An article brought to us by Arnold Roth
In an illuminating and very important NY Times opinion piece, senior CNN executive Eason Jordan admits that the network regularly covered up stories of Iraqi torture and atrocities; see "The News We Kept to Ourselves", online at http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/11/opinion/11JORD.html .
Extracts from Jordan's article - start quote:
- "Over the last dozen years [says Jordan] I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff.
- "For example, in the mid-1990's one of our Iraqi cameramen was abducted. For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government's ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency's Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk.
- "Then there were the events that were not unreported but that nonetheless still haunt me. A 31-year-old Kuwaiti woman, Asrar Qabandi, was captured by Iraqi secret police occupying her country in 1990 for "crimes," one of which included speaking with CNN on the phone. They beat her daily for two months, forcing her father to watch. In January 1991, on the eve of the American-led offensive, they smashed her skull and tore her body apart limb by limb. A plastic bag containing her body parts was left on the doorstep of her family's home.
- "I felt awful having these stories bottled up inside me. Now that Saddam Hussein's regime is gone, I suspect we will hear many, many more gut-wrenching tales from Iraqis about the decades of torment. At last, these stories can be told freely."
- End quote
After a disclosure as broad-reaching and shocking as this, why would we trust anything that comes from CNN? By covering up these stories, CNN helped the evil regime of Saddam Hussein remain in power, for no other reason than sheer cowardice. One web-blog site LGF (http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=6219) put it well tonight: "Jordan seems to think that remaining in Baghdad was more important than anything else, even more important than reporting the truth. Disgusting and shameful beyond all words."
CNN and Eason Jordan are certainly not alone. From personal knowledge, some of the biggest media names regularly, consistently tell lies and deny it. This is especially true in relation to how they report on the Palestinian Arab war of terror against our children. This continues until today. It will go on until ordinary people like you and me speak out and demand that it ends.
Getting the media to acknowledge their dishonesty is no easy task. Eason Jordan himself was challenged about CNN's reporting from Baghdad six months ago, and said this: "The writer clearly doesn't have a clear understanding of the realities on the ground because CNN has demonstrated again and again that it has a spine; that it's prepared to be forthright; is forthright in its reporting."
It's evident now that this senior CNN executive knew then that he was lying. But there were plenty of people who wanted to believe. For those people, and for all of us, the right question to ask now, as the Wall Street Journal put it on Friday, is this: "What are CNN and other news organizations failing to tell us about other thuggish regimes, from communist Cuba to the Palestinian Authority?"
Every one of us needs to consider carefully what we can do. But doing something constructive is imperative.