Gitmo torture rumor

Supposedly – this is thinly sourced – a story is to break Monday that three detainee deaths in 2006 were torture-murders, with the torture and the cover-up of the cause of death ordered “from the top.”

I picked this up as a rumor, from someone who wouldn’t deliberately b.s. me but reported only that he’d heard it from a secondary source. So I pass it along for what it may be worth.

According to the story:

1. Three of the deaths at Guantanamo in 2006 were torture-homicides: the victims died in the process of “enhanced interrogation.”

2. The deaths were covered up.

3. Both the orders to torture and the orders to cover up “came from the top.”

4. There is now eyewitness (participant?) testimony.

5. The story is set to break Monday.

If the story actually breaks as reported, it will be interesting to watch how the Right divides into those who express disgust, those who refuse to believe it, and those who justify it.

Update Confirmed, except for “came from the top.” And the new Administration seems to have been uninterested in breaking the cover-up.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

51 thoughts on “Gitmo torture rumor”

  1. Since we already know that the Right will divide into those who express disgust, a larger group who don't believe it, and an even larger group who justify it – and they will, all of them, be united in the conviction that this is old news and we must move on – I don't agree that it will be interesting.

    It will be interesting to watch the Democrats and the Administration split between those who want to do something (you know, the "Rule of Law" and all that) and those who don't, i.e. the "realists" and "pragmatists" and "healers." And I'm not holding my breath.

    Torture is now an entrenched and increasingly accepted part of our political culture.

  2. Dr. Kleiman, how can somebody like yourself with such brilliant common-sense ideas for reforming the criminal justice system be so radical and conspiratorial in his politics? After reading WBFF, I was so disappointed to come to this blog site and learn about your "blame Bush" politics. If Gitmo is so bad, why hasn't Barack Obama ("the Messiah") cleared it out yet as he promised to do on the campaign trail?

  3. I don't know about you, Mark, but when I see someone call Obama "the Messiah", I hit my ignore key. (It's a simple upgrade from the delete key for those with a steady hand and skill at small lettering.)

  4. Bux might take note that people on his side of the political fence (including some Dems) are making it as hard as possible for Obama to shut Gitmo down.

    Back to the topic – I've thought the reason that torture sessions were videotaped was to protect interrogators in case anyone died, by showing the interrogators followed approved procedures. If the rumor is true, I guess they decided to go reverse full Monty on the problem (cover up everything). Also makes one wonder whether procedure was followed.

    All extremely speculative though – let's see what happens tomorrow.

  5. These must be the three who were reported to have hanged themselves on June 10, 2006 (after which some on the right accused them of having done so to make the U.S. look bad), about whom evidence released recently shows that they were likely murdered.

  6. Every now and then I am tempted to think that wingnuts might possibly be people of good faith, however mistaken and misled. It's good there are wingnuts like Bellmore to bring me back to reality.

  7. Unfortunately, there seems to be a large sector of the right that simply and actually does not care whether people were killed in this way, and they don't care even if the victims were innocent. They seem to be in love with the idea of "doing what has to be done" to protect the country…even if it doesn't, y'know, actually *have* to be done. They seem downright eager to torture. It reminds me of the right's support of tyrants back in the Cold War. What they *said* was "Sometimes we have to do such things, no matter how distasteful they might be, in order to protect the country." But in actual fact, they seemed downright eager to partner up with people like Pinochet and Saddam. They seemed almost to like it. Similarly with torture…

  8. That's my point: Like the left doesn't react the same way, just on different occasions. You can burn women and children alive, and the left will defend it, if it's the right people being rendered crispy, in the right cause.

    Both sides are way too comfortable with atrocities on their own side.

  9. While Klieman professes to know the difference between right and wrong, this latest item suggests either he doesn't, or if he does, there is no guarantee he will make the ethical choice.

    This blog is for the "reality based community" and is supposed to about "facts" and opinions about "facts." Assuming Kleiman is truthful about actually having been told the story, the story-telling itself is the only factual element of the above blog and Kleiman should not have repeated the story as if the substance of the story were fact. Telling us at the outset that he is reporting rumor does not justify the repetition of the story.

