The Washington Post story, titled “Detainee’s Harsh Treatment Foiled No Plots,” about how the interrogation of Abu Zubaida did not prevent a single terrorist attack, is old news. The story ran this morning, which is like so last century in the blogosphere. But the Post story still bears mention because the story highlights how the mainstream media still is hoping for defeat in the war against terror (I’ll still use the phrase, even if it is forbotten by Obama).
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.”
The Post made a choice as to how to balance the conflicting sources and frame the article, and that choice reveals that the mainstream media still wants us to lose the war on terror (there, I said it again).
By lose, I don’t mean that the Post wants another 9/11 style attack. The Post, and those on the American Left who have been shopping for European judges to go after Bush administration officials, are so obsessed with denying the Bush administration any semblance of success that they are willing to damage our future anti-terrorist operations for political gain.
Marc Thiessen makes this point at the National Review. After recounting specific important intelligence information revealed by Zubaida which the Post deliberately ignores, Thiessen notes the lasting damage of attacks such as those in the Post:
The Left is desperate to discredit the efficacy of this program, and they have launched a desperate campaign to destroy it. Last week it was the leak of an ICRC document describing some of the techiques allegedly used in the program – one of the most damaging leaks of classified information since the war on terror began because it allows al Qaeda to train against the techniques. And now we have this highly uninformed front-page story in the Washington Post. All of this is incredibly damaging to the security of the United States. And if America is attacked again, those responsible for the disclosure of this information will bear much of the blame.
Well said. When the next attack comes, and everyone asks how this could have happened, you have your answer.
UPDATE: Powerline has a good post pointing out that the failure of other mainstream media to pick up the Washington Post story and run with it, as normally happens with Bush-bashing articles, is a reflection of the factual weakness of the story.