The commentators 11-12-14
...on CIA torture
What America is not is a bunch of thugs with a bucket, a dirty towel and leg irons, and a misguided sense of patriotism and sadism in their hearts. America, however much her enemies may long to believe it, is not the Feinstein report. America has fallen. But she has fallen before. And each time, she has risen again. So, where have you gone America? Because a lonely world still turns its eyes to you.
- Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
With its new commitment to station troops in Bahrain, we can have no doubt where the British government stands: behind autocracy and “enduring interests”. Just as the refusal to hold previous US governments to account for terror and torture laid the ground for what happened after 9/11, the failure of parliament even to debate the decision to garrison the Gulf is an ominous one. Britain’s new base isn’t in the interests of either the people of Britain, Bahrain or the Middle East as a whole – it’s a danger and affront to us all.
- Seumas Milne, The Guardian
We cannot afford these shameful evasions of the truth. Neither we nor America will have any credibility when we lecture the world on human rights and accountability if we do not act when we break our own rules.
We have to find and hold the chief actors responsible, rather than maintaining that good chaps like us don’t do this sort of thing.
- Jenni Russell, The Times
America’s rightful position as the West’s standard-bearer of justice and truth is tarnished by revelations of institutionalised inhumanity. The moral high ground, which is rightfully ours in the struggle against jihadi fanatics, becomes threatened. The cause of freedom and justice, to which we are all committed, suffers a bitter blow.
- Max Hastings, Daily Mail
Whatever their faults, our enemies are human beings and we have a duty to respect their personhood. Torture is always automatically wrong because it deviates from that duty. It cannot be right – even if it is carried out for the “right” reasons and even if it does produce useful information (which, of course, it doesn’t).
- Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph
It is to America’s credit that it is able to declare its mistakes for the world to see. Contrast that to the more than half-a-century it took for Britain to come to terms with the methods it used to suppress Kenya’s Mau Mau rebellion. But confession is not the same as solution. The US is a country based on the rule of law. That principle must apply to those entrusted with upholding the country’s constitution.
- Financial Times
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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