May
27
2009

Action Alert: The NYT and the 'Return' to Terrorism

FAIR's latest Action Alert asks media activists to ask New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt about a recent Elisabeth Bumiller article that reported on former Guantanamo prisoners "returning" to terrorism–even though it was not clear there was evidence that any of the released prisoners had ever been involved in "terrorism" of any sort. Please leave copies of your messages to Hoyt in the comment thread here.

May
23
2009

NYT: Ex-Prisoners 'Return' to Terrorism Never Charged

Remembering all too well how the New York Times "helped sell the Iraq War with a bogus story about aluminum tubes for nuclear centrifuges and withheld evidence of illegal spying on Americans for more than a year," Consortium News editor Robert Parry (5/21/09) tells how the paper "is again mishandling a sensitive story in a way that panders to the right." Pointing to a May 21 Times headline and lead "reporting that a Pentagon study has concluded that 'about one in seven of the 534 prisoners' transferred out of the Guantanamo Bay prison 'returned to terrorism or militant activity,'" Parry […]

May
23
2009

Media Unconcerned with Real Torturers Still at Gitmo

Amy Goodman recently interviewed independent journalist Jeremy Scahill on her Democracy Now! show (5/19/09) regarding the fact that, in Scahill's words, "while much of the focus has been on the tactical use of torture at Guantanamo, almost no attention had been paid to a parallel force" known as the Immediate Reaction Force. Describing the methods of this "thug squad that is used to mercilessly punish prisoners"–"They go in, and they hogtie the prisoner… douse them with chemical agents…. They've squeezed their testicles…. They've taken the feces from one prisoner and smeared it in the face of another prisoner"–Scahill tells us […]

Feb
18
2009

On the 'Complexity and Dangers' of Official Sources

Journalist, author and Guantanamo prisoner advocate Andy Worthington gives the lie (Future of Freedom Foundation, 2/16/09) to Washington Post reporters' exclamations over "'the complexity and dangers of the issue' of reviewing the prisoners' cases" after Obama's promise to close the illegal prison: As the conservative judge and George W. Bush appointee Richard Leon discovered in the habeas corpus reviews of five Bosnian Algerians… in many cases "the complexity and dangers" are nothing more than unsubstantiated rumors, and the evidence itself cannot be substantiated. With this in mind, it was, frankly, negligent of the Washington Post to cite the opinion of […]

Jan
27
2009

O'Reilly's Phony Guantanamo Math

In a top-of-the-show rant about the dangers of the Guantanamo detainees, Fox's Bill O'Reilly declared (1/25/09): Just hours after President Obama announced he was going to shut down Guantanamo Bay, the feds confirmed that a released Gitmo inmate, 35-year-old Sahid al-Shahiri, had resumed terrorist activities in Yemen. Now if this isn't a warning, ladies and gentlemen, I don't know what is. Obama tells the world no more Gitmo, and a guy the Bush administration let go in 2007 is now a major Al-Qaeda terrorist again. So we can add this guy to a list of 61 former Gitmo detainees who […]

Jan
27
2009

AP vs. Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments

An Associated Press headline about the "Issue of Terrorists' Rights to Test Obama's Pledge" to close the Guantanamo Bay prison facility spurs Salon critic Glenn Greenwald (1/26/09, ad-viewing required) to put a basic journalistic tenet as simply as possible: "The fact that the U.S. Government accuses someone of X does not mean that they are actually guilty of X": It's a good thing that there was no Associated Press around (let alone Wall Street Journals and John Yoos) during debates over the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments. AP would have run articles describing the proposed guarantees of Due Process […]

Dec
11
2008

Guantanamo Defenders Finally Have Their Say

There are two problems with William Glabersonâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s New York Times News Analysis piece (12/10/08), 'Relatives of 9/11 Victims Add a Passionate Layer to Guantanamo Debate." Let's start with the lead: After the detainees charged with the plotting of the September 11 attacks discussed confessing this week, something unusual was heard here: a vigorous public defense of Guantánamo. "Guantánamo Bay has gotten a bad rap," said Alice Hoagland, whose son was killed in the 2001 attack. Itâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s not at all unusual to hear people defending Guantanamo; itâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s a staple of right-wing punditry and talk radio. Government officials have offered self-serving tours […]