Saturday :: Jul 10, 2004

Will Our News Media Cover the Abu Ghraib Children's Story?

by Mary

This week German television carried a story reporting that more than 100 children have been detained in Abu Ghraib and some of them have been abused in order to induce their families to talk.

I've been wondering when we would hear something on this story. In early June, Brad DeLong wrote that Rick Perlstein attended a talk by Seymour Hersh where Hersh talked about what it was like uncovering the story at Abu Ghraib.

[Seymour Hersh] said that after he broke Abu Ghraib people are coming out of the woodwork to tell him this stuff. He said he had seen all the Abu Ghraib pictures. He said, "You haven't begun to see evil..." then trailed off. He said, "horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run."

He looked frightened.

I've been haunted by that statement. What was this evil that was worse than the pictures we have already seen?

Last May, some reports about the abuse of children showed up in the foreign press. Now, Save the Children is trying to bring focus on the problem that there are still children being held in Abu Ghraib and to seek their release. Many of these children were taken when the Army was sweeping Iraqi neighborhoods to try to intimidate the insurgency. As the Red Cross reported, most of those caught in the sweeps were innocent people who could provide no information.

And in the United States, the only news about this story was that the Pentagon was to brief the Congress in secret sessions about what they know about this problem yesterday.

Larry Di Rita, chief spokesman for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, told reporters the material will be shared with lawmakers in closed meetings. The information will not be released publicly.

"It's something of a stretch of policy and procedures to give them to the Congress," Di Rita said.

He said the Red Cross had given its consent to sharing the material with Congress, "but they do get concerned about expanded exposure to these reports because it affects the way they operate around the world, and we're trying to honor that, so we wouldn't release this to the press."

Yet, wasn't just a few weeks ago that the Congress was given another briefing that was supposed to update them on everything that had happened at Abu Ghraib? It seems like once more the Bush administration neglected to tell the full story.

Besides one or two articles in this country, it seems there has been a virtual blackout on this story. Yet, the story is out in the world and you can get a copy of the video here. It is so obvious that this administration and the national media believes that they can censor stories because the only audience that worries them is the US audience. 5 billion people outside the US can see this story, but if it doesn't show up on the US media, it didn't happen.

And oh, by the way. I missed this story yesterday because I wasn't able to listen to ATC. What possibly could constitute death by natural causes at Abu Ghraib after a month and a half of torture?

Mary :: 5:32 PM :: Comments (12) :: Digg It!