No Coverage, Not “So Startling?”

“[President Bush] was aware that his top aides met in the White House basement to micromanage the application of waterboarding and other widely-condemned interrogation techniques,” writes The Washington Post’s Dan Froomkin in his “White House Watch” column today. Froomkin points to a particular back-and-forth between ABC News’ Martha Raddatz and Pres. Bush during an interview last Friday, an exchange about whether Bush knew about — and whether he approved— the meeting, which concluded with Bush saying: “…And, yes, I’m aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved. I don’t know what’s new about that; I’m not so sure what’s so startling about that.”

Here is “what’s so startling about that,” according to Froomkin: “If you consider what the government did to be torture, which is a crime according to U.S. and international law, Bush’s statement shifts his role from being an accessory after the fact to being part of a conspiracy to commit.” And yet, Fromkin adds, “There was no mention of Bush’s admission in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or The Los Angeles Times. There was nothing on the major wire services. And nothing on CNN, CBS or NBC.”

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.