Jason Leopold


Jason Leopold, investigative reporter and Deputy Managing Editor of Truthout, discusses his interview with former Guantanamo detainee David Hicks; the deleterious effects of torture on victims, guards, writers and readers; Hicks’ soul-searching youth, conversion to Islam, and journey to Afghanistan; how Australian Prime Minister John Howard enlisted Dick Cheney’s help in getting a military commission indictment against Hicks, to help his reelection bid; and why a nine month plea deal isn’t the kind of sentence you’d expect for the “worst of the worst.”

MP3 here. (28:38)

Jason Leopold is an investigative reporter and the Deputy Managing Editor of Truthout. His in-depth coverage includes the US Attorney firing scandal, the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilsion and the Bush administration’s torture program. He is a two-time winner of the Project Censored award for his investigative work on Halliburton and Enron, and in March 2008, was awarded the Thomas Jefferson award by The Military Religious Freedom Foundation for a series of stories on the rise of Christian fundamentalism in the US military.

Leopold also received the Dow Jones Newswires Journalist of the Year Award in 2001 for his reporting on Enron and the California energy crisis. He has worked as an editor and reporter at the Los Angeles Times and was Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires. He is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller, News Junkie, a memoir.

8 thoughts on “Jason Leopold”

  1. ” Although the manual advised methods of coercion similar to those used in the Abu Ghraib prison by U.S. forces, it also carried a prescient observation: “The routine use of torture lowers the moral caliber of the organization that uses it and corrupts those that rely on it….” ”


  2. Slightly OT, but Jason’s comments about forced sodomy are are relevant as well. Rape, inasmuch as it is partly about total control over another person, could be considered a form of torture.

    Rape has also consistently been used for centuries, and continues to be, by various armies as a veritable weapon, as a “legitimate” tactic of warfare and control over a population. The fact that it is an uncomfortable subject maybe accounts for it not being discussed as much as it could be.


  3. 'Torture not only permanently scars the victim, but everyone who is involved'. Jason says he can't understand why this affects him so much. I would suggest that he's just a decent, brave human being, and the reason that many people are so indifferent is because they've never acquainted themselves with what is happening. I suspect also that this is because people don't want to understand, because they can't handle it, and are thus acquiescent.
    Martin King said “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a time of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence is betrayal”. The history of the past ten years reveals that torture is one the greatest moral crises of our time, and we need to face it.
    Thanks to Jason and Scott.

  4. Torture is disturbing and I think anyone who has spoken out against the war/torture policies must often wonder if this could happen to them (us), especially for those people who don't have citizenship papers- that brings it up to another level of pressure yet. I for one think they could build a pretty 'scary' case against me just from the very strong statements I have made in letters to the editor. I think I even stated that I believed Hamas has the right to resist Israeli occupation once. Just from that one statement alone I'm cooked. Those letters are in some file somewhere waiting for that very thing if it came to that.

  5. G'day, I'm sorry our leaders are just spineless ass lickers. But occassionaly we get a leader that stands up for the country, but normally the queen or the other politicians boot them out. This is the first time i have heard hicks story. You didnt mention this in the interview but i was sure that they put a gag order on him for a couple of years aswell. He was not aloud to sell his story i thought, so i was suprised the book came out. They mustnt have beaten him completely to submission, its encouraging to see that he still has the balls to tell his story and even write an article let alone a book. So good on im. Hope now more Aussies will wake up.

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