Tim Golden on Friday gets huge front-page play for "In U.S. Report, Brutal Details Of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths" on the violent treatment of two Afghan men in Bagram prison in Afghanistan. It's a 6,100 word front-page story with more to come (the first of two articles).
Beyond the lurid and disturbing details of prisoner mistreatment and death, columnist John Podhoretz questions the Times' timing, so soon after the Newsweek "flushed Koran" tale.
Podhoretz points  out that the abuse at Bagram prison occurred in December 2002, that those responsible have been punished, and comments: "Every detail published by the Times comes from a report done by the U.S. military, which did the investigating and the punishing. The publication of this piece this week is an effort not to get at the truth, not to praise the military establishment for rooting out the evil being done, but to make the point that the United States is engaged in despicable conduct as it fights the war on terror."
For the full 6,000 words of Golden's detailed story on prison abuse, click here: 
Iraq Never Supported Terrorism?
Over two weeks after it made news in England, Douglas Jehl on Friday spotlights a British government memo that reports President Bush had decided to "remove Saddam, through military action," back in July 2002, several months before the Iraq war.
In "British Memo On U.S. Plans For Iraq War Fuels Critics," Jehl writes: "The White House has always insisted that Mr. Bush did not finally decide to carry out the invasion of March 2003 until after Secretary of State Colin L. Powell presented the administration's case to the United Nations Security Council, in a speech on Feb. 5, 2003, that relied heavily on claims, now discredited, that Iraq had illicit weapons and was supporting terrorism."
Although not all of the allegations in Powell's address  have been confirmed and there's been no hard evidence linking Saddam Hussein to 9-11 (something Bush never claimed in the first place), it's imprecise to say Iraq wasn't supporting  terrorism. As a backgrounder from the Council on Foreign Relations explains: "Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein provided bases, training camps, and other support to terrorist groups fighting the governments of neighboring Turkey and Iran, as well as to Palestinian terror groups." And Hussein paid  thousands of dollars to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.
For the rest of Jehl and the British report, click here: 
Read All About the Trial of Hillary's Fundraiser - in Metro
The Times continues to bury details about the trial of David Rosen, finance director for Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign, who was indicted in January on charges of falsely reporting the cost of the Clintons' star-studded fundraising gala in Los Angeles.
The latest update by reporter Leslie Eaton is relegated to the Metro section (as if Sen. Clinton is the equivalent of a Brooklyn assemblyman, not a prominent senator with presidential aspirations). Friday's Times at least puts the trial on the section's front page, perhaps because of star appeal: "Cher Has Cameo Role in Clinton Gala Testimony."
To read the latest trial details, click here: