The Bush administration continues to control the news media to its own benefit. The recent flap over the Newsweek story is a case in point. Note that Newsweek’s carefully worded retraction never said the story was false, in fact, the source apparently insists the flushing of the Koran actually happened; they said their source could not confirm which document was reporting the investigation. (Link)
What the right-wing media and Bush spin doctors have succeeded in doing is changing the focus of the story from the content to the “liberal” reporters. The fact remains that we are conducting torture in Afghanistan and Iraq. The New York Times, in a story by Tim Golden, which was taken from a confidential – of course – Army document revealed numerous instances of vicious torture of prisoners, some of whom were innocent of anything.
Bush has fostered an atmosphere that permits this kind of treatment by arguing that the Geneva Conventions don’t apply to these prisoners. The current Attorney General prepared a memo while he was White House counsel that permitted torture to the point of “organ failure.” Given that the heart is an organ, I suspect the translation of this could be that it’s OK to torture someone until they die. We know that religious humiliation of the prisoners was common, and when the perpetrators do get caught, the bosses are never held accountable.
And this is an example of the shining light of democracy and freedom?