NYT Draws Ire For Use Of Anonymous Sources

Over the weekend, The New York Times published an article examining the internal debate at the Justice Department in 2005 about interrogation techniques. In the days since, the paper has been chastised by numerous bloggers for defending Bush officials.

Although the bloggers do an excellent job of laying out the controversy themselves, here is some background:

Citing three previously undisclosed emails between deputy attorney general James Comey and his chief of staff Chuck Rosenberg, as well as “interviews and newly declassified documents,” the Times concluded that “some of the lawyers…went along with a 2005 legal opinion asserting that the techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency were lawful.”

The Times also included Comey’s three emails so readers could see read them for themselves — and draw their own conclusions. After reading the memos, bloggers like Talking Points Memo’s Zachary Roth say the Times could have written a completely different story.

Allison Kilkenny points out on the Huffington Post that this isn’t the first time that anonymous sources (like the ones that mysteriously sent these emails and other info to the Times) have caused the Grey Lady to defend the Bush administration’s policies. Kilkenny also offers a helpful guide to reading Times articles that rely on anonymous sources.

You can read the emails for yourself. What do you believe? Do you trust the Times or do you read the paper of record with a grain of salt?