Censored 2016 argued that the corporate press had censored the story “Media ‘Whitewash’ Senate CIA Torture Report.” The story covered how the media ignored the US Senate’s conclusions about US involvement in torturing individual’s around the world. Since April 2015, the corporate media has provided little to no coverage of the US Senate Torture Report; while the independent media has provided full coverage of the story. The corporate and independent coverage of the US Torture Report has revolved around one of the authors’, Alissa Starzak, nomination for General Counsel in the Defense Department.
Censored 2016 relied on two articles for their essay titled “Media ‘Whitewash’ Senate CIA Torture Report.” The articles were written by Nafeez Ahmed of Alternet and Crofton Black of Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Ahmed reported that the corporate media had ignored Obama’s executive order which reinstated the use of torture by US armed forces and agencies. Black found that 29 out of the 119 detainees are still held up in Guantanamo Bay through a database that the Bureau started as well as mention that the CIA torture report of the 6,000 page was redacted to 500 page summaries. The coverage of the US Senate Torture Report by both the corporate and independent media has focused on one of the authors, Alissa Starzak. Starzak worked as a staffer for the senate intelligence committee from 2007 to 2011. Starzak would later work along with Daniel Jones as a co-author to the CIA torture report. In July 2014, Starzak was nominated as general counsel to the US Army in the Department of Defense.
Since April of 2015 the corporate media has had incomplete coverage of the US Senate Torture Report. An April 2015 article from the Huffington Post reported how one of the authors of the CIA torture report, Starzak, was being nominated for general counsel in the US Army. The article discussed how the Republican controlled US Senate were stalling Starzak’s nomination because of her involvement with the CIA torture. The Huffington Post provided the only in-depth corporate coverage of the story, but did not even do a follow up on Starzak nomination or cover the larger implications of the US Senate Torture Report. CBS News, CNN, The LA Times, and TIME Magazine provided minimal coverage that branched off of the report, but not on the report itself; instead, they covered the story of two former Air Force psychologists being sued by the ACLU for aiding the CIA in developing interrogation tactics. Corporate media labeled these psychologists as the “bad guys” (Perez and Wesley, 2015), almost as if to draw the public’s attention away from the torture report itself. It’s only a matter of time before the full report is released for the public.
Since April 2015 the independent press has extensively covered the US Senate Torture Report. Independent outlet such as Common Dreams, The Intercept, Townhall, and The Free Thought Project extensively covered the psychologists who participated in the abuse of inmates. As a whole, the independent press kept the sights on the original story compared to the corporate press while also taking a deeper look at the psychologist. Most of the other independent coverage focused on the nomination of Starzak. Breitbart, an independent conservative news outlet, reported on December 15, 2015 that Starzak’s nomination had been approved by the GOP held senate. However, Breitbart added the reason why Starzak nomination was stalled was due to Starzak violating protocols such as not informing the CIA that she and Jones had a copy of the Former Head of the CIA Leon Panetta’s review of US torture which concluded that torture was ineffective. The CIA had not given clearance to access the report and responded by spying on the US Senate Committee that investigated torture. The Hill, an independent liberal new source, reported on December 14, 2015 that Starzak nomination had been approved by the GOP controlled senate.
Censored 2016 argued that the corporate media censored the CIA torture report. Censored 2016 cited two articles in regards to the relation the stories it dealt with the CIA torture report. The Corporate media had an incomplete or no coverage of Starzak nomination since April 2015. Meanwhile the independent media since April 2015 had fully covered the tale of the US Senate Torture Report in its coverage of the Starzak nomination.
Student Researchers: Daniel Cervantez and Dylan Lopez
Faculty Evaluator: Nolan Higdon
California State University, Maritime Academy
Student Editor: Edwin Sevilla (Ohlone College)