred that the terrorists be allowed to die? Then the program would have come in for even stronger criticism. This goes to show that all of this discussion is just another attempt to tarnish the Bush presidency and make Obama look good by comparison. Tapper said he was dumbfounded by the talk of “rectal rehydration.”

No, he was just dumb.

Obama, the Senate Democrats and the media look foolish and unpatriotic. It looks like they are deliberately playing into the hands of America’s enemies in order to score partisan political points. Obama has abandoned proven techniques to get information from, and about, terrorists and has adopted in their place a policy of killing the terrorists and their families through drone strikes that don’t yield any intelligence data at all. How on earth does this make any sense?

From an objective point of view, does a Hellfire missile hitting a human being look more or less “harsh” than waving a gun over someone’s head, turning on a drill, or pouring water on a terrorist?

The answer should be obvious to anyone with half a brain. But most of our media are so determined to save Obama’s presidency that they can’t think clearly.

The Post and other media are desperate to construct a “legacy” for America’s first black president. The real concern should be saving the country, not Obama’s presidency.

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  • oregon_man

    If you really want “accuracy in media” you should check out Media Matters. This is another Right Wing Media Complex blog that is full of inaccuracies, just like Fox News and its absurd claim of “fair and balanced”. You’re both a pack of liars and deceivers. Fortunately for you that you cater to uneducated, ignorant, right wingers who are only after the confirmation bias you provide. Do you ever feel any shame for this ridiculous crap? Obviously you have no problem deceiving your fans. Why don’t you volunteer for a water-boarding session and we’ll all love to hear what you want to call it then. Shame on all of you!

  • Dave

    You may be right, but could you show specifically where in this specific article the inaccuracies lie, citing sources for your factual claims? Otherwise you aren’t showing that you are educated or lack ignorance. Also, the mere usage of the words “right wingers” as a term of abuse is meaningless, except for its populist appeal as a pejorative – what specifically do you mean by ‘right wing’, and what specifically makes this article fall under your definition of ‘right wing’? It cannot simply be that they are criticising Obama or the Democrats, because that would mean no left winger could criticise anything about them without automatically becoming right wing – and this would make left wing politics no more than a prescribed ‘party line’ like in Soviet Russia, the breaking from which makes you the ‘Other’. Answering the above questions will help bring you back up to the professional standard expected in genuine debate.

  • disqus_smWiOrvPtd

    The left is based on Karl Marx and marxist dialectic. As stated by Marx himself, the left does not believe in absolute truths. The left firmly believes that the ends justifies the means. There is no debate on that. Your very thesis, that the left is somehow based on truth is rooted in hypocrisy.

  • John Cunningham

    Barack Obama’s legacy is already set. he is the worst president in American History. Why he will end up their with Hitler and Stalin. The only difference in the three is opportunity.

    Barack Obama’s opportunity was a perfect storm of Hillary Clinton or a young charismatic black charmer. Hillary Clinton was a very polarizing person and could possibly loose. So, the far left backed Obama and the rest is History.

    It ain’t over yet. We still have him and protesters in New York City were chanting kill Cops. Iran will have a Nuclear weapon and, soon. Putin is going to continue his invasion of former Eastern Block Countries knowing full well he must do this before America recovers it;s senses.

    China will move into the Pacific very similar to what japan did last Century and we all know Terrorism has never been stronger. Whom ever takes over as president in 2017 will be forced into the second reconstruction period in the Country.

    Of course, that is, if the Civil War is over or hasn’t even started yet. All this is on Barack Obama and, In my mind this was all by design. This crap that has been going on is right out of “Rules For Radicals or the American Communist Party Manifesto.

    One thing George Bush will be famous for and that will be the ushering in one of the worst periods in American History. Since this story isn’t over yet, it could get a lot worse before it gets better.

  • meg

    So this is a right wing media complex partisan blog. And you say check out media matters?? Because they are so objective? Think of all the times in media that any article negative to democrats always makes darn sure you know that the accusations are coming from the right wing lawmakers. The Senate torture report was presented by a senate committee of all democrats. Go back and archive all the recent online pieces and tell me how many of these articles mention that fact. Almost none do. So this moral high ground they are pretending to take is all about making republicans look bad and the fact they leave out that this report is one sided proves it.

  • If you don’t have the truth on your side, give it a lot of hate, just like “Oregon man”. This dung ball is so brainwashed by the left that he doesn’t have any brains left, and facts revealed by AIM or Fox drive him into a frenzy.

    If you really want to see ignorant, uneducated people, do a man-on-the-street interview on any Ivy League campus.

  • Ted

    A really high-brow, educated-sounding, classy post!

    (You nincompoop rightwingnuts are worth a bigger laugh than most stand-up comedians these days!)

  • Ted

    No U.S. president will EVER be classified as “worse” than George W. Bush.

  • Ted

    Nuts to you.

    There was a liberal “left” in American politics well before Karl Marx was even born! Today, the “left” has no more meaning than that it’s a political perspective that’s more-or-less the opposite of the “right”. Your comment is just bu**sh**!

  • Might as well talk to a fire hydrant as to a committed left-wing loony. Anybody who spends the country into 18 TRILLION dollars of debt and still thinks they’re so superior should be committed.

  • John Cunningham

    You and the ones like you are why this article was written.

