Jun
05
2014

Botching the Prisoners 'Returning to the Battlefield' Story

ABC-talbian

In their Bowe Bergdahl coverage, some media outlets are stoking fears about freed Guantanamo prisoners 'returning to the battlefield.'

Apr
08
2014

Mary Jo White, Tough on Torture Victims

Mary Jo White

Time thinks Mary Jo White will be a good SEC chair because…she approves of torturing Guantanamo prisoners?

May
25
2013

Still Getting Gitmo Wrong

Guantanamo (Joshua Nistas/US Army)

President Barack Obama's address yesterday on U.S. terror strategies got a lot of attention for supposedly charting a new course in America's longest war. But some of the facts were mangled along the way.

May
03
2013

Guantanamo Prisoners as 'Reengaged' Terrorists

FireShot Screen Capture #456 - 'The Washington Post' - thewashingtonpost_newspaperdirect_com_epaper_viewer_aspx

If Guantanamo prisoners are being held without charge, and there is no available evidence to charge them with any terrorism-related offenses, why is the Washington Post talking about the possibility that they may "reengage in extremist activity"?

Feb
06
2013

When It Comes to Drones, Trust the Churchgoing CIA Director

matthews-church-drones

Last night, MSNBC's Chris Matthews hosted a discussion on the Obama administration's recently disclosed "white paper" justifying its policy of using drones to strike at U.S. citizens. Matthews ultimately deciding that the policy was defensible–on the grounds that the CIA director Leon Panetta goes to church.

Apr
26
2011

Reading Guantanamo: NYT vs. Guardian

The New York Times and London Guardian both published stories yesterday (4/25/11) examining the WikiLeaks documents about the Guantanamo prison. While obviously just a snapshot, it is interesting to see how the papers have headlined their findings. The Guardian: The New York Times: And today the Times stresses the potential danger allegedly posed by those imprisoned there: This is not to suggest that the Times' pieces are particularly bad. But the difference in emphasis is striking–and reminiscent of how differently the papers treated previous WikiLeaks disclosures.

Apr
25
2011

Why Hold a Journalist at Guantanamo?

Today's New York Times report (4/25/11) on the WikiLeaks Guantanamo files provides an answer: The documents show that a major reason a Sudanese cameraman for Al Jazeera, Sami al-Hajj, was held at Guantanamo for six years was for questioning about the television network's "training program, telecommunications equipment and newsgathering operations in Chechnya, Kosovo and Afghanistan," including contacts with terrorist groups. The Times' piece is definitely worth reading, though I wish they didn't feel the need to add this type of equivocation: The Guantanamo assessments seem unlikely to end the long-running debate about America's most controversial prison. The documents can be […]

Feb
08
2011

U.S. Outraged Over Cuban Detention Practices

OnFebruary 5 theAssociated Press ran a story about a case in Cuba: Prosecutors are charging jailed U.S. contractor Alan Gross with "acts against the integrity and independence" of Cuba and requesting a 20-year prison term, state news media reported Friday, dimming hopes he would be allowed to go home soon. Further down, as one would expect, is a response from the United States: Gloria Berbena, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, which Washington maintains instead of an embassy, said his "imprisonment without charges for more than a year is contrary to all international human-rights obligations." Now that […]

Feb
10
2010

NYT Covers Harper's Investigation… Sort Of

As Steve Rendall noted here (1/22/10), Scott Horton's explosive Harper's report (3/10) on several ostensible suicides at Guantanamo has received very little mainstream media attention–despite the fact that Horton's account suggests that the prisoners were murdered by U.S. officials at a "black site" within the Guantanamo facility. But never fear–the story has finally broken through. And in the New York Times, no less! Sort of… it's on the letters page. To the Editor: Re "Editorial Shake-Up as Harper's Tries to Stabilize in a Downturn" (Business Day, February 1): I'd like to clarify your report of something I said at a […]

Jul
13
2009

NYT's 'Egregious and Absurd' Editorial Priorities

Brad Jacobson is resurrecting the "NYT Front|Back" feature of his Media Bloodhound blog (7/10/09)–spotlighting the New York Times' "penchant for placing a supremely unnewsworthy story on its cover while burying a vital one in its back pages"–only for "the most egregious and absurd examples." The current example being their July 7 front-page headliner, "In Sex Film Industry, Some Long for a Real Plot": No, this isn't satire. It's a cover story on our nation's paper of record…. The article opens: The actress known as Savanna Samson once relished preparing for a role. "I couldn't wait to get my next script," […]

Jul
10
2009

NYT's 'Blatant Lie' Now 'Embedded Fact… as Intended'

Salon's Glenn Greenwald (7/9/09, ad-viewing required) is extolling "The Significance of McClatchy's Act of Journalism" when reporting that recently released six-year Guantanamo prisoner Haji Sahib Rohullah Wakil–one of many who supposedly "returned to or are suspected of returning to terrorism after their release"–"far from being in hiding, operates openly among officials of Afghanistan's U.S.-allied government." Labeling Nancy Youssef's piece "a consummate example of excellent journalism," Greenwald also wants us to note the central role the New York Times played–yet again–in spreading and given credence to pure government propaganda. And the method used to accomplish that is exactly what led them […]

Jun
14
2009

Inverting Reality at 'Recidivist' NY Times

Finding the May 21 New York Times article on unconvicted (often even uncharged) former Guantanamo prisoners supposedly "rejoining" terrorist groups "especially troubling" in that "it turns the truth upside-down," Dan Kennedy (UTV, 6/9/09) explains how reporter Elisabeth "Bumiller's story played into the darkest fears promoted by Cheney and his fellow conservatives by making it appear that terrorists captured on the battlefield and sent to Guantanamo would resume their jihadist ways upon being released." In reality, "the far more disturbing truth, borne out by the Pentagon's own figures, is that we are creating terrorists at Guantanamo." Yet it has to be […]

May
30
2009

The Results of 'Smothering Torture in Euphemism'

In a Smirking Chimp piece (5/29/09) averring that "Everyone Should See Torturing Democracy"–the delayed documentary that "recounts how the Bush White House and the Pentagon decided to make coercive detention and abusive interrogation the official U.S. policy" and "also credits the brave few who stood up to those in power"–PBS' Bill Moyers spells out the larger consequences of the fact that "in all the recent debate over torture, many of our Beltway pundits and politicians have twisted themselves into verbal contortions to avoid using the word at all": Smothering the reality of torture in euphemism of course has a political […]