June 18, 2002

Best American “interrogators” not questioning Fleischer…

From the Guardian Unlimited:

“Actually, it seems even easier to dupe the American press than our lot. The daily inquisitions of Fleischer, which look so grand on CNN, actually take place in a tiny subterranean annexe resembling a converted potting shed. Those attending are the White House correspondents, their average age surprisingly young, whose job…tends toward a form of stenography. The stern and formulaic rules of American news reporting make scepticism difficult to express. And those who do prove awkward can be punished by the removal of access and favour. The nation’s most skilled interrogators are not there, anyway. And European correspondents are effectively barred, partly by the effect of the time difference on deadlines, partly (under Bush) by maladministration of the pass system. No sane person would go twice anyway, since it is far harder for a journalist, denied the luxury of a little light torture, to extract information from Fleischer than for the CIA to get the facts from an al-Qaida hard case.”

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