How dare they report our un-American atrocities.
Take this diary, which was frontpaged by the admins. In a nutshell, it comes to the conclusion that the MSM is harming our efforts in the "war on terror"--or was that a "global struggle against extremism", I really can't remember--by reporting the existence of CIA-operated secret prisons in foreign countries. Given our history of extraordinary rendition, as well as the administration request that the CIA be exempted from anti-torture legislation desired by congress, it seems almost certain when you put two and two together that the CIA was using these facilities to extract information from detainees through the most unscrupulous means possible--something the general public would most certainly not approve of.
The diary argues that exposure of our agreements with foreign governments to use their sovereign territory for secret prisons will lead to decreased co-operation with allies in anti-terror intelligence-gathering because they'll be afraid that their information will appear on the frontpage of the American MSM, and that it will hurt our war on terror by detracting from America's image abroad. That argument, however, just goes to show how absolutely illogical at best and deluded at worst the right wing is on the issue of torture and intelligence-gathering.
First and foremost, we see a clear difference in methodology concerning America's image. My methodology for improving America's image is to stop doing all the stuff that would harm America's image, while their methodology is to silence the press from accurately reporting all the stuff we do that harms America's image. Just like the American south: just keep on preaching morality while you sweep all the divorce, illiteracy and teen pregnancy under the rug. Same seedy idea.
But the next concept--the one about such reporting making foreign governments less likely to share intelligence because of reaction from their citizens or terrorist retaliation--is even more bogus. There is a strong difference between a) sharing intelligence, and b) allowing a foreign intelligence service to build a torture prison on your nation's soil. One would be a move that would be expected and approved of by your citizenry, and the other is something that you can expect your citizenry to be extremely unhappy about. One is completely normal and usual, and the other represents a complete lack of ethics on the part of your government. One is something that almost every free nation on earth does without significant reprisal from terrorist organizations, and the other is something you could expect some terrorist retaliation for BECAUSE YOU'RE ALLOWING THE YANKEES TO TORTURE THEIR OPERATIVES ON YOUR SOIL.
Furthermore, the supposed fear that will now be imparted to other nations concerning their intelligence being splashed above the fold of major MSM papers is also bogus. If you can name a single time that the American MSM endangered multinational cooperation to capture terrorists by revealing sensitive information relevant to an ongoing investigation, you let me know when that was. I can't recall such an activity. I can, however, name a couple of times in which the administration has done something similar to justify a purely political agenda. One was the public acknowledgment that Noor Khan was a mole--an admission made to justify raising the terror alert level during the Democratic Convention. Another was the leak of Valerie Plame's covert status to punish Joe Wilson for telling the truth about Iraq's ties to African uranium.
If I were a foreign government and I had to choose between trusting an American MSM newspaper or trusting this administration, I'd take the MSM any day of the week.