Or, Red Meat for the Rightie Blogosmear
Here’s another “story” that currently only exists in the Red Blog camps.
The Australian newspaperThe Age, reported yesterday that, seemingly chillingly:
Freed Guantanamo inmates take up arms
The Age (Australia)
July 28, 2007
AT LEAST 30 former Guantanamo Bay detainees have been killed or recaptured after taking up arms against allied forces following their release.
They have been discovered mostly in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but not in Iraq, a US Defence Department spokesman told The Age yesterday.
Commander Jeffrey Gordon said the detainees had, while in custody, falsely claimed to be farmers, truck drivers, cooks, small-arms merchants, low-level combatants or had offered other false explanations for being in Afghanistan.
“We are aware of dozens of cases where they have returned to militant activities, participated in anti-US propaganda or engaged in other activities,” said Commander Gordon…. [more]
Well, I have two reasons.
The first, and unimportant reason is that I was interviewed on the floor of the 2000 Democratic National Convention as an Oregon Delegate by a reporter for The Age, and later looked up the article on the internet (when I’d gotten back home). The Age’s reporter had quoted me as saying the exact opposite of what I told her. My sound bite was: “We are electing a president, not a talk show host.” Her question was, “Isn’t Al Gore dull?” Her quote, attributed to me was that, yes, Al Gore is dull.*
[* That’s agenda-driven reporting, BTW: you have a preconceived notion of what the story is — from observation, to be fair — but then you’re looking for quotes to fill in the little “VERITAS” spaces in your piece. WHEN you get to this point, stop. You’ve slipped off of the journalism bus, which is a fearless search for truth, even if you don’t like it, even if it’s uncomfortable. The other is being a propagandist, the only question being the degree. The difference, the one that FAUX NOOZ and the other newsbusters who claim “Liberal Bias” miss is that there is a vast difference between trying to be objective — an impossible paradigm, perhaps, but a GOOD paradigm — and intentionally “fixing the facts to fit the story.”]
So my personal experience in terms of the veracity of The Age isn’t good. And, in my epistemology, what I have experienced directly always carries a lot more weight than something I’ve read. But you’re reading this, so it’s just a story.
The second, IMPORTANT reason why I said “seemingly,” ought to be a no-brainer.
The second reason?
Look at the SOURCE.
“a US Defence Department spokesman told The Age yesterday.”
End of story. We, AMERICANS know better than nearly anyone that our military lies to us on a regular basis. They did it in Vietnam. They BRAGGED about it after Gulf War I (that Marines were mounting an amphibious assault on a heavily occupied island just off the Kuwaiti shore).
And now, with the war and with Gitmo and the “secret CIA prisons” under scrutiny, and the mad yowl of the disinformation arm of the Administration (Note how many screams of “Al Qaeda”! “Al Qaeda”! “Al Qaeda”! “Al Qaeda”! went up after the Congressional subpoenas were openly defied by the White House in the past fortnight), what critical thinker could possibly take a “PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER”s interview with a major non-US newspaper at face value?
Doesn’t it seem interesting that there was no headline on this with a compliant US media?
Now, that doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been a nice rightie blowback. There has. That Kewpie Doll from Hell, Michelle Malkin was, of course, on the story like white on rice:
More Gitmo catch-and-release
By Michelle Malkin
July 29, 2007 10:46 AM
Earlier this month, the US released 16 Saudis from Guantanamo Bay. A total of 77 Saudis have been freed from detention. If you shared my ‘Uh-oh’ reaction, then you will not be surprised by this latest report in The Age (via Andrew Bolt) about freed Gitmo detainees taking up arms and resuming jihad.
Consider what side the PR Officer’s bread is buttered on. And consider that such an interview would have to be cleared at the highest levels. Ask yourself what benefit or cover this might give the Commander In Chief in his little problems about illegal wars, Geneva conventions, falsified intelligence, etceter, etcetera, etcetera, et al, ad nauseum, ad infinitum, &c.
And then ask yourself: Are these the same “critical thinkers” who were arguing all week about details in the formerly anonymous Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp’s report from Baghdad? Who nitpicked the typeface of Dan Rather’s 60 Minutes II report?
An interesting sort of critical thinking.
Here are a couple of other interesting facts:
The killers the Left wanted freed (sic)
The Herald Sun (Australia)
By Andrew Bolt
Saturday, July 28, 2007 at 10:58am
The real scandal isn’t that the US has locked up suspects at Guantanamo Bay, but that it’s let so many of them go free – free to resume their terrorism:
“AT LEAST 30 former Guantanamo Bay detainees have been killed or recaptured after taking up arms against allied forces following their release.
“They have been discovered mostly in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but not in Iraq, a US Defence Department spokesman told The Age yesterday.
“His comments follow the death this week of Taliban commander and former detainee Abdullah Mehsud, who reportedly blew himself up rather than surrender to Pakistani forces. In December 2001, Mehsud was captured in Afghanistan and held at Guantanamo Bay until his release in March 2004. He later became the Taliban chief for South Waziristan.”
How many people have now been murdered by fanatics set free from Guantanamo Bay, at the urging of so many civil libertarians and Leftist activists?
How many deaths do those civil libertarians now have on their conscience?
The Herald Sun is a morning tabloid newspaper based in Melbourne, Australia. It is published by The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd (HWT), a subsidiary of News Limited and owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. It primarily serves Melbourne and the rest of the state of Victoria, and shares many articles with other News Limited paid daily newspapers, especially those from Australia.
Herald Sun is the highest circulating newspaper in Australia, with a weekday circulation of 551,100 and readership of 1,500,000. (emphasis added).
[The Age’s parent company] In October 2006 speculation began that the company would be bought out and split up began to grow after the passage of changes to Australian media laws. Rival media company News Corporation purchased a 7.5% stake in the company …
Oh, and this:
Since the 1980s The Age, despite the loss of its corporate independence, has remained a successful and influential newspaper…. Its sports journalism is also extensive, although it does not try to compete with The Herald Sun in volume of sports coverage.
For the Administration, this story is too good. (Of course, there’s an old saying in the news biz: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.)
Other than that, though, the story is very credible. Which is why it seems funny that basically only the Rightie sites have picked up on it. Hmmm.