Friday, June 16, 2006

Media unable to tell story of terrorists

As reported today, the U.S. military is temporarily shutting off Gitmo to the media. And as expected, the media is pitching a major temper tantrum.

""Now is the time when the media is most needed," said Clive Stafford Smith, an attorney who has filed legal challenges on behalf of about 40 detainees. "The fact that right now, the most important time in the history of Guantanamo, they are being banned is un-American.""

Considering that it would be completely within our rights to summarily execute your clients, Mr. Smith, I'd say that the temporary banning of the media after a series of operations designed to garner media attention and affect world opinion (the suicides, hunger strikes, and recent "revolt") is small potatoes.

"It's the most transparent detention facility in the history of warfare," insisted Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, echoing comments by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld."

And that's exactly right. Compare Gitmo with any POW camp in the past (not that these prisoners are POWs; far from it, but the comparison is still apt), or even with the Nisei internment camps during WWII. The media is allowed to report what is going on; that's more than can be said for any of the afore mentioned internment camps.

"But critics say the military is being disingenuous in saying it wants to protect detainees' privacy. One prisoner, speaking in English, once told a visiting AP reporter that he wanted to talk. But when the reporter asked the military if she could interview the detainee, the answer was no.

Other reporters have been have been hustled away when prisoners have tried to communicate with them — through food slots in the cells of the highest-security section, or from behind curtains at the medical clinic."

Hm, I wonder why that is...oh, I know. We're fighting 4GW, yes? In 4GW, you target the enemy's political will, a key point of which is through the media. So, it would make sense then that the U.S. military wouldn't want people who are waging war against the U.S. to talk to the media, yes? (And make no mistake about it, the people at Gitmo are still waging war; they are still combatants in this conflict. Just as terrorism has led to there being no rear-areas or home fronts on today's battlefield, so too has the new change in warfare led to an abolishment of the standard distinction between soldier and civilian. Like it or not, we, on both sides, are all combatants to some degree. But that's a post for another day.)

Anyway, bottom line is that yet again, the media can't see past its own bellybutton on this one to realize that the reason the military won't give them unrestricted access is because they are unwitting dupes and allies of the terrorists who help them propagate their message.

As a side note, I'm sorry for all the media and 4GW stuff lately, but ever since reading "The Sling and the Stone," it has been on the forefront of my mind. The media is, quite honestly, where the war is going to be waged and where it will ultimately be won or lost. Which makes is kind of important. Expect much more on this topic.