Dan Kennedy of Media Nation used The Guardian to attack The New York Times for its squeamishness about calling “enhanced interrogation” what it is—torture. The back and forth continues over whether techniques like waterboarding yielded intelligence that helped track down Osama bin Laden, but Kennedy took issue with the Times’ conservatism about Bush-era techniques. —KDG
The New York Times’s tortured relationship with the “T” word takes an interesting turn Wednesday. The paper’s print and online editions diverge, and the Times manages to report on a debate over torture without quite acknowledging that the Bush administration, uh, tortured terrorism suspects.
First, the headline. On the front page of the print edition, you’ll find this: “Harsh Methods of Questioning Debated Again.” Online, though, is the considerably more frank “Bin Laden Raid Revives Debate on Value of Torture.” Below the headline is a story summary that says, “The raid that led to bin Laden’s death has raised anew the issue of using torture to gain intelligence.”
On the face of it, that seems like a straightforward acknowledgment that some suspects were tortured, which would be something of a landmark for the Times. Two years ago, then public editor Clark Hoyt wrote that Times editors had decided not to describe waterboarding and other brutal interrogation tactics as “torture”, although it would quote critics as saying so. Indeed, Hoyt added, the Times had come under some criticism even for adopting the word “brutal” to describe those methods.