Thursday, December 20, 2007

The slow Malkinization of Sullivan

Oh, Dear Gentle Reader(s), what to do? What to do? I fear my dear Andrew Sullivan is slowly succumbing to the prevalent journalistic malaise of slipshod investigation.

Here's a quote from AP which Andy uses: "The destruction in late 2005 of the tapes, showing harsh interrogation treatment of two terrorism suspects, is being investigated by the Justice Department, the CIA itself and by several congressional panels."

Here's what he has to say about that quote, especially the phrase "harsh interrogation," "No serious source denies that these two individuals were - at the very least - waterboarded. " Sullivan writes that the AP is "shilling for the Bush administration" because it uses "harsh interrogation" instead of "waterboarding." He might be absolutely correct in his assertion, and he might be absolutely correct in that the destroyed tapes show waterboarding; but he is certainly on thin ice when he relies on serious source[s], or, later, "serious, reasonable student[s] of history, warfare or basic ethics" as a primary source.

Until copies of the tapes emerge, or someone who has seen the tapes or participated in the interrogation speaks on the record, the AP is within their rights and possibly their journalistic obligation to use harsh interrogation.

Don't lose sight of veracity, Andrew. You may have been ousted from the ranks of the RWN punditry, but surely it is only temporary. They'll forgive you any day now. How could they not, given your penchant for the near-hysterical, subjective attacks on Hillary. Don't take the easy way back in by being loose with facts.

Trust, but verify.

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