The White House is reportedly considering using torture in an effort to get reporters, including the New York Times' Judith Miller, to identify just who in the administration leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame. According to White House insiders, various methods of torture are being considered, including water boarding, sensory depravation and exposure to extreme temperatures.
Columnist Novak could be making 'unplanned trip' to Egypt
By Deanna Swift
WASHINGTON, DC—Jail hasn't gotten New York Times reporter Judith Miller to reveal just who said what to her about the case of CIA operative Valerie Plame—but maybe a mock burial, in which the journalist is lead to believe that she's going to be buried alive, will finally do the trick.
That's just one of the methods of interrogation that the White House is hoping may convince the notoriously tight-lipped Ms. Miller to spill the beans. Other methods being considered: bringing in brutal interrogators from other countries, exposing the reporter to extreme temperatures and depriving her of food and water.
President 'wants to know'
President Bush has long indicated that uncovering the identity of the individual or individuals in his administration who leaked to reporters the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame is a top priority. Just last week, the President vowed to fire anyone found to have acted illegally in the case.
Sources close to the White House say that the fact that the administration is now considering using torture to ferret out the leaker is a sign of just how seriously the President is treating the matter. "We're going to use whatever tools we have at our disposal to get to the bottom of this," said one White House official said to be close to the investigation.
Will Novak talk?
So far, the White House hasn't said whether it plans to use the novel interrogation techniques on anyone except for Ms. Miller, who has been in an Alexandria, VA, jail since July 6th after she refused to reveal the name of her sources in the CIA leak case.
But rumors have abounded in the nation's capital of late that the Administration may also be planning to subject syndicated columnist Robert Novak to the "third degree." One possibility: that the long-time television commentator in whose column Ms. Plame's name initially appeared will be abducted and flown to a country where torture during interrogation is permitted. "Bob is obviously concerned about the possibility of an unplanned trip to Egypt," said a friend of the columnist.
'Every tool in the tool chest'
While the White House has long advocated the use of creative interrogation techniques, this is the first time that the administration has considered the use of such techniques against journalists and other members of the so-called mainstream media. The White House is currently leading an effort to block legislation that would prohibit the use of inhumane or degrading treatment of prisoners in US custody.
What methods of torture do you think should be used to get reporters to 'tell all' in the CIA leak case? Talk back to Deanna Swift at [email protected].