This New York Times article inadvertently acknowledges the profound failures of the media class since 9/11 to uncover the key decisions made by the Bush administration and now Barack Obama; NGOs, lawyers and activists are now generally far more pro-active and curious than the average corporate journalist:
In the spring of 2003, long before Abu Ghraib or secret prisons became part of the American vocabulary, a pair of recently hired lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union noticed a handful of news reports about allegations of abuse of prisoners in American custody.
The lawyers, Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh, wondered: Was there a broader pattern of abuse, and could a Freedom of Information Act request uncover it? Some of their colleagues, more experienced with the frustrations of such document demands, were skeptical. One made a tongue-in-cheek offer of $1 for every page they turned up.
Six years later, the detention document request and subsequent lawsuit are among the most successful in the history of public disclosure, with 130,000 pages of previously secret documents released to date and the prospect of more.
The case has produced revelation after revelation: battles between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the military over the treatment of detainees at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp; autopsy reports on prisoners who died in custody in Afghanistan and Iraq; the Justice Department’s long-secret memorandums justifying harsh interrogation methods; and day-by-day descriptions of what happened inside the Central Intelligence Agency’s overseas prisons.