Mainstream Media Scream: MSNBC blames ISIS torture on Abu Ghraib, Gitmo

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,MSNBC,Iraq,Iraq War,Guantanamo Bay,Mainstream Media Scream,Media,ISIS

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features two MSNBC newsies blaming ISIS torture of prisoners on the types of “enhanced interrogation” used by Americans at the Iraqi prison Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay terrorist prison.

MSNBC’s Krystal Ball was guesting-hosting Friday’s Ronan Farrow Daily, and discussed a Washington Post story about ISIS tactics with MSNBC terrorism analyst Evan Kohlman.

EVAN KOHLMANN: This fits into a pattern of what we’ve seen in the past where, not just Al Qaeda, but Al Qaeda, ISIS, other jihadist groups have attempted to emulate the behavior that they’ve seen meted out to prisoners at Abu Ghraib, at Guantanamo to their own captives, in other words, trying to send that message backwards and, look, I think unfortunately also ISIS derives some kind of perverse enjoyment out of this.

But we shouldn’t be surprised about this. Unfortunately, that’s the price of Abu Ghraib and that’s the price of continuing the camp in Guantanamo is that these folks are going to try to continue to use it as a propaganda issue and they’re going to torture our hostages with that knowledge.

KRYSTAL BALL: And I think, Evan, that’s an important distinction because these are brutal, murdering terrorists, right. Whether we waterboarded or not, they would be engaging in horrific acts, but when we do things like waterboarding, that the president has called torture, when we do things that are against our own principles, we hand them an easy piece of propaganda.

KOHLMANN: Yeah, because look, how can they justify this otherwise? They can easily justify it now because, if anyone questions them, they point to Abu Ghraib photos. They point to Gitmo. If they didn’t have these issues to point to, it would be very, very difficult for them to justify treating hostages like this.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: ”The propaganda points for the terrorists only work because gullible people in the media give credibility to the baseless propaganda. So, the U.S. should be inhibited from pursuing information from terrorists because terrorists will cite those methods to rationalize their murder of innocents? That’s quite a pile of moral equivalence from Ball and Kohlman. And how do the terrorists justify decapitation? They can’t blame that on mimicking Dick Cheney.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at