From a story on Thursday's Morning Edition:
and from Thursday's All Things Considered
Any grade schooler with a rudimentary understanding of the innocent until proven guilty concept could figure out what is wrong with the titles of these web articles: both refer to TERRORISTS, when what is at issue are detainees of the US government suspected of involvement in terrorism (or guerrilla warfare) who have NEVER faced any semblance of legitimate due process that would justify calling them "terrorists." In fact, someone with just a bit more knowledge of recent US detention policies would suspect that most detainees in the US "war on terror" are probably innocent.
Unfortunately, instead of a grade schooler, NPR's two pieces on US rogue detention are led by "a magna cum laude graduate of Yale," Ari Shapiro. During the Morning Edition piece Shapiro claims that "[d]uring one incident late in the Bush administration, OFFICIALS SAY, a terrorist from Somalia was brought to Afghanistan...." Setting up listeners for his ATC follow-up, Shapiro states, "...the Bush administration used Guantanamo, the United States and Bagram to hold detainees. Because all of those possibilities are problematic, the Obama administration is now thinking more creatively about this issue....and we'll explore those possibilities tonight on All Things Considered.
NPR certainly does explore certain possibilities. Ari's Morning Edition story seems positively innocuous compared to his All Things Considered feature which Melissa Block introduces with the observation that "government lawyers are exploring more creative options." In the piece Shapiro completely embraces the terrorist-until-proven-innocent meme:
- "...virtually everyone interviewed for this story agreed: the United States would rather not be in the terrorist detention business."
- "President Obama has said that he will continue - rendition...would continue sending terrorists to foreign countries."
- "...says the Obama State Department is playing a major role in finding places to put terrorists..."
"So if the US picks up twenty al-Qaeda members tomorrow and they cannot be held...where can they go? [Ken Anderson voiceover] 'To be perfectly blunt, I don't think they'll pick them up at all.' Ken Anderson of the Hoover Institution has written about these issues. [Anderson] 'I think we've actually allowed the courts to arrange the incentives to kill rather than capture.' Many national security experts interviewed for this story agree. It has become so difficult for the US to detain people that in many instances the US government is killing them instead."It floored me to transcribe reread this. Shapiro and Anderson are blaming the courts (!) because some have actually upheld the law. Well, given those harsh restrictions, when the US suspects people of involvement in terrorism outside the US, what "creative" options does it have - except to kill them. Though appalling, it's not surprising that these NPR stories have such a mafia ethic; consider the sources that Shapiro assembled for his ATC work:
- "Columbia law professor Matthew Waxman handled detainee affairs at the Pentagon UNDER PRESIDENT BUSH."
- "CIA SPOKESMAN Paul Gimigliano"
- "Cardozo law professor Vijay Padmanabhan was an attorney adviser at the State Department IN THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION."
- "John Bellinger, who was legal adviser to State UNDER PRESIDENT BUSH."
- "Ken Anderson of the Hoover Institution"
- "University of Michigan law professor Monica Hakimi worked at the State Department IN THE LAST ADMINISTRATION."