The Corner

Apologists For The New York Times

I’ve been receiving e-mails all day accusing me of being an “apologist for torture” because I pointed out earlier that today’s New York Times story on horrific instances of abuse in Afghanistan was clearly intended to buttress Newsweek’s retracted Koran desecration story — to make the point that Newsweek’s account was, in essence, fake but accurate. I guess if you believe in the slippery-slope argument — the idea, current in all the toniest armchair-critic circles, that if you allow tough detention tactics at prisons you will inevitably end up at torture — then you also believe that criticizing a story on an incident of prisoner abuse makes the critic a torture apologist. My major criticism of the New York Times story was that the cases it cited occurred two-and-a-half years ago and that every fact in the story was uncovered and reported on by the U.S. military itself in one of those acts of self-examination for which the U.S. military is never, ever, ever given the slightest credit.

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