Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

People who died

There's been a lot of low-quality journalism lately -- even, or especially, after all the fear and loathing about the botched coverage of the Iraq war run-up -- and now you can add to that ever-growing list some of the coverage of scathing, finally released reports about the Bush-Cheney torture regime. It seems like the relevations that got a lot of the hype, especially in the first few hours, involved sleazy (in my opinion) but non-violent interrogation techniques against some of the worst of the worst like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (guaranteed to cause reactions like "What, they blew cigar smoke at a guy who killed 3,000 Americans?...well boo frickin' hoo!"). But the reports also contain what are (again, in my opinion) much more serious allegations, often involving violence, against suspects who in some cases may not have even committed a crime. The worst cases were redacted, meaning that reporters had to some digging. At least ABC News did that.

So here's something more deserving of coverage: People died.

The CIA and the Obama Administration continue to keep secret some of the most shocking allegations involving the spy agency's interrogation program: three deaths and several other detainees whose whereabouts could not be determined, according to a former senior intelligence official who has read the full, unredacted version.

Of the 109 pages in the 2004 report, 36 were completely blacked out in the version made public Monday, and another 30 were substantially redacted for "national security" reasons.

The blacked-out portions hide the Inspector General's findings on the circumstances that led to the deaths of at least three of the detainees in the CIA's program, the official said. Two of the men reportedly died in CIA in Iraq and the third died in Afghanistan.

The Inspector General's findings about a fourth death involving a prisoner in Afghanistan were made public in the report. A CIA contract employee was convicted of assault in that case and is now in prison.

Of course by now most reporters have moved on to weightier questions like who killed Michael Jackson (and that poor schlub, unlike Dick Cheney, may actually get prosecuted). To paraphase Steely Dan, the things that pass for justice I don't understand.