Thursday, June 09, 2011

New York Timid 'covers' the release of four activists

Duraid Adnan (New York Times) notes the Tuesday release of the four activists arrested May 27th. "Notes" may be too strong a word, by the same token, I can't think of a term weaker than "notes." The paper's determined the issue needs only 106 words -- I've seen Tweets that packed more information.

Refusing to write an actual article about this -- the same way the paper's reporting has refused to cover the assaults on freedom and activism (the paper's editorial board has covered it). It's amazing that the closest to 'hard hitting' reporting on the attacks on protesters the paper's done has been a recent one on . . . the KRG. That's not to deny that human rights abuses take place in the KRG. They do. Far too often. But, for example, after a protest, hours after, reporters haven't been hunted down in the KRG and publicly beaten and then hauled off. No, that happens in Baghdad.

The brief must have a point.

You keep telling yourself that as you read it.

Otherwise, why even bother.

Apparently the paper just wanted to be able to have something in their indexes.

It doesn't qualify as anything. On Thursday you tell us four protesters were released on Tuesday. Wow. I didn't realize the paper was going with the motto of "If the fast changing news landscape is too much for you, read the New York Times where we offer two-day-old news."

The four were framed -- as the Iraqi press reported yesterday. They were arrested because they were activists. The government insisted they were arrested four "fake identification." And the government provided fake identification of the four to a judge but, as the judge noted, the photos on the identification, which was of the activists, showed them garbed in . . . detainee issued garb. In other words, the photos on the fake i.d. were taken after the four had been arrested.

Two days after they were released, why would you bother to report on their release and not include that detail?

Or that they were taken, May 27th, in an ambulance?  (Al Mada, this morning, is using terms like "kidnapping" to describe the activists being pulled off the streets and sprinted away in an ambulance.)

Or that they assert they were tortured while in custody?

I believe they were tortured based on the history of 'interrogations' in Iraq; however, I could understand the New York Timid needing to toss in "allegedly" but I can't understand why two days after the release you're running an item on the issue and can't note the allegations of torture.

It's amazing when you think about the risks and chances the Iraqi press takes to provide as much truth as they can without being 'disappeared' while one of the world's largest outlets can't even note the basics. New York Timid.

By contrast, Dar Addustour notes today that the four were whisked away, May 27th, in an ambulance, that the four say they were taken to holding facilities at the Muthanna airport, that they were blindfolded and tortured. They call for Nouri al-Maliki to apologize to them.

In other news, Al Sabaah notes that Iraqi President Jalal Talabani met with US Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey and the top US commander in Iraq Gen Lloyd Austin. Supposedly they were discussing enhanced cooperation between Iraq and the US.
Computer problems on this end (Blogger/Blogspot actually) so that's going to be it for this morning (and that's why I'm e-mailing this entry in, for those who'll notice the differenc).  Also, Blogdrive is down, I am trying to cross post at WordPress however.

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