Accuracy in Media

We have talked about it before many times, and we have to talk about it again. President Bush never confirmed the existence of any so-called CIA “secret prisons.” Yet, not only does our media repeatedly make the claim that the “secret prisons” existed, they insist that Bush confirmed their existence. Fortunately, the President now has a White House press secretary, Tony Snow, who is willing to set the record straight. He did so during an October 17 briefing.

Here’s part of the exchange with reporters:

Q: Tony, when the high-profile prisoners were transferred to Guantanamo, we were told that the CIA prisons were empty.

Snow: Yes.

Q: Are they still empty?

Snow: That I will not answer.

Q: We were told that they were empty. So you’re?

Snow: They were empty. Well, that’s what?

Q: You told us something about them, so they weren’t entirely secret.

Snow: That is correct, but I’m not at liberty to make any further announcements about?

Q: Initially, you told us that they didn’t exist, and then the President told us all about them.

Snow: No, what the President said is that there were-these were people who were detained. I don’t believe anybody has ever talked about secret prisons. That is a-they’ve talked about detention facilities. Whether they qualify as secret prisons, or not, I don’t know. (emphasis added).

Q: So then it’s just language?

Snow: No, no, it’s not just language. Well, in any event, I’m not at liberty to go any further into what may or may not be happening, and I will leave that to the CIA Director.

Notice how the reporter accused the Bush Administration of lying by saying that “they”-the alleged secret prisons-were said not to exist, “and then the President told us all about them.” This statement is itself a lie because Bush never acknowledged or admitted the existence of any secret prisons.

That’s why Snow responded that what the President actually said is that these were people who were detained. Snow was right. The media were wrong.

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