    The banner of this blog proclaims that “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” “Everyone” but Kleiman, who, apparently reserves the right to report and comment upon rumors. To those who join with with Klieman in discussing rumor, I ask you why Kleiman is “above the facts” and why would anyone comment on rumor as if it were fact?

  10. Joel:

    Mark reported, factually, that he heard a rumor. He also gives it some reasonable-but-not-certain chance of being correct – people here rumors all the time, and I don't see many of these types of posts at Same Facts.

    In short, you've misunderstood the same facts concept that Same Facts applies here.

  11. Brian:

    "Facts" are events that have occurred in the objective world. Since most of the facts which are discussed have not been observed by the blogger, the blogger refers to a news article from a hopefully reputable source to comment upon. Reporting upon a story reported in the New York Times is markedly different than reporting on a "rumor." While Kleiman states that story-teller is reliable, he also states that story-teller heard it from a second source. Kleiman apparantly has no knowledge regarding the second source, otherwise he would have told us more about him or her. Passing a story on "for what it may be worth" is not a ringing endorsement that Kleiman believed it to be true. If unreliable rumor is the standard for "same facts" then the term is meaningless.

    Look at it this way, if the NY Times, Wall Street Journal or other reliable news agency is about to disgorge the story on Monday, why didn't Kleiman wait until then to report and comment upon it. Was he afraid that the story was not true and he would miss an opportunity to report yet another Bush crime? Kleiman places much importance on being an "adult." The adult thing to do would have been to wait until the story was reported by a reliable source before reporting and commenting upon it. But then again, he would have had to wait two days before calling Bush homicidal-torturer. Perhaps that is too much to expect for the reality-based community.

  12. "“Facts” are events that have occurred in the objective world. "

    So rumors aren't events that occur in the objective world? (I.e., so every sentence beginning "There is a rumor that…" is false?) Just trying to get the ontology straight here. It's all so confusing.

  13. Michael:

    In my first comment, I stated that indeed rumors are facts ("Assuming Kleiman is truthful about actually having been told the story, the story-telling itself is the only factual element of the above blog and Kleiman should not have repeated the story as if the substance of the story were fact").

    If as you say, you just want to "get the ontology straight here," I suggest you consult with Professor Irwin Corey. If you wish to discuss the meaning of the words "fact" and "rumor" I suggest starting with the dictionary definition. I did. Per the Concise Oxford English Dictionary,a "fact" refers to "a thing that is known to have occurred, to exist, or to be true," whereas a "rumour" refers to "general talk or heresay of doubtful accuracy." Based on these definitions, do you really wish to argue that "rumor" is synonymous with "fact"? Replace "rumors" for "facts" in the saying at the top of the blog and see if makes any sense.

    If Kleiman had said that X told him a rumor without disclosing the substance of the rumor, there would be no issue. However, if Kleiman's point is to tell the substance of the rumor, which clearly it was, then this blog is no longer about "facts" but about any matter to which Kleiman can link a rumor.

  14. Might as well get ahead of this one: I don't believe it, and I doubt very much that we'll see this story break tomorrow. It's entirely inconsistent with everything else we know. If I'm right–and I might not be, it's Sunday night, and I don't have Mark's sources in positions of power and influence–what will Mark say? Will he express disgust at those who make these sorts of stories up and those who repeat them? Or will he insist that the story is true, though it hasn't yet been reported? Or will he say that the Bush administration caused his loathing for his country, and so his gullibility was justified, and the evils committed by the Bush administration provide the justification for whoever invented this piece of fiction? It will be interesting to see.

  15. Joel, you're forgetting that Mark appears to put some substantive chance of this rumor being true, as opposed to any of a near-infinite number of rumors that are out there in the world. He places the information in context. I have yet to see where he has stated a set of facts that are different from the real world to the extent Mark perceives it.

    To the extent that you have a point, Mark's facts are private, and the implications of "Same Facts" is that we argue from a baseline of common knowledge. We can't confirm Mark's opinion of his source independently, and if that's what you wish to say, go for it. I think it's pretty obvious, though.

  16. Brian:

    I'm am not sure why you assume that I forgot what Mark said, but I take him at his word when he uses "rumor" to describe the story told and understands the difference between "fact" and "rumor." When you publish a rumor such as Mark has, you have made a decision that doing injury to your target is more important than anything, even the truth. Otherwise, why risk spreading lies when you can wait until the "rumors" ripen into "facts," or not.

