The New York Times ignores Panetta’s confirmation of waterboarding’s role in bin Laden killing in harsh interrogation story

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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In a story about the resurrection of the harsh interrogation techniques debate slated to run on The New York Times’ front page Wednesday morning, reporters Scott Shane and Charlie Savage completely ignore CIA director Leon Panetta’s Tuesday evening confirmation that waterboarding played a role in procuring the intelligence that led U.S. forces to terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

“As intelligence officials disclosed the trail of evidence that led to the compound in Pakistan where Bin Laden was hiding, a chorus of Bush administration officials claimed vindication for their policy of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ like waterboarding,” Shane and Savage write in their story, accusing Republicans of igniting a debate they thought was long over.

Shane and Savage looked the other way, though, when it came to Panetta’s confirmation that waterboarding was part of the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used on detainees. “We had multiple series of sources that provided information with regards to this situation… clearly some of it came from detainees [and] they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of those detainees,” Panetta told NBC News anchor Brian Williams.

The New York Times duo also suggested that House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, inflamed the debate by saying he thought the intelligence came from waterboarding. “The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, told Fox News that the success of the hunt for Bin Laden was due to waterboarding,” Shane and Savage wrote.

It turns out King was right.

The duo’s story also wrongly reported the day of the attack on bin Laden’s complex in Pakistan. “Obama administration officials, intent on celebrating Monday’s successful raid, have tried to avoid reigniting a partisan battle over torture,” Shane and Savage wrote. The raid was conducted on Sunday, not Monday, as Shane and Savage reported.

A spokesman for The New York Times did not immediately return The Daily Caller’s request for comment.