Prior to writing the article, I had seen Lesley Stahl's 60 Minutes interview with Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA Director of Clandestine Operations. I wanted to work it into my piece but I just didn't have the room. Nevertheless, the interview is worth commenting upon in its own right. Consider this question Stahl asked about the treatment 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed received at the hand of CIA interrogators:
Stahl: Did you make him wear diapers?
Rodriguez: Diapers? I don't recall specifically. But diapers is something that is approved.
Stahl: It's so humiliating.
Rodriguez: It's standard. Standard. Yeah.When Stahl admonishes Rodriguez for humiliating KSM it's as if she's taking a teacher to task for being too hard on a third grader. Her grandmotherly tone made me think she wanted offer KSM milk and cookies to make him feel better.
For his part, Rodriguez wisely reminded Stahl that this was the man who killed Daniel Pearl:
He slit his throat in front of a camera. I don't know what type of man it takes to cut the throat of someone in front of you like that, but I can tell you that this is an individual who probably didn't rive a rat's ass about having water poured on his face.As Rodriguez was saying this, a look of sadness came over Stahl's face. She closed her eyes and tightened her jaw. I don't know if she knew Daniel Pearl personally but it was only at that moment that she seemed to comprehend the vicious nature of KSM. Aside from that moment however, Stahl was full of the sort of sanctimony that has come to exemplify 60 Minutes and the mainstream media at large.
What is so troubling about Stahl's sanctimony is that if she were to offer KSM milk and cookies he would thank her by doing to her what he did to Daniel Pearl.