If you haven't seen it, be sure to head over to the NPR Ombudsman's page and check out her belated response (she was out of the office for the past week) to the flood of comments that Alicia Shepard ("as a journalist with almost 30 years' experience"!) received for her earlier defense of NPR's use euphemisms for torture authorized and committed by the US government/military.
It has to be read to be believed, but here is the heart of her "argument":
But no matter how many distinguished groups - the International Red Cross, the U.N. High Commissioners - say waterboarding is torture, there are responsible people who say it is not. Former President Bush, former Vice President Cheney, their staff and their supporters obviously believed that waterboarding terrorism suspects was necessary to protect the nation's security.And this from the Ombudsman of a "public" radio organization. If you are up for it, be sure to comment, email, call, etc.
One can disagree strongly with those beliefs and their actions. But they are due some respect for their views, which are shared by a portion of the American public. So, it is not an open-and-shut case that everyone believes waterboarding to be torture.
BTW - Shepard has refused to be interviewed by Glenn Greenwald.
Addendum 1: Reader Gopol did a little research on Shepard's "professional" past and...
"noticed that she worked for the San Jose Mercury News about the same time as Gary Webb, who's book Dark Alliance I've been reading. So I Google 'Alicia Shepard' and 'Gary Webb' and came up with a Counterpunch article by Alexander Coburn, How the Press and the CIA Killed Gary Webb's CareerGreat find Gopol!
It turns out Alicia was instrumental in assassinating Webb's credibility at the News. She even wrote an article about it: Shepard, Alicia. The Web Gary Spun. American Journalism Review, Jan./Feb. 1997."
Addendum 2: Simon Owens of Bloggasm contacted me about an interview he did with Glenn Greenwald regarding Shepard's refusal to be interviewed by Greenwald. You can read it here.