    You then state that: "I have yet to see where he has stated a set of facts that are different from the real world to the extent Mark perceives it." Of course not, given he does not purport to state any facts at all, except for the fact that someone told him a rumor. Your comment also implies that contrary to the blogs motto, everyone is entitled to his own facts. I doubt even Mark agrees with you on that one.

    Regarding your last paragraph, the "point" is not that "we" cannot confirm the rumors, it's that Mark can't confirm them and has no idea whether or not they are true. What seems odd to me is that you are unable to see the difference between spreading rumor and reporting fact and that honorable individuals do not spread rumors especially rumors such as the one Mark has chosen to spread. Perhaps when you consider how Republicans have disseminated rumors about Obama, you will understand the "point." (Unless you have a "factual" basis for assuming otherwise, do not assume that every false rumor about Obama was spread by a Republican who knew the rumor was false prior to publishing it).

    Anyone who accepts Mark's behavior, should just admit that when it comes attacks on Bush or any other Republican, the standard is "facts be damned."

  17. Joel:

    I think the most interesting phrase of Mark's post is, "if the story actually breaks as reported, it will be interesting…"

    I can see the headline now:

    Blogger Posts About Thing that Interests Him

    In other news, the sky is blue.

    If this news story breaks tomorrow, we can talk about the alleged circumstances, the credibility of the evidence, and all the other facts that come out. For now, the only relevant fact is that Mark is interested in something he heard. So what's with all the agita?

  18. Yeah – I think we can be adults here. The internet is a dangerous place, and the old laws don't apply. I think certain sites, like the New York Times, should stay away from reporting rumors, even with caveat. The meaning of who they are – their legitimacy – would be weakened. But individual bloggers occupy a different space.

    Were this site ever to rise to the level of the times, this sort of post would run the risk of casting aspersions on the rest of his enterprise. But he isn't. And yet neither is he strictly an editorialist, who one would expect to be edited away from any sort of reportage.

    That said, the internet has met dumb before, and dumb will continue to read the internet. But that horse left the stable a long time ago. We all need to be skeptics, take sources seriously, and be our own judges.

    Personally, I think Mark is exactly right here: it will be interesting if a story breaks. If not, I'll wait for the "real" journalists to do due diligence until I make any call about the rumor's legitimacy.

  19. I have been reading this website a long time, and in my experience when Mark gets something wrong, he acknowledges his mistake and posts a disclaimer. Should evidence surface showing that this rumor is false I'd expect him to do the same. That's what honest people do; so it's not surprising that wingnut trolls like Levine and Thomas can't get their heads around the concept.

    Interesting data point, Mark: even before the story breaks, you already have two from the Right denying it. I hope they are at least being paid for it.

  20. I strongly encourage readers to go to read the full story, but here are some of the key points:

    * Three prisoners at Guantanamo died suddenly and simultaneously on the evening of June 9, 2006.

    * The commander at GTMO (Harry Harris) and the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) both claimed that the deaths were the results of suicides. By and large, this story was accepted uncritically by the US media.

    * Four members of the Military Intelligence unit assigned to guard Camp Delta have apparently now come forward contradicting the NCIS report. Their claims (as reported by Harper's) include the following:

    (1) Shortly before their deaths, the three prisoners had been removed from the main facility at GTMO and transported to another location (allegedly, an unreported site nicknamed "Camp No" elsewhere in the GTMO complex).

    (2) The three did not die from hanging, as claimed in the NCIS report. The actual cause of death was suffocation from rags stuffed in their throats.

    * Another GTMO prisoner (Shaker Aamer) was tortured heavily on the same night by a team of 7 MPs. According to his affidavit, when the pain became too excruciating and he began to scream, his airway was blocked to silence him.

    This story seems to present credible evidence that the three supposed "suicides" actually died of suffocation from rags that were stuffed in their throats to silence them, while undergoing torture at the secret facility referred to as "Camp No" after having been removed from Camp Delta earlier on the date of their deaths.

  21. John A Arkansawyer,

    The definition to which you refer is not limited to our opponents. It includes the innocent people we "detain," who are the vast majority of those at Guantanamo (93%, I saw somewhere).

