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Thursday
Apr222010

AP account of SEAL’s acquittal a slap in the face to those who serve

Breaking News:
April 23, 2010

SEAL Jonathan Keefe has been cleared, making the second acquittal in the SEAL3 cases. TUSR associate editor Chris Carter covered news about Keefe's acquittal  at BlackFive. We are delighted with the verdicts so far and believe it would be logical for charges against SEAL Matthew McCabe to be dropped. The case has collapsed. Perhaps someone could explain the military justice system to the Associated Press.

Original Post:
by Kay B. Day

I am accustomed to media bias when it comes to the military—there is often a mindset among those who call themselves journalists that makes it impossible to appreciate what our armed forces do for every single one of us.

But I am absolutely infuriated when I come across reportage that is pure b.s.

I sent a link to my column to the Drudge Report this morning to let his screeners know SEAL Julio Huertas had been found not guilty. Now I do not expect a link from Drudge—I’m a standalone blog with a budget that rides on my freelance writing. As expected the news titan’s site linked to Breitbart and that site carried a story about the SEAL acquittal by the Associated Press.

Things were going pretty good until I got to this part: “The case has drawn fire from at least 20 members of Congress and other Americans who see it as coddling terrorists to overcompensate for the notorious Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Thursday's verdict was met by anger and sad shrugs from Iraqis who said they no longer expect to see U.S. troops held accountable for atrocities or other abuses.”

At least 20  members of Congress? Try at least 40 members, and just for fun, add in the fact they are Republicans who supported the SEALs based on evidence compiled by Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.). I know that puts a small grimace on most wire service writers’ faces, but it’s a fact and journalists love facts, right?

And naturally this social justice loving AP writer had to bring up Abu Ghraib—the word ‘notorious’ does seem a bit ‘overkillish’ to me, however. The very name of the place connotes ‘notorious.’ But to compare an alleged punch to the transgressions at Abu Ghraib is akin to comparing a firm handshake to a knockout punch thrown by the great Muhammad Ali. The detainee had no bruises or injuries at all; his story changed with the wind and so did accusations by other sailors.

I could’ve recovered from that first transgression, by the way.

I could’ve even forgiven this rose colored glasses statement: “In his closing argument, [prosecutor Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jason Grover] pleaded with the jury to hold Huertas responsible as an example of "why we're better than the terrorists."

Sidenote to Grover and the AP: There’s a thing called justice. That’s one key asset that makes us better than the terrorists.

Then there’s this thing called a jury trial which should never have happened in the first place.

Then there’s another thing called a head. The so-called detainee still has his on top of his body. I’d say that’s the biggest thing making us better than the terrorists.

But, hey, I’m a happy blessed woman and I was about to go out to mow the lawn when I ran into another statement and there was no walking away from it.

After explaining the prosecution’s key witness, a sailor who is not a SEAL, lied, the AP writer decided to quote another Iraqi—a balance sort of thing, you see.

Here’s what the AP said next: “Against the backdrop of the Abu Ghraib detainee abuse scandal and the 2007 Nisoor Square shootings of 17 civilians in Baghdad, allegedly by Blackwater guards, the SEALs verdict marks another blow to America's image in Iraq... ’These trials are just propaganda for their justice and democracy,’ sneered Abdul-Rahman Najim al-Mashhadani, head of the Iraqi human rights group Hammurabi.’”

Hammurabi.

The same Hammurabi Time Magazine had to publish a retraction about after smear stories related to that notorious journalism meltdown called Haditha.

Here’s an account about media coverage of Haditha from NewsMax about that so-called Human Rights Group:
“Time also identified al-Hadithi as head of something called the Hammurabi Organization for Human Rights and Democracy Monitoring. Time reported that the Hammurabi Human Rights group was affiliated with Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch vehemently denied they had any connection or any ties or association with the Hammurabi Human Rights Group, and Time wrote a retraction.

It was then revealed that the Hammurabi Human Rights group was a group of two: Hadithi and Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani, a Reuters News Service reporter who was previously arrested by U.S. Marines in his home town of Ramadi and underwent weeks of interrogation at the infamous Abu Ghraib Prison. His American warders told Reuters that he was released in a general amnesty in late 2005 along with about 500 other Iraqi prisoners. Reuters also reported that he spent five months in U.S. custody before being released without charges.”

I’d like to congratulate the AP for continuing a level of reportage I’ve come to expect from an organization that runs content from partisan non-profit organizations without disclosing it to the reader. You did the usual sorry job on informing the reader and you managed to once again slap the very men and women that keep this country free enough for you to write your garbage.

Now I’m gonna take my frustration out on that thick St. Augustine lawn I got growing out there. That beats reading an AP story any day.

Oh, I forgot. US media, especially outlets that cannot see past their partisan brainwashing, have done more to degrade the image of my country than all the military infractions alleged over a century.

At least with us bloggers, you know where our politics lean, left or right. That makes us more honest than select media any day, even if every newspaper in the land will pick up the sorry story about a SEAL who somehow, miraculously, got justice in a politically skewed climate where media often present propaganda disguised as news.

 

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