Bipartisan Senate panel: Rumsfeld, Bush WH to Blame for Gitmo, Abu Ghraib Abuse. Media: So What?

The Washington Post says a bipartisan Senate investigation has concluded that blame for the abuse of prisoners at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib — described by the Red Cross and the Pentagon itself as serious violations of U.S. and international law — belongs at the very top:

The report, released by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and based on a nearly two-year investigation, said that both the policies and resulting controversies tarnished the reputation of the United States and undermined national security. “Those efforts damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority,” it said.


The true genesis of the decision to use coercive techniques, the report said, was a memo signed by President Bush on Feb. 7, 2002, declaring that the Geneva Convention’s standards for humane treatment did not apply to captured al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters. As early as that spring, the panel said, top administration officials, including National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, participated in meetings in which the use of coercive measures was discussed. The panel drew on a written statement by Rice, released earlier this year, to support that conclusion.

Um… that’s kinda big news. Or is it?

The report and the WP story have been out for more than five hours now.

However, as of 2:52 PST on 11 Dec. 2008, let’s see how CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC think:

It’s nowhere to be found on CNN’s front page.

Although they’ve somehow found room for “Child’s Skull Found,” “Navy Mom surprises son, 8, in class,” and “Pretty robot slaps men who get fresh.”

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No surprise, the Fox News front page is also not carrying the story.

Although they have room for “KFC Workers in Hot Water After Sink Baths,” “Outrage After Teacher Tells 7-Year-Olds Santa Is Fake,” and “Ga. School Staff Accused of Inflatable Mattress Sex.”

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To its credit, however, MSNBC, generally considered the most liberal of the three major 24-hour cable news nets, has indeed placed the story on the front page.

In a single-line, fine-print text link.

Just beneath “Bowel-clearing drugs to get sternest FDA label” and “Child’s body found near missing girl’s home.”

In the same vital column with “Vegas still offers fun for the budget conscious” and “Aniston on Jolie: ‘No daggers through the heart.'”

So you can’t say the media is ignoring the story completely.