The Times has once again gone overboard on the controversial interrogation technique of waterboarding in Saturday's lead story by intelligence reporter Scott Shane, "Waterboarding Focus Of Inquiry By Justice Department - Legal Basis Is At Issue."
Shane got melodramatic, literally cloak-and-dagger:
Mr. Jarrett's report could become the first public accounting for legal advice that endorsed methods widely denounced as torture by human rights groups and legal authorities. His office can refer matters for criminal prosecution; legal experts said the most likely outcome was a public critique of the legal opinions on interrogation, noting that Mr. Jarrett had the power to reprimand or to seek the disbarment of current or former Justice Department lawyers.
The cloak of secrecy that long concealed the C.I.A.'s secret interrogation program and its legal underpinnings has gradually broken down.
The C.I.A. director, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, publicly admitted for the first time two weeks ago that the agency used waterboarding in 2002 and 2003 in the interrogation of three Qaeda suspects but said that the technique was no longer used, and its legality under current law is uncertain. The technique, which has been used since the Spanish Inquisition and has been found illegal in the past by American courts, involves water poured into the nose and mouth to create a feeling of drowning.
Shane compared waterboarding to the Inquisition in the exact same terms in November 2007.The paper has certainly expended a lotof loaded language on an act that was used on a grand total of three terrorist suspects five years ago in the wake of 9-11.