The commentators 10-12-14
...on CIA torture
The most remarkable thing about the US Senate Intelligence Committee report is that it was published at all – a reproach incidentally, to the secrecy in which British politicians swathe MI6. Two of the report’s findings will make a permanent contribution to anti-terror discourse: the fact that torture never produces crucial intelligence and the fact that intelligence agencies lie bare-facedly to their media acolytes, to the public and even on oath.
- Geoffrey Robertson, The Independent
We should not rush to judgment based on the Manichean partisanship of the Senate Democrat document. Life is more complicated than that. The men and women who operated in the unprecedented circumstances after 9-11, who did what they did out of duty rather than enthusiasm, deserve at least that.
- Michael Hayden, Daily Telegraph (CIA director, 2006-09)
As the US embarks on a renewed effort to get to the truth, this could be a good time for Europe to come clean. The bottom line is that fully exposing such practices is the only way to ensure they will never be repeated
- Natalie Nougayrède, The Guardian
The controversy over the use of torture by the CIA obscures two important aspects of “the war on terror” which the agency was supposedly waging. The first is that this war has demonstrably failed since Isis, terrorists by any definition of the term, today rules a large part of the Middle East in northern Iraq and eastern Syria. A second aspect of the war on terror is that from the beginning it avoided targeting two countries without whose complicity 9/11 could not have happened: Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
- Patrick Cockburn, The Independent
A small country with ten national newspapers (a dozen, if you count the FT and Morning Star) might be expected to see its society accurately reflected on the newsstands. So what do we see today? Diversity? Multiculturalism? Do we see that warmth that Paddington was promised?
No, we see rejection, selfishness, triviality. Five papers splash on our terror of immigration; eight carry stories and/or photographs of people fighting to buy a cut-price coffee maker that will sit unused in a cupboard. The only paper to feature neither on the front - The Times - addresses a different kind of consumerism with an oversized cake and the word Eat! in huge letters.
- Editor's blog
Tuesday 25 November The Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards were announced at a breakfast ceremony this morning. David Aaronovitch was named Commentariat of the Year and his newspaper, The Times, won the award for the best comment pages. Stevie Spring, who led the judges, made it a hat-trick for the Times by choosing Melanie Reid for the chairman's award.
The FT, Guardian, Mail and Sunday Times each picked up two awards. SubScribe was also among the winners. You can see the full list of awards here. A video of the presentations will be posted online later.
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