  22. The Harper's story certainly suggests that the three men (allegedly killed during torture on June 9-10 2006) were innocent; two of them were scheduled to be sent home, and the third likewise had no AQ or Taliban connections but was stuck at GTMO because of diplomatic obstacles to repatriation.

  23. Yesterday evening, Thomas wrote: "Might as well get ahead of this one: I don’t believe it, and I doubt very much that we’ll see this story break tomorrow. It’s entirely inconsistent with everything else we know."

    What, exactly, is it inconsistent with (aside from the Navy's report on the "suicides" obviously)? We know that prisoners have been killed during interrogations before (see e.g. here: http://www.aclu.org/human-rights-national-securit….

    Seriously, what about Mark's very terse posting last night struck you as "entirely inconsistent with everything else we know"? To me, it seemed all too consistent with what we know. Those three simultaneous "suicides" at GTMO always seemed deeply suspicious to me.

  24. Henry, Henry, Henry. What innocent people? Not human, remember, so not people. And innocence is as good as a wink to blind donkey. Or something.

    In any event, move along. These aren't the torture deaths you're looking for.

  25. Joel Levine:

    Relating a rumor, characterized as such, is to relate a type of fact. The content of that rumor may be of substantive interest, depending on what weight one puts on Mark Kleiman's decision to relate it. (Hence his explicit invitation to consider it "for what it's worth.")

    It is therefore preposterous to argue that while MK could have told us he knew a rumor, he should have kept the substance of it to himself. No one thinks there is any epistemic value in the utterance "I heard a rumor."

    At all events, this blog is not meaningfully analogous to the New York Times. So your argument (such as it is) simply does not go through. Your opinion, however, is duly noted.

  26. Why didn't Mark say it was going to be a Scott Horton story? We could have just skipped it entirely.

    If Mark is still wondering what folks on the right are going to think, here's my reaction: let's impeach Obama. I mean, if you believe the story. Which you shouldn't, because it is literally unbelievable, right down to the cover-up led by Holder's team.

  27. Thomas, last night you said you didn't believe any story along the lines of Mark's rumor would break today, and you speculated that Mark's reaction might be to "say that the Bush administration caused his loathing for his country, and so his gullibility was justified, and the evils committed by the Bush administration provide the justification for whoever invented this piece of fiction"

    This morning, the story did in fact break, precisely along the lines of the rumor. Your reaction seems to consist of exactly the same sort of sputtering indignation that you imagined our host would be providing this morning.

    I still would like an answer from you about what exactly struck you last night as "entirely inconsistent with everything else we know". Here are the components of Mark's description last night:

    "1. Three of the deaths at Guantanamo in 2006 were torture-homicides: the victims died in the process of 'enhanced interrogation.'"

    We know there have been many cases of deaths during torture among prisoners in US custody. See, e.g., here:
    http://www.aclu.org/human-rights-national-securit

    "2. The deaths were covered up."

    Surely you don't imagine that the Bush administration attempting to cover up misconduct at GWOT detention facilities would have been even microscopically inconsistent with everything we know? That's like saying that sky-blue is inconsistent with the color of the sky!

    "3. Both the orders to torture and the orders to cover up 'came from the top.'"

    We have plenty of knowledge already confirming the first half of that, and the second is only even remotely questionable depending on how literally you want to interpret the reference to "came from the top".

    "4. There is now eyewitness (participant?) testimony."

    Does it seem inconceivable to you that anyone with knowledge of irregularities at GTMO or Abu Ghraib would come forward?

    "5. The story is set to break Monday."

    I doubt this was what seemed so improbable to you last night, but who knows.

  28. Brett Bellmore says:

    "I suppose they’ll react much like the left reacted to Waco."

    You mean a full Congressional investigation?

  29. Thomas says:

    "Might as well get ahead of this one: I don’t believe it, and I doubt very much that we’ll see this story break tomorrow. It’s entirely inconsistent with everything else we know. "

    Your last sentence if a flat-out lie; torturing prisoners to death is a proven fact, and the general policy of the US military has been to *at most* prosecute lower-level enlisted schmucks.

  30. Thomas is keyboarding proof that nothing irritates movement conservatives so much as a real conservative like Horton who takes, you know, humane and principled (and in this case actually conservative) positions on things like torturing people to death.