  • Jake Brennan

    Oregone_man jus might like to do a Survey of all the Wives,Fathers and Mothers,and Orphaned Children who lost loved ones when TERRORISTS crashed that Plane into the World Trade Center. My guess is that they,all good citizens, would be for aany kind of TORTURE of Terrorists! Terrorists have less Rights, PERIOD!!!!!

  • wyatt81

    The left are committed to the worst President ever, no matter what. A matter of pride and ego to them now. They have invested everything in this disaster. They also agree with him so trashing him is trashing themselves. He represents them very well.

  • disqus_smWiOrvPtd

    Modern day liberalism is ALL based on Marx, and the merger of Marx and Freud to annihilate the family father’s voice that rebukes and chastens. That’s what modern liberalism is, liberation from the father’s voice of restraint. Silence the father’s voice and you can silence God, or so they theorize. So, ultimately, it is the liberation of sin from cultural restraint. The french revolution was an exercise in it, but Marx cemented it. Marx said, “Once the earthly family is discovered to be the secret of the holy family, the former must be annihilated throught theory and praxis.” -Feuerbach Thesis #4. Translation: Once the traditional family that rebukes and chastens their children is discovered to be working out God’s system of righteousness, in other words, God’s secret, the family must be annihilated! Have you seen a breakdown in the family in the last 40- 50 years? Have you noticed the party that supports the breakdown of the family? It’s not classical liberalism, because the founder’s held an obedience to and reverence for higher authority. Look at the letters written to Washington, by Jefferson, Madison, etc. The letters are signed “Your humble and obedient servant.” Obedience to higher authority. No, this is not the founder’s liberalism, nor has it been for decades.

  • I attempted (without success) to post the following on the webpage for “The Nation”

    In response to

    Darthchris67 wrote:

    “I am never surprised at the lack of comments on threads like this by all those right-wing boot lickers and supposed libertarians. Now that there so few articles that allow for commenting, it will be interesting to see if any of those people make an appearance here.

    If you believe that an 18 year old is a “thug” for stealing a few cigarillos, then what kind of monsters do you think those that ordered forced rectal hydration?

    If being forced to buy health insurance is government dictatorship, what is ordering the secretary of defense to be lied to?”
    Your local “right-wing boot licker” (c’est moi) is happy to oblige with a brief appearance — with something to offend most everyone:

    One of the torture techniques ascribed to the CIA is euphemistically known as “anal insertion”.

    “Anal insertion” is considered torture by the Muslim Brotherhood and other friends of Islamic terrorism. On the other hand it is considered to be nigh unto a sacrament by the homosexual community. Ergo, if only the terrorists would confine themselves to recruiting homosexuals, perhaps America would not be accused of torture, but rather helping to promote the gay agenda in the umma…

    (For those of you who don’t know rudimentary Arabic, “umma” refers to the Islamic world, as opposed to the pejorative “kafir” which is in reference to the infidels. For those of you who don’t know rudimentary English, “infidel” means you and me…)

    My perspective with regard to the standard liberal riposte: “We should not lower ourselves to the level of our adversaries.”:

    I shall always remember a scene from George Pal’s 1953 movie, “The War of the Worlds”: With great alacrity a preacher approaches the Martian cylinder, reading from scripture, and making exhortative welcoming gestures to the invaders. He is promptly incinerated by the Martian ray weaponry. This is one of my favorite Neville Chamberlain moments.

    During the Soviet incursion into Afghanistan, one Islamic stronghold was the source of particularly severe terrorist reprisals upon Russian troops. Having an extensive knowledge of Islamic mores, the Russians knew that Muslims welcomed death, but feared loss of the sensual pleasures of jannah (heaven) which awaited the shaheed (martyr). Ever innovative, the Soviets captured the terrorist leader, castrated him, stuffed his scrotum in his mouth, and returned him, alive, to his home. The Russians were never again bothered by that terrorist cell.

    (When I was a child, I was cautioned by my uncle: Never try to seek friendship by petting a rabid dog.)

    The Islamic holy books, the Quaran, hadith, et. al. mandate world submission on the part of the kafir (the non-Islamic world) to the umma (the Islamic world), under penalty of extinction.

    Of what value is upholding Western societal values if there is no Western society left to uphold them?
    (Dr.) Sandy Kramer

  • Not all Ivy League alumni are ignorant and/or uneducated… (Insert happy face emoticon here)

  • Ted,
    I hope I’ve supplied you with your quota for laughs…

  • Before I say farewell, may I remind everyone that bias, like sin, is universal. We’re all guilty of it.
    Also, to paraphrase Samuel Johnson:
    “Ad hominem attacks are the first refuge of a dullard.”
    Goodnight. God bless. And Merry Christmas.

  • jerseydevil

    Are you a “lone voice” at Princeton? WOW…maybe some of my NJ tax money is being well spent?

  • Hey, candy-mouth! It’s just one of the less pleasant traits of human nature that there will always be petulant, sniveling snots taking potshots at the people who work instead of whine.

    They call ’em liberals – like you!

  • disqus_XK9gIx2U7h

    @dr.Sandy Kramer ! an excellent post.

  • disqus_XK9gIx2U7h

    It is no different with “The tea party”.They are not a party in the traditional sense as the media would have you believe;but only real people with a particular point of view. one that supports the real “law of the land” the U.S Constitution.

  • Formally_Worried_Independent

    History will exonerate Bush and if written with any honesty crucify obama.

  • Formally_Worried_Independent

    Finally somebody got it right.