The still-growing NPR "torture" controversy - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com
Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com has been on NPR's case for awhile now, after realizing that the nominally-liberal public broadcaster refuses to call what the Bush government did to detainees "torture." They won't do it. They use the slimy phrase "enhanced interrogation techniques," which everyone knows is just Rumsfeldian code for torture.
There are several noteworthy developments since I wrote on Tuesday about the refusal of NPR's Ombdusman, Alica Shepard, to be interviewed by me about NPR's ban on using the word "torture" to describe the Bush administration's interrogation tactics. Given the utter vapidity of her rationale ("there are two sides to the issue. And I'm not sure, why is it so important to call something torture?"), I was momentarily amazed to learn that she actually teaches "Media Ethics" to graduate students at Georgetown University (my amazement quickly dissipated once I recalled that this is the same institution that, until last year, paid Doug Feith -- Doug Feith -- to teach students "national security policy" and that Berkeley Law School has John Yoo "teaching law" to its students; next semester at Georgetown: Karl Rove teaches Civility in a Post-Partisan Age, Bill Kristol lectures on Accountability in Punditry, while David Gregory examines The Role of Intellect in Adversarial Questioning).
NPR's "torture" ban and its Ombudsman's incoherent defense of it has now turned into a significant controversy for NPR -- and rightfully so. Yesterday, The Huffington Post trumpeted the controversy in a prominent headline all day long, focusing on Shepard's refusal to be interviewed here. The media reporter Simon Owens wrote a long column on Shepard's refusal to discuss her rationale with me despite my having been a primary critic of NPR's policy (indeed, this controversy began several weeks ago when I noted the ample documentation from NPR Check of NPR's steadfast refusal to use the word "torture" and the embarrassing contortions it employs to accomplish that).