  31. Brett, shut your squid-ink hole. The only thing worse than a moral cretin like your buddy Thomas is a concern troll like you wringing his hands and trying not to giggle about how this is going to make someone he hates look really, really bad.

  32. Thomas,

    there was a German poet at the beginning of the 20th century by the name of Christian Morgenstern. Among other things, he wrote some satirical poems about a character called Palmstrom. It seems to me that one of those poems, entitled 'Die unmögliche Tatsache' (The impossible fact), provides a pretty apt description of your position. In particular in form of its inimitable last verse.

    The Impossible Fact

    Palmstroem, old, an aimless rover,

    walking in the wrong direction

    at a busy intersection

    is run over.

    "How," he says, his life restoring

    and with pluck his death ignoring,

    "can an accident like this

    ever happen? What's amiss?

    "Did the state administration

    fail in motor transportation?

    Did police ignore the need

    for reducing driving speed?

    "Isn't there a prohibition,

    barring motorized transmission

    of the living to the dead?

    Was the driver right who sped … ?"

    Tightly swathed in dampened tissues

    he explores the legal issues,

    and it soon is clear as air:

    Cars were not permitted there!

    And he comes to the conclusion:

    His mishap was an illusion,

    for, he reasons pointedly,

    that which must not, can not be.

  33. See Mark's later post – I'm now waiting for an apology, Brett, Joel, Bux, and Thomas.

    Cough the f*ck on up

  34. J, let me see if I can help.

    Scott Horton isn't credible as an impartial journalist. He's a litigator, and so you should understand that he doesn't mean this to be an impartial presentation of what we know and don't know.

    There is no eyewitness testimony to any interrogation of the dead detainees.

    There is no evidence offered that any interrogation or torture of the dead detainees resulted from an order that "came from the top." Horton does allege that the alleged cover-up during the Obama administration "came from the top" in the sense that he alleges that the Attorney General is involved.

    That's a bit of my reaction to this mess of a story.

    Why did I doubt it in advance? Well, big media publications don't usually break big stories on a holiday. ABC passed on this story, but Scott Horton did not, so I suppose I wasn't being imaginative enough about what Mark means when he says a story is breaking. So I doubted there was a big story, and I doubted the specifics of this story. All of this happened in 2006, which was after the Supreme Court had ruled (in short) that GITMO was part of the US. And it was more than two years after the OLC had withdrawn its original opinion on the limits applicable to DOD personnel in interrogations. GITMO really was among the least likely places to find abusive interrogations in 2006. (And in 2009 as well. And yet there are those who say that Mohammad Saleh al Hanashi, another detainee, as murdered there just last year, during the Obama administration. Presumably there is some reason that Mark finds those allegations less interesting.)

  35. Okay, Thomas fits into Mark's category 2: those who refuse to believe it. I suggest that the rest of you don't waste your time attempting to refute him. Michael C, in the first comment, raises the more interesting point:

    It will be interesting to watch the Democrats and the Administration split between those who want to do something (you know, the “Rule of Law” and all that) and those who don’t, i.e. the “realists” and “pragmatists” and “healers.”

    Will this story stay alive long enough to and put pressure on Obama to apply the "Rule of Law" and all that? You remember — that thing that we had before Bush v. Gore?

  36. What major news venue carried this story? Looks like a direct hit from the "drive-by media" if you ask me. Of course there's a larger issue here for those like Mark who hold to an atheistic worldview (at least I read Mark to be an atheist from reading his earlier posts). The issue is that an atheist has no ground for declaring moral absolutes (like "torture is wrong") without working on borrowed capital. Without a supreme god, morality is nothing more than the popular opinions of some. Who are Mark and his buddies to say that torture is wrong? Where's the cut-off in popular opinion for making torture evil? Does 51% of a society have to agree it's wrong? How about 75%? So it is always comical for me to hear atheists jump into a moral conversation like they have ground to stand on. You're right Mark in that "everyone is entitled to his own opinion". Unfortunately you have no ground to establish "torture is evil" as a fact.

  37. Bux, My imaginary being says torture is wrong, and my imaginary being is bigger than your imaginary being.

  38. Barry :

    If, a year from now, there is no evidence that the coverup order "came from the top",

    or if it did, the person issuing the orders is shown to be someone else,

    I'll be happy to admit my error.

