Thursday, May 13, 2004

Silence on Torture

So, I was curious about how often someone with access to some of the most valuable newspaper real estate in the country - the WaPo op-ed page - condemned Saddam Hussein for torture. As far as I can tell, Hoagland's been writing his column for them since 1988.

So, I did a little search and here are the dates when Hoagland mentioned torture in Iraq:
August 7, 1990
June 6, 1991
May 24, 2001
March 24, 2002
December 5, 2002 (Criticizing Amnesty for being insufficiently thrilled about war)
May 13, 2004

In other words, when it was appropriate to beat the drums of war Hoagland mentions torture. Other times, no big deal.

That isn't to say that Hoagland hasn't critcized Hussein for other abuses over the years, but still...

...Tiny Revolution notes that Hoagland was on Saddam's case even before the Kuwait invasion. Fair enough - and, as I said, I wasn't claiming Hoagland hadn't condemned Saddam for other things. Just, that torture didn't seem to to the list. But, as for my assertion that he wasn't too concerned until war was looming, that's at least partially retracted.