Jordan’s Moral Bearings
Jordan’s King Abdullah appeared on the April 26th edition Meet the Press, host David Gregory invited Jordan’s King Abdullah to pass judgment on our country’s detainee policies, first asking: “Do you think the United States lost its moral bearings?” and then “Do you think the United States engaged in torture?”
King Abdullah may be one of the more humane leaders in the Middle East, but his government is no moral arbiter on the proper treatment of detainees. Gregory did very little to challenge Abdulluh on this point, referencing just one Human Rights Watch report which made it seem like Jordan only tortured at the behest of the United States:
MR. GREGORY: The Human Rights Watch issued a report about Jordan which contradicts that, and it said the following. I’ll put it on the screen and allow you to react to it. “From 2001 until at least 2004, Jordan’s General Intelligence Department served as a proxy jailer for the U.S. CIA, holding prisoners that the CIA apparently wanted kept out of circulation, and later handing some of them back to the CIA. More than just warehousing these men, the GID interrogated them using methods that were even more brutal than those in which the CIA has been implicated to date. … If the Jordanians did indeed promise the U.S. authorities that prisoners rendered there would not be tortured, it was a promise that neither the U.S. nor Jordan believed.”
This is the only time Gregory pressed King Abdullah on Jordan’s record of torture. Gregory ignored the fact that Jordan had an establisged record of using torture before the 2001-2004 time period and after.
By ignoring Jordan’slong standing lack of credibility on the issue, and insuating that Jordan only tortured at the behest of the United States, David Gregory committed gross journalistic negligence.