CBS News Returns To Being Police State Propagandist
So much of what is so reprehensible about the corporate media was tucked into a small article by David Martin on the CBS website, yesterday. On face value it seems but a small but significant news report:
Nearly one out of every five prisoners released from Guantanamo has gone back to terrorism.
The latest figures compiled by the Defense Intelligence Agency show that 18 percent of more than 530 prisoners sent home or to another country are confirmed or suspected of what the Pentagon calls "terrorist activities."
That works out to nearly 100 former detainees back in the fight.
Wow. Sounds bad. Except that everything about the article is suspect.
First of all, this isn't a case of reporting. As became so common, during the Bush Maladministration, Martin doesn't do anything to investigate the claim, he merely repeats what the DIA told him. Stenography is not reporting.
But the worst part of the article is the claim that the released "detainees" have "gone back" to terrorism. Because there is no confirmed proof they ever were involved in terrorism, in the first place! Being involved in terrorism is a serious crime, but we in this country used to have a thing called "the rule of law." Which involved something called "due process." Which Martin and CBS apparently no longer think relevant. Because these "detainees" never were charged, tried or convicted of anything! So, how can anyone be returning to criminal activity when they never were proved to have been involved in criminal activity in the first place?
And, of course, because there is no proof these "detainees" ever were involved with terrorists, even if 18% of them did become involved with terrorists, after release, it's very possible this was their first such involvement. And Martin does mention that some attorneys of some of the "detainees" have made the claim that their imprisonment drove them to terrorism. Hard to believe, but if an innocent man is renditioned, flown halfway around the world, and imprisoned and brutally tortured by a foreign people who speak a foreign language and observe foreign religions, they just might, upon release, hold a bit of a grudge against said foreigners. But Martin refutes that claim.
But CBS News consultant and former Bush administration official Juan Zarate says the ones being released now are more likely to be genuine terrorists.
Well, that settles it! Because we know that Bush officials never lie.
And whether it's helping the government lie us into war, excusing torture and domestic spying, pretending there is a controversy about global warming, or any one of a seemingly infinite number of other important issues, that's what the corporate media now so often do: fail their basic professional responsibilities, and serve as but another instrument of state propaganda.