USA Yesterday

In a further sign of American mainstream media decline, USA Today reveals why the now infamous Downing Street Memo – proving that intelligence was being fixed to support war in Iraq – was ignored in its newspaper. Here’s Jim Cox, the paper’s senior assignment editor for foreign news: “We could not obtain the memo or a copy of it from a reliable source. There was no explicit confirmation of its authenticity from (Blair’s office). And it was disclosed four days before the British elections, raising concerns about the timing.”

Let’s get this straight. A story isn’t a story until confirmed by a government source? The appearance of the memo before the election was news in itself and was released by a British media that actually understood its job. Finally, numerous papers around the world had published extracts of the memo and USA Today couldn’t obtain the memo? USA Today wasn’t alone in its deficiencies as much of the US media ignored the revelation.

There is a distinct lack of truthfulness in the public domain. CBS News has recently been suggesting that things are getting better in Iraq and the source for this fallacy has been the word of military officials, again proving that news isn’t news unless confirmed by government organs. At least now, finally, more than half of Americans believe that the Iraq war has made America less safe. Let’s hope the tide is turning and a timetable for withdrawal will be announced before the end of Bush’s second term.

Speaking of America’s Dear Leader, he today announced that alternatives to Guantanamo Bay were being considered but assured his restless flock that detainees were being treated humanely. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, meanwhile, continued his ability to increase hatred towards America throughout the world. Is he, perhaps, working for Osama?

Here’s Rumsfeld discussing those “evil doers” at Guantanamo: “These were terrorists, swept up off the battlefield in a place like Afghanistan, for example. And it’s in our nation’s interest that we learn a lot about those people that are still in detention, because we’re still trying to find out how to better protect our country.”

All terrorists? Really? So why have America released so many of them? And how to explain recent reports that much of the intelligence gathered at Guantanamo is next to useless? This 2002 report proves how effective the new “gulag” has become: “The questioning of al-Qaida prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba has descended into farce, with inexperienced interrogators routinely outwitted by detainees…”

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