By the Associated Press
Critique by Punkerslut
The following is a series of correspondence from myself to the editors of the Associated Press. The letters were each a criticism of specific articles published by the Associated Press. To this date, no response has been received for any of these.
Letter Dated: Dec. 19, 2006
I read a recent post made by the Associated Press, on Dec 19, 5:02 PM (ET), entitled "Bush Plans to Put More Troops in Iraq."
The basic idea of the news story is that Bush is increasing his military aid to Iraq, once he has confirmation from Defense Secretary Robert Gates from his investigative tour of Iraq. This is the exact behavior pattern of the United States government during the War in Vietnam. The Dept. of Defense did an investigation of the Vietnam Conflict, commissioned by Robert McNamara. After his tour of duty in Vietnam, he was debriefed by the president and then the American public heard that things were improving in Vietnam. As the illicit publication of the Pentagon Papers proved, that was a known lie. Whatever Defense Secretary Robert Gates gets from his investigation is going to be just as tainted. It is important that this is published with the news, seeing its relevance and the history of the parties involved. It is newsworthy to note earlier activity of a party or a group when they are committing the same crimes again. Thank you.
Letter Dated: Dec. 26, 2006
I'm writing concerning the article "Court: Execute Saddam Within 30 Days" by Qassim Abdul-Zahra, Dec. 26, 1:13 PM (ET).
Recently, James Brown died, and the news carried information on his life from his birth to the very day he died. The media here understood the contextual basis of their reporting. By reporting information on undisputed facts, it gives the reader an understanding of the place of the report. To say that James Brown died, and not to report that he was one of the greatest singers of soul, would be to under-report the issue by not giving the reader the background.
When the Irish Republican Army was first founded earlier in the 1900's, whenever they killed a Protestant, the British news reported that it was a Protestant killed. Whenever they killed a Catholic, the British news never carried it -- they were trying to create the impression that the IRA was targeting British Protestants. The main media source was trying to turn a political struggle into a religious struggle. It was putting motive, ideology, and words behind the actions of an individual. Did the media lie when they noted when it was Protestant or when they ignored when it was a Catholic? No, they did not misreport the facts, but they had organized them in a way to distort them.
This is clearly the exact same thing happening here. You're reporting that Saddam Hussein is responsible for massacring his own people. Who provided those weapons? Who taunted Hussein into this? The diplomat from which G-7 country gave Iraq the green light on invading Kuwait? No, none of these things seem to matter, even if they are 100% completely relevant and pertinent to the situation on hand, to helping the reader fully understand the situation of Saddam Hussein, the American-supported dictator.
Letter Dated: Dec. 29, 2006
You go so far as to say that Saddam Hussein is standing trial for the killing of at least one hundred people. That is as far as the detail is going for the execution of Saddam Hussein: he is being executed for violation of human rights. The story isn't backtracked any further. Few press releases have stated that those violations of human rights occurred with the cooperation of US military forces. Weapons were given to Saddam Hussein, at a time when many in the white house were questioning this national policy. This would seem like an enormously important detail. It would then mean that Saddam was tried, sentenced, and found guilty by the party that was an accessory to the crimes at hand. That seems rather irregular. Domestically, when one person helps another aid in crime, the district attorney will offer a reduced sentencing to the partner who helped in return for testimony. In this case, the district attorney took the criminal partner and made him the judge over the case. That is the logical deduction you've preventing people from making by withholding the fact that the murders Saddam is accused of were with US weapons.
"Only the rich can get justice; only the poor cannot escape it." -- "Lords of Industry," by Henry Demarest Lloyd, 1910, chapter 1.
Letter Dated: Jan. 16, 2007
I was just reading a recent Associated Press article, titled "Bush Chides Iraq Over Recent Executions," by Jennifer Loven, published on Jan. 16, 2007, 4:45 PM(ET).
The underground press sources reported the torture in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and in international, US-held internment camps. Some of these reports last years, or even decades, before the Associated Press carried any of that information. It is clearly admitted in past articles by the Associated Press that there was considerable strife over the matter of how Saddam Hussein was to be executed. His lawyer was even quoted as demanding international attention on what was about to be a violent breach of human rights. The American authorities, after building and puppeteering the Iraq government, caused the violent deaths of Saddam Hussein and his aides. It is almost ridiculous to think otherwise.
And after the fact, after what was so adamantly warned by the opposition side, all we hear are the grievances of the individual who committed these murders? That's absurd! Normally, it's the type of article that would make it on the last page of the Sunday journal: president mournful over the loss of enemy troops. Instead, the Associated Press isolated it and only told half of the story. There isn't a single quote in this article of the White House administration receiving valid, confirmed reports of abusive Iraqi officials and what was going to happen. Why not? Why did we leave this detail out? I'm sure you regret ever publishing information that suggested this would happen. The fact that you're now covering it up raises a serious red flag about your intellectual honesty. How unbiased andunpartisaneds the Associated Press?
The next time someone gets murdered, why don't you just interview them for a half hour and then use the rest of the space in the article to talk about how ineffective DNA evidence is and how unreliable jurors are. You are demonstrating quite clearly that there is no other purpose for a massive, capitalist endeavor for media publication, unless it is to serve the interests of the social, economic, and political elites of society. The way in which the AP has been covering this Iraq conflict, and the US government's proposed plan to deal with it, is anti-democratic.
