William Jacobson takes the Washington Post to task today for a nasty article which takes the position that treating detainees harshly is not only really, really bad but also never accomplishes anything useful.
If all the Post has done was stick an op-ed masquerading as a real news article on the front page, it would be just another instance of garden-variety media bias. But the Post’s article has more serious problems.
The story itself is self-contradictory. On the one hand, the story claims that not a single attack was stopped, but the story also relates how the capture of Jose Padilla, the determined dirty bomber, was in fact prevented. The story, which is based entirely on unnamed sources, also quotes equally unnamed sources saying that the interrogation was a success and did result in critical information.
When weighing unnamed sources with contradictory accounts, the Post chose to focus the article by crediting the critics. The story equally could have been titled “Detainee’s Harsh Treatment Foiled Plots,” and the unnamed critics of the interrogation could have been presented as the contrary viewpoint. Or how about this title, “We Are Unsure If Detainee’s Harsh Treatment Foiled Plots.” Or how about, “We Don’t Have A Clue, But We Still Hate Bush.”
He quotes someone who not only knows a few things about what our treatment of terrorists has gained us but also has the guts to do it publicly, using his real name. Would that the gutless wonders who populated the Post article had the courage to do the same.
UPDATE: Instalanche! Thank you and welcome to any new readers this morning. Be sure to click through to William’s piece as well.
Also, while you’re here, you can check out the blog post you’ll be thinking about all week, my praise for Dan Hannan, my shock (shock, I say!) that the President stocked his online/offline Town Hall meeting with ringer questioners, and my slight wonder why Harry Reid still walks about unmolested.