Friday, June 30, 2006

Inskeep's Sympathies

NPR morning edition this week has featured a series on US interrogation/torture in the "War on Terror"-- not a bad idea since the US has made torture part of its official strategy since 9/11, and since being an apologist for torture has gained mainstream acceptance since 9/11. What is really striking is to listen to the tone and tactics of questioning that Steve Inskeep uses with the speakers interviewed for this series. Today he is speaking to a former Army interrogator who frankly discusses the use of torture (long term, severe isolation, enforced painful positions, forced injurious and degrading exercises, threatening hooded suspects with dog attacks, etc) and Inskeep casually says, "did anybody ever ask you to go beyond the kinds of (pause) well let's call it abuse if you don't mind; the kinds of abuse you've described of prisoners." Throughout the series Inskeep never indicates that torture is a moral outrage. He never brings up the idea that torture and abuse is a fundamental assault on the ideals and laws that our nation is supposedly defending in the "War on Terror." He also never brings up the likelihood that the US torture practices have created more insurgents and future terrorists. For a striking contrast in journalistic quality I'd recommend readers to listen/view the June 30, 2006 Democracy Now! show in which Dr. Stephen Miles is interviewed (the same Dr. Miles interviewed by Inskeep two days ago--see my previous post.)

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