Spotting Bias In The News From The Bush Administration. A Really Really Serious Skill…

Seldom do you come across a story with such blatant bias that even a mainstream news reporter can spot it. Such is the case with a story in the Globe today headlined “Study says 95% of Guantanamo detainees had posed a threat”. The story was nicely written by William Glaberson of the New York Times News Service.

Some key points:

  • “…a new study requested by the Pentagon argues that large numbers of the detainees there were a direct threat to US forces”
  • “The report, by a terrorism study center at West Point…”
  • “…(the report) asserts that publicly available information indicates that 73% of detainees were (a threat)…”
  • “The authors make clear that one of their goals was to affect public attitudes.”

And the last graf:

The report analyzes previously released military summaries of the unclassified evidence used in 516 of the military hearings that determine whether detainees are properly held as enemy combatants. It was written at the request of the Pentagon by the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point, a teaching and research center that describes itself as “actively involved in supporting the global war on terror.”

Is there any reason at all to think that this report is truthful?

How about a little context? “Publicly available information”? You mean what the Bush/Cheney/Pentagon military complex chooses to make public, which is very little and which they won’t make public unless it serves their political and propaganda goals? This administration could announce that the sun is shining on a sunny day and you know they would be lying or distorting or undermining more of the Constitution and the law.

As for the prisoners, it has been well established that any hearings that they manage to get are little more than kangaroo courts. Prisoners of the Spanish Inquisition were better off. Our vaunted and honorable military refuses to tell these guys what evidence is held against them. The operational rule is “It’s a secret, nyah nyah nyah raghead.”

And if you read the Chris Hedges article in The Nation, The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness (you may need a subscription), you’ll quickly discover that there’s an incredibly high likelihood that, yup, most of the guys in Guantanamo are guilty of nothing more than getting in the way of a pissed-off American soldier breaking into their homes at three in the morning, shooting their dog, and terrifying the wife and kids.

As for the prisoners who might actually have sought to harm American soldiers, well, hello, of course. Invasion. Occupation. Death. Destruction. Atrocities. Slaughtered women. Murdered children. Iraqis fighting to defend their country, their homes, their children, their women – oh, yeah, that’s a real crime deserving of indefinite lockup in an American hellhole a la Kafka. They have a right to kill Americans. Even the soldiers know it.

Maybe, too, someone should remind the geniuses at the Pentagon and the White House that our army is fighting on Iraqi (and Afghani) home soil. Even the fighters from other countries have commonality with Iraq. It’s Arab. It’s Muslim. Does anyone seriously think those people will ever – ever – stop fighting us?

I wouldn’t if the situation were reversed. Never. But I would never fight for the sick, pathetic, delusional bastards who run this country now. The United States, yes. Bush and company, never –  I’d throw them to the enemy sooner rather than later.

As for the article Glaberson wrote, I’m not picking on him. He did a nice, if delightfully unsubtle,  job revealing the bias of the Pentagon report. A good thing would be for more reporters to follow his lead and make the constant and daily biases and distortions clear instead of falling back on the ultimately ludicrous idea of ‘objective balance’.

We, as citizens, have to question everything, especially these days. And remember what I. F. Stone said:

All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

It might be a good idea, in that context, to remember that Bush was a cokehead and a drunk.


2 Responses

  1. […] July 26th, 2007 · No Comments Spotting Bias In The News From The Bush Administration. A Really Really Serious Skill… […]


  2. You said it all correctly and beautifully. My only comment is I wish we had more people like you all around the world. God bless you.


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