Compare the Guardian’s coverage, the horror duly noted in the headline and the lede, with the Times story—which ran on an inside page, with the horror discreetly noted, only once, in the fifth paragraph (of ten), and in a quoted fragment of the court’s decision.

So most Times readers would have missed a datum that, to put it mildly, doesn’t jibe with the heroic image of the CIA that hits us everywhere we look, from TV, movies and pop fiction to the loud supportive arias routinely belted out by politicians and, of course, the CIA itself.

In the second Times item below, for example, Michael J. Morrell, Acting Director of the CIA, responded to the voluminous new Senate report on CIA abuse of terror suspects with a paternal pat on the collective back of the entire CIA work-force, claiming to be “very proud of of the courage and commitment each of you brings to the mission of protecting our country from the many threats and other national security challenges it faces.”

Since Morrell excepted no one from that institutional salute, he must be “very proud” as well of those bad apples (assuming that they are) who either did the actual torturing and sodomizing of Khaled el-Masri (as it appears they did), or “merely” supervised it.And if he’s “very proud” of such behavior, he must believe it somehow serves “the mission of protecting our country from the many threats … it faces”—which, of course, do not include a CIA that rapes and tortures with impunity.

Having such a CIA is bad enough; but it is even worse to have a press that largely keeps the people in the dark about it.


1) CIA ‘tortured and sodomised’ terror suspect, human rights court rules

2) Court Finds Rights Violation in C.I.A. Rendition Case

3) C.I.A. Director Reacts to Report Critical of Detainee Interrogations

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