Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Bush is Quite Clever

4 April 2007

Bush has used a recess appointment to make a Republican fund raiser our ambassador to Belgium, according to Fox News.

The headline on Fox’s homepage? “Bush Out-Foxes Appointment Foes.” By “appointment foes,” of course, they mean “majority in Congress.” And by “out-foxes” they presumably mean “bypasses check and balance system that depends on.” The way it’s phrased makes it seem as though Bush, in a moment of genius, finds a way to defeat these evil people who are opposing the appointment. Yes, he’s quite clever, he’s done it 167 times in fact.

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Scooter Libby… What?

13 March 2007

Though jurors have found Scooter Libby guilty, Fox News says otherwise. The News Corpse shows a shot of their coverage of the verdict, with “Scooter Libby Found Not Guilty of Lying to FBI Investigators” across the bottom.

Freedom of speech is great, but Fox News should probably consider being more accurate nonetheless.

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Man Behind the Hood

21 February 2007

The Heathlander published an excerpt from this yesterday. It is the testimony of Ali Shalal, known as the “man behind the hood,” who was tortured at Abu Ghraib and whose picture became more or less the face of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse. He was arrested on October 13th, 2003 and transferred two days later to Abu Ghraib. The below is part of his testimony to the War Crimes Commission.

In the morning, an Israeli stood in front of me and took the bag from my head and told me in Arabic that he was an Israeli had interrogated and tortured detainees in Palestine. He told me that when detainees would not cooperate, they would be killed. He asked me repeatedly for names of resistance fighters. I told him that I do not know any resistance fighters but he would not believe me, and continued to beat me.

This Israeli dressed in civilian clothes tortured me by inserting in turn first with a jagged wooden stick into my rectum and then with the barrel of a rifle. I was cut inside and bled profusely. During this time, when any guard walked past me, they would beat me. I had no food for 36 hours.

I was electrocuted on three separate sessions. On the first two sessions, I was electrocuted twice, each time lasting few minutes. On the last session, as I was being electrocuted, I accidentally bit my tongue and was bleeding from the mouth. They stop the electrocution and a doctor was called to attend to me. I was lying down on the floor. The doctor poured some water into my mouth and used his feet to force open my mouth. He then remarked, “There is nothing serious, continue!” Then he left the room. However, the guard stopped the electrocution as I was bleeding profusely from my mouth and blood was all over my blanket and body. But they continued to beat me. After some time, they stopped beating me and took me back to my cell.

Throughout the time of my torture, the interrogators would take photographs.

Shalal was released March 2004, when it was finally decided he had been wrongly arrested.

Donald Rumsfeld’s testimony to the Senate after the torture had been revealed included the following:

We’re functioning in a — with peacetime restraints, with legal requirements in a wartime situation, in the information age, where people are running around with digital cameras and taking these unbelievable photographs and then passing them off, against the law, to the media, to our surprise, when they had not even arrived in the Pentagon.

One wonders what would have happened, or continued to happen, if the media had not learned of what was happening.

In, hopefully, but not necessarily, completely unrelated news, swissinfo reports that the US will not be allowing Swiss senator Dick Marty (who is investigating possible abuse of prisoners on behalf of the Council of Europe) to ask Gitmo detainees if they had been held in secret prisons in Europe.

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Where’s Obama?

2 January 2007

The Daily Kos reports that Wolf Blitzer’s “Situation Room” (on CNN) showed a teaser about Osama bin Laden shortly before the commercial break, which asked the question “Where’s Obama?” in front of an image of Osama bin Laden. “S” and “B” aren’t all that close on the keyboard, and while it seems unlikely that a major news agency would do that on air, even accidentally, they did.

Wolf Blitzer said that he will be apologizing to Barack Obama personally.

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