Sometimes, the irony is so overwhelming, I have to wonder if it’s some kind of satirical performance art, and I’m just not in on the joke. Consider this fascinating exchange between Bill O’Reilly and Karl Rove on Fox News last night:
There are two key angles to this. First, the NYT article did, in fact, identify the CIA interrogator who questioned Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. The article characterizes him as one of the good guys, gaining information through non-abusive means. Indeed, the interrogator, who refused training on how to waterboard a detainee, established a rapport with the terrorist — which “astonished his fellow C.I.A. officers” — by talking and bringing KSM food. The article, in other words, wasn’t a slam job.
So why include his name? It was a judgment call, but the Times explained that the interrogator “had never worked under cover and that others involved in the campaign against Al Qaeda have been named in news stories and books. The editors judged that the name was necessary for the credibility and completeness of the article.” Whether one finds this responsible or not is open to debate.
But for Karl Rove to have the chutzpah to lambaste the Times for this is extraordinary.