Tuesday, 31 May 2005

Blessed are the Alternative Newsmakers

Suddenly unafraid of more frequent press conferences, Bush is providing much more fodder for his critics. As reported at CNN, the irony of the juxtaposition of Bush's defense of prisoner treatment at Guantanamo (prisoners often held years without charges) against his concern about due process in Russia for a multi-millionaire convicted of fraud and tax evasion is mind boggling. Whether or not Mikhail Khodorkovsky received a fair trial, the very fact that Bush would call out this wealthy individual's case while defending policies which deny due process to hundreds of detainees speaks volumes about where his sympathies lie.

When Bill Moyers addressed an audience in Seattle, he called the media on their unwillingness to report anything unless some newsmaker spoke about it. Whatever happened to investigative journalism? Well thank goodness groups such as Amnesty International still have status as newsmakers, else our leaders wouldn't get ANY of the tough questions that our democracy deserves that they have to answer. In the absence of an independent, inquisitive press, it is incumbent on the rest of us to become the newsmakers.

President Bush, why do you hate America?

[Update: OK, that last was a throwaway line inspired by the headline of the CNN article. Bush and Cheney are so quick to accuse those who make the charges of abuse as America haters when clearly they have no such information. The point is that it is at least as reasonable to accuse them of the same in the face of evidence that their policies trample on what are thought of by many of us as American values.

They would also like to leave the impression that Amnesty International is basking in 'trash America' talk, but a visit to their home page, shows that they readily move on to other international cases around the world, not at all tied to any ideological bias. If you hunt, however, the charges related to Guantanamo are hardly thrown out casually, as this comprehensive report proves.

No doubt what got Cheney riled was being one of the persons called out as deserving of investigation, and if warranted by such, arrest when traveling to another state.
05/26/05 "Cox News" - Bob Dart - WASHINGTON - Amnesty International USA urged foreign governments Wednesday to use international law to investigate Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other alleged American "architects of torture" at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and other prisons where detainees suspected of ties to terrorist groups have been interrogated.
"If those investigations support prosecution, the governments should arrest any official who enters their territory and begin legal proceedings against them," said William Shulz, executive director of the U.S. branch of the international human rights agency.
But Bush would rather complain about possible lack of due process for a Russian multi-millionaire.]

1 comment:

-epm said...

"News is what people want to keep hidden; everything else is publicity."

-Bill Moyers

Unfortunately, today's media are all too happy to serve as publicists rather than of journalists.

The willingness of our 'leaders' to speak nonsense, the willingness of the media to repeat it without question, and the willingness of the public to be swallow it, is something my simple intellect just cannot understand. I am dumbfounded by our culture's sociopathic ambivalence to the truth.