Comments: Free John Barry's Brain!

True that. And not just a tinge, very similar to the Brezhnev's period model: "mistakes were made, lessons learned, a glorious future ahead - full-speed."

Posted by abb1 at January 20, 2009 09:56 AM

Interesting that the word "torture" never appears in Barry's apologia. That's because the legal case for prosecuting Bush for approving torture is stronger (and therefore harder to dismiss) than the case for prosecuting Bush on the basis that Bush lied about Iraq having WMD's.

He also writes:
The productive exercise at this juncture is to figure out how to prevent, as best we can, the grislier parts of this debacle from happening again.

And then says not a word about the media's role in "this debacle."

But thank God for the internet. There was a time when people like Barry could spew this nonsense and our only recourse was to write a peevish letter to the magazine that employs them, which wouldn't be printed.

Posted by SteveB at January 20, 2009 10:45 AM

It's genuinely frightening to see what people have to do to keep their jobs

Yes, frightening, but almost entirely pervasive. The deviants don't survive. Just ask Phil Donahue (journalism) and Cynthia McKinney (politics).

One definitive work on government-controlled media in the US is "War Made Easy -- How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us To Death" by Norman Solomon. He reveals a multitude of cases similar to John Barry's where truth is the first casualty of war and speech against government war policy is generally not allowed.

The most grievous event in this general area was of course the suicide of Gary Webb after he was ostracized by the San Jose Mercury News for his reporting of CIA drug involvement.

I imagine that Barry's first Newsweek story was not well received by management and that he then "saw the light" after having been reminded about Webb.

Posted by Don Bacon at January 20, 2009 11:45 AM

The more players or commentators have uttered, or swooned at the utterance of, "you do the crime, you do the time", the more they now sound like Mary Sunshine.

This swing between extremes is particularly odd coming from self-proclaimed centrists. Surely the middle course is not to pre-judge the results of legally-mandated inquiry whether the kind of crimes in question have actually been committed.

Posted by AlanDownunder at January 23, 2009 06:23 PM

Interesting that the word "torture" never appears in Barry's apologia. That's because the legal case for prosecuting Bush for approving torture is stronger (and therefore harder to dismiss) than the case for prosecuting Bush on the basis that Bush lied about Iraq having WMD's.

For that matter, there's the openly illegal spying they've been doing for the entire length of the Bush administration which all of Washington works really hard at pretending didn't happen / isn't happening.

Posted by dan at January 24, 2009 02:06 AM

Yeah, the story was told a lot different in The Way of the World.

Posted by MouseOfSuburbia at January 26, 2009 01:51 AM