The articles on this same tribunal in the New York Post describe a situation so radically different from that detailed in the NY Times that one might think they were covering different court proceeding.
The screaming headlines on the cover of the May 5 Post, “’I Spit on their Graves: KSM and pals mock victims, turn courtroom into circus,” sets the tone for the articles. The NY Post is clear and detailed in its description of the terrorists’ violent outbursts in the court, frequent attempts at disruption that were far from passive, doing all they could to defy the court, using obscene words and gestures to harass and insult the 9/11 victims’ families[ii], taking actions to delay the proceedings, and demonstrating that they were proud of what they did, and eager to do more.
Some specific details are noteworthy.
According to one New York Post article, one of the defense attorneys called for the court’s forbearance regarding KSM’s violent and rebellious behavior because of “all that Mr. Mohammed has been through,” a reference to her acceptance as fact KSM’s assertions of torture at the hands of the CIA. The NY Post reporter highlights the absurdity of such a request in light of what KSM proudly admits he put his 9/11 victims through.
In similar examples of more detailed and comprehensive NY Post coverage, one reporter indicated that when one of the terrorists took off his shirt to show the scars of his torture, it was not clear that he had any marks on him at all. As noted above in the NY Times article, guards brought one terrorist into the courtroom in a restrainer wheel chair. The Times indicated that the reason for this was not known. According to the Post, the guards needed to use a restrainer chair because the terrorist, in an act of defiance and mockery, had refused to leave his cell. Rather than drag him to the courtroom kicking and screaming, they used the wheel chair.
Perhaps most revealing of all, the NY Post series includes an article which goes into detail about the torture accusations, accusations left unexplored by the NY Times. The two-page spread, with detailed descriptions of water-boarding and other physical impositions, highlights KSM’s arrogant cruelty, disdain for human life, and unrepentant desire to kill more non-Muslims. It also makes clear that no torture that could cause extreme pain or organ failure (the military definition of illegal torture) was used. The CIA used water boarding, not yet illegal at the time (President Obama declared it so only in 2009); but knowing from his el-Qaeda training that US interrogators would not let him drown during water boarding sessions, KSM withstood the process. However, after 180 hours of sleep deprivation, not considered torture by the USA, his strength and will were broken and he gave up large amounts of information that enabled the CIA and other law enforcement and security agencies to apprehend el-Qaeda operatives and prevent terror attacks. It is impossible to know how many scores, hundreds, even thousands of lives were saved by this one success of sleep deprivation as an interrogation technique.
On the one hand, the New York Times, aka the “Gray Lady,” is, or rather was[iii], the gold standard in American journalism, the most trusted news organization in America. So one should not expect to find sensationalism.
On the other, the violent incidents, arrogant disruptions, and any explanation of their significance, that are omitted in the NY Times but included by the New York Post, are critical to the American public’s understanding of the nature of the enemy with which we are at war. The Times seems intent on sanitizing the terrorists, thus attributing to them more the appearance of maltreated and thus uncooperative criminals, rather than dangerous hard-core terrorists who rejoice in mass murder and now have the mammoth global stage provided them by the tribunal hearings as the podium from which to glorify jihad and to broadcast their disdain for all things non-Muslim and their fervent and savage desire to attack the West.
The Times’ refusal to reveal to the world the psychotic hatred, sheer savagery, and ugly brutality of these terrorists creates the impression that our enemy, that group of Muslims who want us all either dead or Muslim or Dhimmi and will kill as many of us as it takes until we submit to Muslim rule and Shari’a law, is really not so bad: they pray, defy an “unjust system,” and have “been through so much.”
To misrepresent the reality of our enemy’s nature is to aid and abet that enemy in its war against us.
[i] Francesca Gaiba, The Origins of Simultaneous interpretation: The Nuremberg Trial, University of Ottawa Press, 1998, pp. 32ff.
[ii] See also the New York Daily News, May 7, 2012, “Tough N.Y.er has answer for sneering 9/11 killers,” pp. 4-5, for detailed coverage of some victims’ relatives’ response to the outrageous behavior of the detainees.
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