Thursday, June 03, 2004

Before the war, the news media failed to reveal the extent of Saddam Hussein's brutality. Too many journalists cut a shameful deal with the dictator: To keep their Baghdad bureaus open and unmolested, they refrained from serious attempts to report Saddam's crimes.

Since the liberation of Iraq the broadcast media have ...well, they've made no great effort to correct the record...

There are videotapes of many of Saddam's vile misdeeds. He ordered them either for personal amusement or as a management tool _ to make sure the work was getting done. These tapes show Saddam's thugs hacking fingers off those suspected of disloyalty, pulling out the tongues of those who dissented, cutting off the heads of those who offended the dictator. The blood splatters, the victims scream, Saddam's killers sing Saddam's praises.

It's puzzling that the same media outlets that air -- over and over _ tapes of Americans abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib do not broadcast these earlier tapes. One possible explanation: Tapes of American abusers are prurient -- the women's underwear, the dog leashes, the nudes-on-nudes. By contrast, the Saddam tapes are gruesome in a banal way.

But such reasoning is insufficient when you watch veteran film-maker Don North's restrained documentary entitled, "Remembering Saddam," the story of nine innocent businessmen who had their right hands amputated at Abu Ghraib on Saddam's orders. North's film has been written about by the Wall Street Journal, and North has been interviewed on C-SPAN, but not one network -- not CBS, NBC, ABC or PBS -- has yet aired his truthful, revealing tale of real people who suffered under a brutal dictator, who suffer still, and who are grateful to Americans for freeing them from Saddam's clutches.
(Emphasis added)

Oh...written by a former NY Times correspondent.

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