Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tampering with a Crime Scene

Sometimes there's silence when war crimes are being covered up - and sometimes there's just plain old disinformation. This morning Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, reporting on Bush's trip to Iraq opts for the latter:
"In many ways the Iraq War defined Mr. Bush's presidency....more than 4200 US service members have died, not to mention tens of thousands of Iraqis..."
Imagine the firestorm of criticism that would result if NPR reported that "hundreds of US service members have died." And imagine how galling it would be if NPR continued to do this not once but over and over. The outrage would be immediate and well deserved.

And yet, NPR reporters feel completely comfortable reducing the Iraq death toll by a factors of ten. In June of 2007 John Ydstie silently accepted the low figure of 75,000 deaths "on both sides of the Iraq War," and in August of 2007 Robert Siegel used the comforting rhetoric of "tens of thousands of Iraqis" having died in the war. And sometimes it's simply deafening silence or distortion when reality intrudes on the fantasy of Iraq that NPR and the US government is trying to sell. As Media Bloodhound points out, NPR is right in the mainstream on this coverup of the slaughter that the US has wreaked on Iraq - but that doesn't make it any less criminal...

As always, for more on the well researched Iraqi civilian death toll take a look at Just Foreign Policy.


Anonymous said...

MyT - have you tried to contact Lourdes Garcia-Navarro about this? I'd love to see Greenwald pick up on this as well; I've noticed it often in the past few years and every time I've been amazed by the intentional obfuscation and deception.

Anonymous said...

Even by Iraq Body Count, the number is basically 100,000

"Documented civilian deaths from violence
89,878 – 98,130'

And IBC only uses corroborated news reports, so it is a low-ball.

There are some right wing blogs that do it (and it isi expected from them), but no real journalist would perpetuate this "tens of thousands" meme.

Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is clearly not included in the "real journalist" group. She's a joke. She could not get a real journalism job if her life depended on it. Indeed, that's why she works for NPR.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Liane had a wonderfully astute listener comment on her "Impact of War" report from last week, in which Hansen had declared the greatest burden from the war had been borne by "the all-volunteer military, their families, and the medical community who cares for them."

The listener noted with over one million Iraqis killed, 2.5 million refugees, and untold numbers of orphans, widows, widower, etc., that THEY have borne the largest burden of the war it is "wrong to act as if they don't exist."

Listen to the letters segment here.

Anonymous said...

I would just note that the "refugee' number is closer to 4 million total, which includes internally displaced persons (ie, those who left their homes due to sectarian violence and will probably never return for fear of being killed).

The "journalists", politicians and other Americans who ignore ignore the plight of Iraqis and think that the ones who have borne the brunt of the "sacrifices" are American troops and their families are in deep denial. They are like the Germans who ignored the millions of jews killed by Hitler.

in other words, they are just like Holocaust deniers.

Anonymous said...

Tim Lambert (Deltoid) documents the various estimates of "excess deaths" (deaths above and beyond what would have occurred had the invasion never taken place)

Iraq Family Health Survey: 400,000 excess deaths in Iraq (through June 2006)

Lancet2 (Johns Hopkins U):650,000 excess deaths (through june 2006)

Most violent period in Iraq was after that.
To say that there were (only) tens of thousands is simply a baldfaced lie and those "journalists" who claim as much are simply liars.

Anonymous said...

Too bad, Lourdes Garcia-Navarro wasn't at the news conference in Iraq.

They could have thrown a shoe (or two) at her in addition to Bush.

Interesting that bush touts the shoe-throwing as ab example of "free speech" in Iraq, but the guy sits in jail, not yet even charged wit ha crime (and probably being tortured).

I'd also like to see a shoe thrown at NPR's Anne Garrels who thinks it is fine and and dandy to air information "extracted" from torture victims.

According to wikipedia
"On October 26, 2007 NPR aired a story by Garrels that was mainly based on information extracted via torture.[5] Garrels herself described the victims as "blood-soaked" and "sobbing", but used the information anyway, despite the fact that information obtained this way is notoriously unreliable."

In addition to getting a shoe, Garrels deserves the boot right in her little arse.

Anonymous said...

Some journalists have demanded the release of their colleague who threw his shoes at Bush.

Can you imagine Don Gonyea or any of the other Bush boot-lickers at NPR doing the same?

I can't.

Anonymous said...

Somehow, I doubt NPR will even air the fact that thousands of Iraqis have demanded the release of the journalist who threw his shoes at Bush

Anything that NPR considers potentially damaging to their underwriter funding and to the administration in power is conveniently ignored, just as if it never happened.

Anonymous said...

^.. let alone being snubbed an invitation to sit on a panel for Meet the Press, The Chris Matthews Show, or any number of beltway cocktail weenie soirées! GASP!!

Anonymous said...

It's hard (if not impossible) to envision any of the Neocon apologists at NPR taking someone like Gaffney to the cleaners like Chris Matthews just did.

"when Gaffney said Hussein presented a "mortal threat" to the American people, Matthews attacked him for "still [using] the strategic language" of the Bush administration.

"Where do you get this from?" Matthews screamed. "We can't find the weapons, we can't find the rationale, what kind of mortal threat? Where do you get these words from? Mortal means you die.

"You guys sold the war as a nuclear threat to the United sold every trick you could to get us into this war," he continued. "And now you're backpedaling. And I do find it astounding....Four thousand people are dead because of the way you feel. And Frank Gaffney, you're wrong about this."

Anonymous said...

Of course, in his above statement Matthews ignores all the Iraqis who have died and focuses on the US troops.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that bush touts the shoe-throwing as ab example of "free speech" in Iraq, but the guy sits in jail, not yet even charged wit ha crime (and probably being tortured).

I know it was Stalin's, but is this W's idea of "free speech"?

"The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush during a news conference was beaten and had bruises around his eyes and other parts of his face, a judge said Friday.

Judge Dhia al-Kinani, the magistrate investigating the incident, said the court has opened a probe into the alleged beating of journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi during the news conference.