Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sources Please...

Two issues that NPR reported with certainty on today caught my attention. First, NPR asserted that three inmates at Guantanamo killed themselves. Second, NPR--during All Things Considered--noted that 30,000 Iraqi civilians have died in our current war there. Really? Does NPR have some kind of unrestricted access or independent source to confirm that the three dead prisoners at Guantanamo actually did kill themselves. Shouldn't any journalists worth their salt question the accuracy of authorities holding prisoners when that authority has been proven by evidence (and signing statements) to sanction and practice torture and abuse? Reports should say "the alleged suicides" of three captives with no access to due process.
As far as the 30,000 number. Where does that number come from? From Bush's mouth back in December 2005. Apparently, Bush was basing his numbers on Iraq Body Count, which is problematic in that it is based on news reported deaths in Iraq--reporting that is severly restricted (besides, the Iraq Body Count is now up to 40,000). Couldn't NPR more accurately state that "according to respected sources, in October 2004 well over 100,000 civilians had been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and this number probably at least has doubled since then." To do these things would require that NPR not be biased toward the US Government foreign/military policy which I have yet to see.

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