Newsbusters and The Corner shouldn't pick fights with Paul Begala

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

At least not when facts are involved.

Recently on CNN, Begala, discussing the topic of torture, made this point:

Our country executed Japanese soldiers who waterboarded American POWs. We executed them for the same crime that we are now committing ourselves. How do you defend that?

Mark Hemingway at NRO's The Corner claimed Begala got the facts all wrong, and then Newsbusters chimed in, too. Begala was making stuff up about torture!

The irony is that right-wing outlets really have a beef with Sen. John McCain, because he's the one who's talked publicly about how Japanese soldiers were executed for torturing--for waterboarding--American POW's.

"...following World War II war crime trials were convened. The Japanese were tried and convicted and hung for war crimes committed against American POWs. Among those charges for which they were convicted was waterboarding."

That was McCain, on November 29th, 2007, at a campaign event in St. Petersburg, Florida. PoliFact.org quickly looked into McCain's claim and noted:

In a recent journal essay, Judge Evan Wallach, a member of the U.S. Court of International Trade and an adjunct professor in the law of war, writes that the testimony from American soldiers about this form of [water] torture was gruesome and convincing. A number of the Japanese soldiers convicted by American judges were hanged, while others received lengthy prison sentences or time in labor camps.

We find McCain's retelling of history to be accurate, so we give him a True.

So NRO, tell us again how "Begala certainly doesn't know what he's talking about."

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