Friday, July 16, 2004

Is Seymour Hersh accurate in reporting the shocking details of abuse in Iraq?

Rumsfeld himself has alluded to much worse stuff than we've seen. This could be what he was talking about.

The less-detailed story has been out there for a while. From the comments at my blog, I got this link from May: "U.S. military officials tell NBC News, the unreleased images, show American soldiers severely beating one Iraqi prisoner to near death; apparently, raping an Iraqi female prisoner; acting inappropriately with a dead body; and Iraqi guards apparently videotaped by U.S. soldiers raping young boys."

Also, a link to a German TV report about the abuse of children.

And from Salon: "
The Telegraph and other news organizations described 'a videotape, apparently made by US personnel, is said to show Iraqi guards raping young boys.' The Guardian reported "formal statements by inmates published yesterday describe horrific treatment at the hands of guards, including the rape of a teenage Iraqi boy by an army translator."

People who wonder about Hersh's credibility and politics should note that this is a very specific claim -- he is saying these events happened at this place and the US has video. Contrast that to some of his other comments in the speech, eg, a neocon cult has hijacked the government, which are, um, interpretive.

3:28:13 PM    comment []

John Hammer in the current Rhino Times (not yet posted) primary endorsement issue:

"(Billy) Yow gives Republicans a bad name and the people of Guilford County a bad name...If you want the county commissioners to continue to be an embarrassment to Guilford County, vote for Yow." He says Yow and his thinly veiled racist remarks are a liability when it comes to recruiting businesses to the area.

Hammer also endorses incumbent Mary Rakestraw over Mike Winstead in the District 7 GOP commissioner primary, although he has lots of nice things to say about her challenger. Johnny says Rakestraw had good reasons to oppose sheriff/kingmaker BJ Barnes on the issues that irked him into backing Winstead.

1:26:10 PM    comment []

MoveOn picks up the Hersh speech. They just sent out a press release, too, which borrows its lede from my original post:  


Leading investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has told the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that videotapes were made of young boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison. The Bush administration is holding videotapes of these acts, said Hersh, a regular contributor to the New Yorker and other publications and who spoke this week at the ACLU’s annual membership conference.

"The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking," Hersh told the group, adding that there was "a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher."

The specificity of the word "shrieking" is so powerful and horrifying. It brings home the terror of the situation we were administering at the prison, in a way that Rummy's allusions to bad things there not yet seen in the press never could. That's why it's newsworthy.

12:57:55 PM    comment []

TopDog has a list of delegates and other officials who will be blogging from the Democratic convention.

Jenny Greenleaf (Delegate - OR)
Danielle Nika Askini (Delegate - ME)
Christina Ocasio (Delegate - TX)
Karl-Thomas (Delegate - TX)
Marla Camp (Platform committee - TX)
DrFrankLives (Platform committee - NC)
TopDog04 (Delegate - NY)

The Dems are credentialing bloggers as press, but this is citizens media in its purest form. And it could happen at the GOP convention, too -- any blogging delegates headed to NY?

8:22:55 AM    comment []

The New York Times does not like the $12 billion tobacco buyout approved yesterday by the Senate. An editorial calls the deal to pay farmers to end their annual government allotment "unseemly" and a "ransom" to facilitate FDA regulation of the leaf.

Too bad, NYT.

The buyout is good for North Carolina farmers. It's good for Erskine Bowles, who championed the proposal, and less good for Richard Burr, his opponent in the race for John Edwards' Senate seat, who was wishy-washy on the bill. Bowles gets to cast himself as an old-school Democrat supporting the little guy, versus Burr the pawn of the corporate interests (RJ Reynolds) which opposed the bill. 

Coverage of the bill was front page, above the fold in the Times and a lead news story in the WSJ. The N&R managed to run an AP story on page B8.

8:17:54 AM    comment []