Guantanamo Bay

By Ken Shepherd | January 11, 2012 | 4:32 PM EST

In a 10-paragraph January 11 Battleland blog post marking the 10th anniversary of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, Time magazine's Mark Thompson called the prison "the persistent headache that pretty much all Americans would like to go away."

Thompson failed to back up the claim with polling data, however, which actually runs squarely against his claim.

By Tom Blumer | December 28, 2011 | 8:17 AM EST

At the Associated Press on Friday, reporter Jim Kuhnhenn provided yet another reason why characterizing the wire service as The Administration's Press is perfectly appropriate.

In wake of President Obama's use of a "signing statement" objecting on constitutional grounds to congressionally-imposed "restrictions on his ability to transfer detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States," Kuhnhenn wrote that presidential candidate Obama "promised to make his application (of) the (signing statement) tool more transparent." No he didn't, Jim; as will be shown, he promised not to use them. Kuhnhenn's first three paragraphs, plus two later ones describing another signing statement matter, ran thusly (also note how the term "signing statement" was kept out of the story's headline):

By Kyle Drennen | November 14, 2011 | 11:58 AM EST

On Sunday's Meet the Press, host David Gregory grilled Michele Bachmann about her advocating the reinstatement of waterboarding terror suspects: " understand that puts you at odds with most of the generals, okay? The former Republican nominee of your party John McCain, General Colin Powell, you realize you're on the opposite end of what they believe. Do you not trust them and their views?"

Gregory provided no source for his proclamation that "most of the generals" in the military oppose waterboarding as an interrogation tactic. Bachmann fired back: "But I'm on the same side as Vice President Cheney on this issue, and others, as well. Because, again, what we're looking at is what will save American lives."

By Noel Sheppard | October 1, 2011 | 4:47 PM EDT

It really has been amazing watching dovish media members who were perpetually complaining about the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay and the enhanced interrogation of its residents when George W. Bush was president now cheering the assassination of United States citizen turned terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki.

A fine example of this hypocrisy occurred on HBO's "Real Time" Friday when the host who just last year supported a civilian trial for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed applauded Awlaki's murder while encouraging his audience to join in the merriment (video follows with transcript and commentary, vulgarity warning):

By Noel Sheppard | August 30, 2011 | 11:51 AM EDT

Tina Brown seems to be very conflicted about her opinion of Dick Cheney.

After telling the "Morning Joe" panel the former Vice President is a "wrecking ball" who "seems to be totally in denial still about Iraq," the Daily Beast-Newsweek editor said moments later, "He's been validated by Obama" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Lachlan Markay | May 24, 2011 | 10:38 AM EDT

A controversial article from Harper's Magazine, which won the National Magazine Awards' prize for reporting, what many consider the Pulitzer Prize for magazines, continues to be plagued by accusations of factual inaccuracy. A Monday article from AdWeek further suggested that the award had more to do with the issue's politics than the article's merits.

The piece, which suggests a possible conspiracy in covering up murders of inmates at Guantanamo Bay, was supplied wholesale to the folks at Harper's, who went to press despite a lack of hard sourcing for the story. In fact, the evidence undergirding it was apparently so thin that even the hard-left New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh, who has crusaded against a number of prominent elements of the war on terrorism, including Guantanamo, would not touch it.

By Alex Fitzsimmons | May 6, 2011 | 12:17 PM EDT

President Barack Obama's Ground Zero visit yesterday was "pitch perfect," according to former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, despite reports that the commander-in-chief was rude and dismissive toward at least one American who lost a family member on Sept. 11, 2001.

On the May 6 edition of "Morning Joe," MSNBC anchor Willie Geist asked Meacham to characterize the significance of Obama's visit to the site where more than 3,000 people were slaughtered in an attack planned by deceased al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

"I thought it was pitch perfect in the sense of it was not about him," intoned Meacham, who now occasionally writes for Time magazine. "It was not the grand speech; it was him doing a kind of human interaction with the folks."

