Obtuse Angle: Fox News correspondent repeats debunked Library Tower claim
Research ››› ››› SIMON MALOY
Reporting on Dick Cheney's speech, Jim Angle repeated the debunked claim that the use of harsh interrogation techniques helped thwart an attack on the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles.
On the May 21 edition of Fox News' Special Report, chief Washington correspondent Jim Angle, reporting on former Vice President Dick Cheney's speech that morning, said that Cheney "called on the president to use his power to declassify and release those memos, which he and others argue stopped several attacks, including one on a bank tower in Los Angeles. And he criticized those who pretend otherwise." As Media Matters for America has noted on previous instances in which Angle invoked the foiled plot against the U.S. Bank Tower (formerly known as the Library Tower), this interpretation conflicts with the chronology of events put forth on multiple occasions by the Bush administration, as Slate.com's Timothy Noah noted. Specifically, the Bush administration said that the planned attack on the Library Tower was thwarted in February 2002 -- at least a month before Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee interrogated using the harsh techniques, was captured on March 28, 2002, and more than a year before Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the other detainee whose harsh interrogation is frequently credited with disrupting the plot, was captured in March 2003.
From the May 21 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
ANGLE: Mr. Cheney derided that mantra, as he called it, saying it's a familiar pattern.
CHENEY: It excuses the violent and blames America for the evil that others do. It's another version of that same old refrain from the left: "We brought it on ourselves."
ANGLE: Mr. Cheney also questioned why the president released the document setting out the legal authorizations for the interrogations, but not the memos documenting their results.
CHENEY: For reasons the administration has yet to explain, they believe the public has a right to know the method of the questions, but not the content of the answers.
ANGLE: He called on the president to use his power to declassify and release those memos, which he and others argue stopped several attacks, including one on a bank tower in Los Angeles. And he criticized those who pretend otherwise.
CHENEY: Some members of Congress are notorious for demanding they be briefed into the most sensitive intelligence programs. They support them in private and then head for the hills at the first sign of controversy.