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Hypocritical New York Times Ignores Obama Continuing Bush’s War Policies

Posted on May 5 2011 2:20 pm
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The New York Times’ vendetta against the Bush administration, and its willingness to serve as apologists-in-chief for the Obama administration, are boundless. The latest example of the Times’ hypocrisy is its lead editorial today entitled “The Torture Apologists: Efforts to justify torture after the Bin Laden killing are cynical and destructive.”

Contrary to the informed opinion of current and former intelligence officers and CIA Director Leon Panetta himself, the Times argues that enhanced interrogation techniques do not work and were largely irrelevant in helping to locate Bin Laden. The Times also writes as if the Obama administration – as opposed to candidate Obama – had turned a completely new page in our war against global terrorism, rather than continuing many of the national security policies that the Times had so harshly criticized when used during the Bush administration.

Here is what the Times editors had written about Guantanamo, indefinite detentions and secret detention camps during the Bush administration:

Now that the Bush administration has made clear how offended it is at Amnesty International’s word choice in characterizing the Guantánamo Bay detention camp ‘the gulag of our times,’ we hope it will soon get around to dealing with the substantive problems that the Amnesty report is only the latest to identify. What Guantánamo exemplifies – harsh, indefinite detention without formal charges or legal recourse – may or may not bring to mind the Soviet Union’s sprawling network of Stalinist penal colonies. It certainly has nothing in common with any American notions of justice or the rule of law… What makes Amnesty’s gulag metaphor apt is that Guantánamo is merely one of a chain of shadowy detention camps that also includes Abu Ghraib in Iraq, the military prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and other, secret locations run by the intelligence agencies.

Guess what? Guantanamo is still open. Renditions and indefinite detentions of high risk suspects without trial have continued during the Obama administration. So have suspension of habeas corpus and allegations of torture for detainees being held at least one legal “black hole” that we know of – Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

The Obama administration has even asserted the power to kill an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, currently said to be residing outside the theater of war in Yemen, without any judicial warrant or due process of law. To be sure, al-Awlaki deserves to be targeted. He is reportedly responsible for not only encouraging attacks on the United States, but also directly aiding them. As an operative of al Qaeda, hiding in a country where al Qaeda forces had attacked the U.S.S. Cole and from which plots to attack the homeland are being hatched, al-Awlaki should be fair game. But given the numerous strident denunciations of the Bush administration’s enhanced interrogation techniques used to elicit potentially life-saving intelligence from the self-confessed mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and his cohorts, as well as the denunciations of the warrantless NSA program, shouldn’t the targeting for execution without prior judicial authorization or trial of an American citizen, who has no reported direct connections to planning the 9/11 attack, merit at least the same degree of critical scrutiny? Apparently not.

For that matter, does the Times have any concerns that Osama Bin Laden was apparently shot in the head while unarmed? I think most Americans would agree that Bin Laden deserved his fate, sparing us the cost of detaining him and putting him on trial for crimes against humanity that he had boasted about. But how does the shooting of an unarmed man – no matter how vile –  fall under the Times‘ notion of holding

credible trials for very bad men

The New York Times once again has demonstrated its hypocrisy in its quest to ensure Barack Obama’s re-election.

Joseph Klein is the author of a recent book entitled Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations and Radical Islam

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