By Clay Waters | May 4, 2011 | 2:37 PM EDT

The New York Times quickly moved to quash suggestions that “enhanced interrogation” like waterboarding may have yielded useful intelligence in the killing of Osama bin Laden. Moving to protect the paper’s ideological investment that such methods are both brutal and ineffective was Wednesday’s front-page defense by Scott Shane and Charlie Savage, “Harsh Methods Of Questioning Debated Again.”

The reporters seems awfully assured, based on vague and contradictory information, in their attempt to discredit the idea that "brutal interrogations" (a phrase at the top of the article's first sentence) and "torture" like waterboarding may have yielded useful intelligence. They also ignored C.I.A. director Leon Panetta's admission to anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News after the anchor asked him if waterboarding helped obtain information that led to bin Laden: "I think some of the detainees clearly were, you know-they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these detainees."

Did brutal interrogations produce the crucial intelligence that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden?

By Clay Waters | May 3, 2011 | 5:11 PM EDT

Tuesday’s lead New York Times editorial thumped President Obama on the back for the targeted killing of Osama bin Laden, calling the president “a strong and measured leader.” In contrast, the two mentions of President Bush, who pursued Bin Laden aggressively, were both negative. The editors also tried to shoo away the pesky fact that the tip that led to Osama bin Laden’s killing came from a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, the island prison the paper has worked so hard to close down over the years, contradicting its own reporting in the process.

Leadership matters enormously, and President Obama has shown that he is a strong and measured leader. His declaration on Sunday night that “justice has been done” was devoid of triumphalism. His vow that the country will “remain vigilant at home and abroad” was an important reminder that the danger has not passed. His affirmation that the “United States is not and never will be at war with Islam” sent an essential message to the Muslim world, where hopes for democracy are rising but old hatreds, and leaders who exploit them, are still powerful.

Mr. Obama rightly affirmed that this country will be “relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies” — but “true to the values that make us who we are.” Maintaining that balance is never easy, and this administration has strayed, but not as often or as damagingly as the Bush team did. Much will be made of the fact that the original tip came from detainees at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. There is no evidence that good intelligence like this was the result of secret detentions or abuse and torture. Everything suggests the opposite.

By Rusty Weiss | May 3, 2011 | 5:41 AM EDT

Sunday was an historic day for America, an historic victory in the War on Terror - Usama Bin Laden, the man who had ordered the death of over 3,000 Americans on 9/11, had finally been  killed.   It was also an historic revelation that, conducting the war according to far-left liberal policies would have prevented this day from ever happening.

By Ken Shepherd | April 28, 2011 | 12:20 PM EDT

On Sunday, a Wikileaks document dump revealed files from Guantanamo Bay in which military commanders noted the Finsbury Park mosque in north London was a "haven" for Islamic extremists, "an attack planning and propaganda production base" that recruited jihadists to fight in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

But while the American mainstream media have been ga-ga over tomorrow's royal wedding, there's been little if any attention paid to this development by the very same reporters who were packing their bags for London.

A search of Nexis for ABC, CBS, and NBC news transcripts from April 25 through today reveals nothing on the Finsbury Park mosque, although other information from the latest wikileaks dump was discussed.

By Clay Waters | April 28, 2011 | 10:00 AM EDT

Classified dossiers of detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison released by Wikileaks were naturally splashed on the front of Monday’s New York Times, which had editorialized in strong terms for the closing of the Cuba prison. Reporters Charlie Savage, William Glaberson, and Andrew Lehren filed “Details of Lives in an American Limbo.”

(In February 2009, Glaberson let two hard-left groups he called "human rights groups" ridicule a Pentagon report saying there was no mistreatment at Guantanamo Bay.)

From Monday's lead story:

A trove of more than 700 classified military documents provides new and detailed accounts of the men who have done time at the Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba, and offers new insight into the evidence against the 172 men still locked up there.

Military intelligence officials, in assessments of detainees written between February 2002 and January 2009, evaluated their histories and provided glimpses of the tensions between captors and captives. What began as a jury-rigged experiment after the 2001 terrorist attacks now seems like an enduring American institution, and the leaked files show why, by laying bare the patchwork and contradictory evidence that in many cases would never have stood up in criminal court or a military tribunal.