Thursday, May 19, 2005

Kill the messenger

Still more proof that the evidence of Koran abuse can be corroborated:

The International Committee of the Red Cross documented what it called credible information about U.S. personnel disrespecting or mishandling Korans at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and pointed it out to the Pentagon in confidential reports during 2002 and early 2003, an ICRC spokesman said Wednesday.

This can be added to the many other instances where detainees "reported instances of their handlers sitting or standing on the Koran, throwing or kicking it in toilets, and urinating on it."

Enumerating these and other instances of Koran abuse, Molly Ivins issued a call to arms:
Seventeen people have died in these riots. They didn't die because of anything Newsweek did -- the riots were caused by what our government has done.

Get your minds around it. Our country is guilty of torture. To quote myself once more: "What are you going to do about this? It's your country, your money, your government. You own this country, you run it, you are the board of directors. They are doing this in your name. The people we elected to public office do what you want them to. Perhaps you should get in touch with them."

What everyone wants to know is why did Newsweek back down?

Joyce Marcel wrote in Common Dreams that Bush and Cheney recognize the need to discredit the press before another Woodward/Bernstein investigation brings down the White House:
With one eye firmly on Watergate, they want to discredit the press before their own dirty tricks are exposed. To that end, they have bribed columnists to create propaganda, lied their way to war, strong-armed media owners with threats and bluster, and buried as much real news as they could - for example, the public is still not allowed to see photographs of coffins coming back from Iraq.

The Light of Reason argues that the ultimate goal is censorship - denigrating the validity of the press in the eyes of the public to such an extent that it can no longer function as a counterweight to administration propaganda:
What I want to emphasize right now is the speed and ambitiousness of the propagandists’ game here. In less than a day, they have targeted all of these issues, using the Newsweek mistake (if indeed it was one) as their freshest ammunition:

— Minimizing to the point of non-existence all abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib

— Minimizing to the point of non-existence all abuse and torture at Guantanamo

— Reinforcing the idea that the mainstream media is not to be trusted on matters of national security, and that it is fundamentally anti-American

— Introducing the idea that “some people” think the media has finally gone “too far,” which carries the unavoidable implication that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!

So what is the logical result of all this? There are at least two major results, and two major goals: first, strengthening the idea that, whatever the United States does, it is always right and anyone who questions our policies is wrong, and anti-American—and if we do make any mistakes, they are trivial and barely worth mentioning, thus trying yet again to shut down all debate; and second, if the Bush supporters and warhawks had their way, censorship.


Post a Comment

<< Home