Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Look big daddy! It's regular daddy!

Chalk another one up for poor journalism.

U.S. Cites Array of Rights Abuses by the Iraqi Government in 2004

Someone over at Daily Kos said that this report from the U.S. is actually good, because they're not sweeping "Iraqi government" actions under the rug. Fine. I mean, none of us is stupid. We get it.

And it does say things like:

The report did not address incidents in Iraq in which Americans were involved, like the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, which came to light in 2004.

An acting assistant secretary of state, Michael G. Kozak, was asked Monday how that scandal had affected the administration's latest evaluation. "Look," he said, "the events at Abu Ghraib were a stain on the honor of the U.S.; there's no two ways about it."

But the article doesn't quote one person or organizations (such as Human Rights Watch, where the State Dept. got much of its information) who pointed out the utter ridiculousness of statements such as this:

"What it shows is that we don't look the other way," the official said. "There are countries we support and that are friends, and when they have practices that don't meet international standards, we don't hesitate to call a spade a spade."
It also doesn't quote anyone from any of the countries singled out. Maybe someone in Russia has a rebuttal - or a critique that the report didn't go far enough!?

Yes, the article is a "report" ... which is what "reporters" are supposed to give us ... but it lacks any context, differing opinions, or appreciation of irony (other than calling the inclusion of our puppet regime in Iraq "unusual). It's not journalism, it's digestion. Bleh.

In related news about the Bush regime's reign of terror on the reputation of a nation that used to have a foot to stand on when calling out other countries on their human rights abuses, a federal judge has again ordered US citizen Jose Padilla either be released or be charged with an actual crime http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=17580&c=206. No more of this arbitrary "enemy combatant" bullshit. Absolutely unbelievable that nobody seems to care about this. Clinton was the Teflon president? That's got to make Bush the super freaky voodoo electro-magnetic repellent president. Why has the mainstream media quit trying to break and dig deeper into stories since the internet went big? It's not enough that the information is out there for the people that care to dig for it; the information needs to be browbeaten into the heads of the mindless millions that don't care, too! Instead they're just being spoonfed the party line infomercials Bush's lackeys are paying for. Total bullshit.
Those are pretty profound questions. It feels like we're in three camps in this country: those who have experience outrage fatigue, those who will defend anything this administration does (even if it contradicts itself), and those who simply don't care that much. There are also the smaller camps: those who trust that the courts will once again save us; those whose fear has immobilized them from coming to terms with larger issues; those who are waiting to do something until that time when the offenses become absolutely intolerable; those for whom a lot of purple fingers or cedar tree flags means that the administration has won on all counts.

But the suspension of habeus corpus? That should have been stopped cold in its tracks the minute it was even brought up -- at least the minute it was revealed to the masses. Maybe it's that the Internet gives us TOO much information; makes it TOO easy to move onto the next distraction.

I have a few issues with the ACLU, but the fact that they're taking the lead on this no-brainer -- and WINNING in a very disturbing environment -- gives me great hope. Maybe when I get a few bucks, I'll actually join...
I meant, of course, that Reagan was the Teflon President. Clinton was more like stainless steel sprayed with Pam. Nothing totally sticks, but you're always left with some spots that won't quite come clean no matter how hard you scrub. Even if there wasn't something really meaty cooked in the first place. Well, you know what I mean.
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