Letter Dated: Jan. 29, 2007
I recently read an article by the Associated Press, titled, "Bush Warns Iran Against Action in Iraq," written on January 29, 2007, 1:26 PM (ET), by Terence Hunt. Throughout the entire article, it covers Bush's statements and the statements made by the United States government officials, including high-ranking military leaders. Bush said concerning the Iranian government: "It makes sense that if somebody is trying to harm our troops or stop us from achieving our goal, or killing innocent citizens in Iraq, that we will stop them." Others suggested there was good evidence that Iran was involved in supporting Iranian terrorists. However, when we go to Iran's response, all you give them is a quote by Iranian Ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qumi made at least a month ago in a New York Times interview (Dec. 27. '06). What the ambassador had to say dealt with offering training to Iraqi troops; his words had nothing to do with the Iranian government's "support of terrorists." So, honestly, why even bother including it? It's what most journalists would call IRRELEVENT, just as it would be irrelevant to state in the middle of the article, "George Bush, a good Christian, White man, opposes terrorism." What does that have to do with "Bush Warns Iran Against Action in Iraq"? Absolutely nothing.
Why would Iran sell bombs and weapons to those who intend to use them against US forces? I'd really like to know. Of course, the Associated Press is a very small firm, and I understand that you only have just a small, handful of reporters. Trying to get a recent statement from ANY Iranian official on these accusations must have been absolutely impossible. You'd have to buy a plane ticket and fly them out there. I'm sure that expense alone would be most of a year's profit.
According to documents forced from the hands of military officials by the Freedom of Information Act, Iraq was using chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers and Kurdish insurgents on an "almost daily" basis. Don't believe me? Look it up. [Source: Department of State, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs Action Memorandum from Jonathan T. Howe to Lawrence S. Eagleburger. "Iraqi Use of Chemical Weapons", November 21, 1983.] Howard Teicher, The former Reagan administrator of National Security, signed an affidavit admitting that the United States supplied weapons and bombs to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq conflict. [Source: United States District Court (Florida: Southern District) Affidavit. "United States of America, Plaintiff, v. Carlos Cardoen", Charge that Teledyne Wah Chang Albany Illegally Provided a Proscribed Substance, Zirconium, to Cardoen Industries and to Iraq, January 31, 1995.] Some might call that incriminating: the United States government was knowingly supplying weapons and dangerous chemicals to a foreign power using them for killing their own people and those of surrounding nations.
Why wasn't this side of the story included in the original report? It wasn't reported twenty years by the Associated Press. Maybe now it's about time to fill in this "minor" information gap. Thank you.
In solidarity with all working-class people,
Letter Dated: Feb. 15, 2007
I'm writing this in response to the article, "Bush: Iran Is Source of Deadly Weapons," by Terence Hunt, published by the Associated Press on Feb 14, 6:05 PM (ET). In particular, it was this passage, which underlined the entire tone of the article, that bothered me the most:
"Iran was a dominant theme of reporters' questions because of conflicting statements about U.S. intelligence in Iran and recurring speculation that Bush is looking for an excuse to attack the Islamic republic, which is believed by Washington and its allies to be seeking nuclear weapons."
Other references are given to US intelligence agencies, American legislators, and even an interesting quote by Vladimir Putin. However, what is left out is even more interesting: US involvement in distribution of materials throughout the Middle East with the intent of constructing weapons of mass destruction. In 2001, the New York Times published an article titled, "Document Reveals 1987 Bomb Test by Iraq," By William Broad (April 29, 2001, p. A8). In that article, there were details of a radiological bomb in development by Iraqi scientists in 1987. The material component was the explosive Zirconium. In the 1995 case of the United States of America, Plaintiff, v. Carlos Cardoen, et. al., an American company was charged with providing Zirconium to the Iraqi government. Their defense was curious. Howard Teicher, the former National Security Council member for Reagan, testified, "Pursuant to the secret NSDD, the United States actively supported the Iraqi war effort by supplying the Iraqis with billions of dollars of credits, by providing U.S. military intelligence and advice to the Iraqis, and by closely monitoring third country arms sales to Iraq to make sure that Iraq had the military weaponry required." [Source: United States District Court (Florida: Southern District) Affidavit. "United States of America, Plaintiff, v. Carlos Cardoen" [Charge that Teledyne Wah Chang Albany Illegally Provided a Proscribed Substance, Zirconium, to Cardoen Industries and to Iraq, January 31, 1995.]
These two pieces of information are interesting, especially that even six years later, the New York Times forgets to mention that the Zirconium used in Saddam's "dirty bomb" came from American sources and in accordance with covert, American, national policy. And now, you're relying on "Washington and its allies" (actual quote) to snoop out the terrorists who are supplying armaments to the area? Perhaps you're relying on the theory that criminals are the best at detecting other criminals, but then that should have been included in the AP article. Something to the extent of, "The United States government has intelligence operatives within hundreds of terrorist cells, supplying weaponry to third-world dictatorships that support Neo-Liberalism. Based on its connections with illicit weapon manufacturing, the American government has been able to pinpoint evidence of Iran's supplying of weapons to terrorists in the Middle East." But, no, there is none of that. Instead, "Washington and its Allies," once again, reign supreme as the only authority to determine who is and who is not the terrorist. Thank you, AP, for echoing their message through a million media outlets.
In communism and anarchy,