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Thursday, April 23, 2009
CNS' Jeffrey Is Conduit for Apparently False CIA Claim
Topic: editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey got himself a big scoop the other day, claiming in an April 21 CNS article: "The Central Intelligence Agency told today that it stands by the assertion made in a May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that the use of “enhanced techniques” of interrogation on al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) -- including the use of waterboarding -- caused KSM to reveal information that allowed the U.S. government to thwart a planned attack on Los Angeles." Jeffrey liked that scoop so much that rewrote the article and turned it into his April 22 column.

Just one problem with it: It doesn't appear to be true.

As Media Matters and Slate's Timothy Noah point out, the Bush administration has stated that the plot in question, a plan to fly a hijacked airliner into a Los Angeles skyscraper, was broken up in February 2002 -- more than a year before Mohammed's capture in March 2003. That means Mohammed gave information under waterboarding (if indeed he actually did so) about a plot that not only had already been foiled, it appears to have been not much of a plot in the first place.

It also means that Jeffrey has a problem. He has apparently allowed himself to serve as a stooge for the CIA, treating information fed to him as fact that appears not to be true at all. He might want to explain that to his readers.

UPDATE: An April 23 CNS article by Josiah Ryan repeats the claim without noting the evidence contradicting it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 23, 2009 9:09 AM EDT

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