The left-wing “investigative journalism” site ProPublica, a non-profit funded in part by far-left billionaire George Soros, was forced to walk back an attack piece aimed at Gina Haspel, President Trump’s pick to lead the CIA.
In late February, ProPublica accused Haspel, a career CIA staffer, of overseeing a CIA “black site” in Thailand in 2002 where terrorist Abu Zubaydah “was subjected to waterboarding and other coercive interrogation methods that are widely seen as torture.”
Worse still, this fake news included the smear that Haspel “mocked the prisoner’s suffering in a private conversation.”
ProPublica now states, “Neither of these assertions is correct and we retract them. It is now clear that Haspel did not take charge of the base until after the interrogation of Zubaydah ended.”
She was not even there at the time.
For its part, regarding this fake news about Haspel, Hot Air’s John Sexton discovered that the far-left New York Times appears to have done a stealth-retraction/non-retraction.
In a story published February 2, the Times made the same false accusation as ProPublica: “The C.I.A.’s first overseas detention site was in Thailand. It was run by Ms. Haspel, who oversaw the brutal interrogations of two detainees, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.”
The language of that story has not changed. The fake news stands today. The only update on the piece is the news that Haspel has been nominated to run the CIA.
But in a story dated March 13, the day of Trump’s announcement, the Times correctly points out that “Ms. Haspel arrived to run the prison in late October 2002, after the harsh interrogation of Mr. Zubaydah.”
Nevertheless, the original story, which contains fake news and is updated with the news of Haspel’s nomination, has not been corrected.
It should be noted here that while certainly harsh and uncomfortable, waterboarding is not torture. In its training, the American Navy waterboarded thousands of its own Navy SEALs. Moreover, a number of journalists have had themselves waterboarded, which proves it has no lasting side effects but is merely uncomfortable. Finally, according to a former CIA interrogator, although used sparingly, waterboarding did work, and were it were it not for waterboarding, we would not have located and killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
As it does with immigration, guns, abortion, and race, the media frequently lie about waterboarding. One infamous incident involves relentless media reports that falsely claimed terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times. This is not even close to the truth.