LA Times Leaves Out That Waterboarding Helped Thwart Terror Attack... on Los Angeles

Say you're the editor of a major U.S. city's newspaper and that sources in the national security community have informed your reporters that waterboarding was a crucial tactic in making a terrorist detainee spill his guts with information that, when followed up by authorities, thwarted a planned terrorist attack on same major U.S. city.

You would probably run the story on the front page with a banner headline to that effect, but at the very least you'd make sure that fact was reported in your paper's coverage.

That is, of course, unless you're the ideologically leftward, politically correct editors at the Los Angeles Times. Patterico has details in an April 27 post at his blog:

The L.A. Times had a front page article yesterday titled CIA reportedly declined to closely evaluate harsh interrogations:

The CIA used an arsenal of severe interrogation techniques on imprisoned Al Qaeda suspects for nearly seven years without seeking a rigorous assessment of whether the methods were effective or necessary, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

Not mentioned, anywhere in the article, is the fact that recently declassified memos confirm that waterboarding KSM was key to disrupting a plot to fly airplanes into the tallest skyscraper in Los Angeles.

You might think that would be something that the biggest Los Angeles newspaper would care about.

You’d be wrong. The closest the paper comes to telling readers this fact is to say that in a speech,

Bush said that “alternative” interrogation methods had been crucial to getting Al Qaeda operatives, including Abu Zubaydah and self-professed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, to talk.

Not good enough. What does it mean to say that we got KSM to “talk”? It means that we got him to “disclose details of massive plots against the United States.” According to the intelligence community, waterboarding KSM saved thousands of lives.

How do you make it though an entire article on the effectiveness of harsh interrogation and not even mention that little tidbit?

Ask the geniuses at the Los Angeles Times.

And they wonder why the print newspaper industry is dying.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters