Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Media Warfare

While I don't have much time tonight, (I have calc homework to finish up...yay summer school!!) I saw a news item that dovetails perfectly with my previous post, the Propaganda War. Today a detainee at Gitmo released to the media, through his lawyer, the other side of the recent inmate-guard altercation down there. Per SOP with captured al-Qaeda personnel, the detainee stated that the fight started when guards tried to search the detainees' Qurans for hoarded medicine to be used in suicide attempts. The detainees, according to this version, fought for a very small period of time and only used a lamp. In other words, the fight is the guards fault, not the detainees, and the detainees immediately settled down following the fight. This account contrasts sharply with the official U.S. military version, which is that the guards were lured into an ambush by a staged suicide attempt, and were then engaged in a battle that lasted for several minutes. As the article points out, al-Qaeda detainees have a history of providing misinformation in hopes of changing world opinion. Usually in a news article that context is missing; all we are given is the fact that detainees are, again, contradicting what the U.S. military said. In this case, it appears that both the U.S. PAO, Cmdr. Robert Durand, and the author of the article, Ben Fox, took the time and made the effort to get both sides of the story out. Kudos to both of them.