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June 09, 2009

New NYT story controversy

The New York Times, whose reporting on detainee recidivism rates, merited an Editor's Note skinback (here's Planet Washington's summary) two weeks late, is once again being accused of carrying Bush administration water on detainee policy -- in a leaky bucket.

The latest offense, says Glenn Greenwald, writing at Salon, is the Times's assertion that, whatever the ongoing controversy, all the Justice Department lawyers agreed the harsh interrogation techniques were legal. Greenwald asserts that the Times again is guilty at least of sloppy reporting. He notes that if you read the e-mails on which the Times piece is built, it's clear that 1) not everyone agreed with the conclusions that were about to be set forth in one of the Stephen Bradbury memos approving of harsh interrogation and 2) that in any case, all the pressure to do so was coming from the White House.

I'll let you decide for yourself if you agree with Greenwald's conclusions. The debate, if nothing else, seems to provide one more reason for the Obama administration to get on board the calls in Congress for an independent investigation of what took place.

Meanwhile, Seton Hall has released a fairly thorough debunking of the detainee recidivism report that came out of the Pentagon and led to the Editor's Note above. You can read it here.

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