I recently observed that the L.A. Times article on the compromise on detainees between Bush and the Gang of Four seemed quite lonely in its view that Bush had caved. That article was titled “Bush Bows to Senators on Detainees” and opened with the claim that “President Bush acceded to dissident Senate Republicans on Thursday,” saying that Bush had made a “major concession” to McCain et al. I observed that, as readers of blogs knew, practically everyone on Earth thought that McCain and company had caved to Bush, and not the other way around.
In my post, I said:
I wonder if the L.A. Times will have occasion in coming days to revisit its view of the compromise as Bush “bow[ing] to,” “acced[ing] to,” and making a “major concession” to the McCain crew.
Because that view seems to be rather . . . unique.
Today Julian E. Barnes and Richard Simon, the authors of the “Bush Bows to Senators” article, have another article titled Defense Lawyers Assail Legislation on Detainees, which says:
Military defense lawyers assailed compromise legislation for interrogating and prosecuting terrorism suspects, contending Friday that proposed rules would prevent them from learning whether evidence used against their clients was obtained through coercion or torture.
At the same time, rights groups that initially endorsed the compromise between the Bush administration and key Senate Republicans expressed reservations, saying it appeared on closer reading to be vague and could give President Bush and future presidents too much latitude.
I’m feeling kind of prescient right about now. Hey, I can foretell your future as well . . . for a small fee.
P.S. It isn’t really all the Times reporters’ fault. It just so happens that in the first article, they made the mistake of turning to the group “Human Rights First” for a quote. That group, which evidently spouted off before reading the terms of the agreement, is about the only group on the planet that thought Bush lost on the compromise. The Times just needs to get better sources . . . like blogs, for instance.