    But apologize? For suspecting that Richard Bruce "Torture is my middle name" Cheney

    was the high-level authority that demanded the torture and the coverup?

    You'll not get an apology for that. It's consistent with everything the

    man has advocated and done for the last ten years.

  39. Barry:

    I don't think it likely that Kleiman will be apologizing to Bush or Obama anytime soon for accusing them of ordering the torture or cover-up of torture, so you will just have to wait for the apology. If you think I should apologize, then you did not read what I said or didn't understand it. My critique of what Kleiman was not based on whether the story reported would prove to be false. The critique is based on the premise that it is wrong to assassinate anyone's character unless you reasonably believe the facts to be true. The characterization by Kleiman of his information as "rumor" strongly suggests that he did not have a reasonable belief that the rumors were true. Further evidence of Kleiman's penchant for character assassination based on little or no evidence is shown in his accusations against Scott Brown based on a video clip that gives absolutely no support for the accusations made.

    You also seem to think Kleiman's "exception" is inconsequential to the main story. Like as long as there was a crime, it is inconsequential whether the alleged criminal actually was the perpetrator. When Kleiman spoke of the orders coming from the "top," did a buzzer go off that "top" = Bush. Did it ever cross your mind that "top" meant Obama? I didn't think so. Yet the Horton article implies that to the extent that the cover-up allegation extends upward, it is more likely to stick to Obama than Bush, since the information contradicting the official version appears not to have been published or out there until Obama took office.

    However, if there is a legal determination that the prisoners were tortured and murdered by prison personnel, as Horton's article suggests, until there is credible evidence about what Obama knew and when he knew it, I am not about to accuse him of a cover-up. I will leave that Kleiman.

  40. Henry, did you not read the article? Horton alleges that the Obama administration is in on the cover-up, and that it goes to the top of the DOJ.

    You're right that I don't believe the allegations, but, then again, the Obama administration has investigated the allegations and found them, according to Horton, "unsupported." Let's not pretend that I'm some crazed partisan when I'm just following the determinations made by the Obama administration. (Or is the Obama administration now on the Right as well?)

  41. Thomas, okay, you're not a crazed partisan if you're just following the determinations of the Obama administration. But the Obama administration is hardly neutral about the matter. It has made clear for the entire year that it has been in power that it has an interest in, with limited exceptions, not prosecuting Bush administration crimes. Therefore, by expressing skepticism as to the existence of those crimes, as it does here, it may hope to minimize criticisms of itself for not prosecuting them. Its motivation for not prosecuting Bush administration crimes is no doubt more complex than its being on the "Right." I speculate that its motivations may include a desire to retain the increased power of the executive that Congress allowed Bush to seize, a desire not to distract the nation from goals that Obama considers more important than bringing the government back under the rule of law, and a foolish desire to bring about bipartisanship in the face of the Republicans' having made clear that their sole goal is to destroy Obama.

  42. Henry, I don't think you're characterizing the position of the Obama administration (as conveyed by Horton) correctly. It's not that they're "expressing skepticism as to the existence" of crimes. High level Obama administration officials met with the men making the allegations of a possible crime (the allegations don't quite add up to an allegation of a crime, but put that to one side), and the evidence suggests that the Obama administration took those allegations seriously and investigated them over a number of months. At the end of that process, they concluded that the allegations were "unsupported." That's not a position of skepticism, that's a conclusion based on inquiry and evidence. Now you may be right that we can't trust the Obama administration on this matter, that perhaps, like the military and the FBI, they are hopelessly corrupt. But remember that others may be biased as well, such as Scott Horton, and if you're right about the Obama administration it looks to me like there's not much point to the story, because there's never going to be a neutral fact-finder.

  43. "there’s not much point to the story, because there’s never going to be a neutral fact-finder."

    Obama, of course, could appoint a neutral fact-finder (an independent counsel). And he probably won't. Surely you're not suggesting, therefore, that Scott Horton (and the mass media) should not report evidence of Bush administration crimes when they believe that evidence to be plausible. And, unless Hickman has a history of making things up, the evidence seems at least plausible enough to be reported.

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