This piece was triggered by Isabel Macdonald's May 27 piece, NYT's Pentagon Propaganda: Misleading Report on Guantnamo and
Terrorism. She's the Communications Director of Fair, a fact-checking organization.
There are adequate federal prison facilities to safely detain even the total number of Guantanamo prisoners, should that be necessary. No one has escaped from our federal maximum security facilities, ever.
The "released prisoners return to terrorism" reports from the pentagon have been debunked repeatedly.
The NYTimes allowed itself to print "1 in 7 Freed Detainees Rejoins Fight" without the fact checking that would have allowed its readers to see that:
-the pentagons counts are bogus, including freed men who merely wrote op-ed pieces or appeared in anti-war videos,
-the counts do not bother to exclude some who were never in Guantanamo,
-the counts failed to indicate that the so-called terrorists were never convicted of anything.
The article never even mentioned the fact that the 1 in 7 number included mere suspicious estimations in its totals.
That some prisoners are radicalized in our prisons, from torture and exposure to immoral inhumane treatment may very well be true, but this would not apply to those in solitary confinement.
The scare-mongering tactics of the right wing fundamentalists like Chaney and his gang of neocons do not deserve major headlines. Their empty ideas perhaps deserve a mention on page 23 about the baseless arguments that they persist in putting forth, but certainly not the opinion-shaping headlines the NYTimes chose to give them.
There is a need for youth education in the country that will enable tomorrows adults to guard themselves against the ever increasing news-for-sensationalism reportage we are subjected to. Perhaps it is also time to add morality education to our journalism students. Then future reporters might not be so apt to lend their names to quasi-truths.
Denbeaux 12/10/07 [PDF]
Huffington Post, 3/13/07
Washington Independent, 1/23/09
Y'all have a good day now.