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31 May 2004

How To Silence An Awkward Newspaper

From ZNet, an article by John Pilger on the silencing of the Daily Mirror. Pilger suggests there is more to the story of Piers Morgan's sacking than just dodgy photographs:
"Since Morgan's departure, no newspaper has demanded that the Ministry of Defence produce the 'incontrovertible evidence' that the Mirror's photographs were faked. The hearsay and apologetics of a regiment with a documented record of brutality in Iraq, facing at least five murder prosecutions, have been accepted. If the Mirror was stitched up, was it merely for money? Instead of pursuing that, as the editors of MediaLens website point out, 'a cowed media lined up to heap invective on the sacked editor and to declare the decision 'correct', 'necessary', 'inevitable''."
. . .
"A BBC newsreader referred to such photographs as 'mere mementoes'. Imagine the response, had they been of Iraqis torturing British PoWs. On the day Morgan was sacked, a BBC reporter, Nicholas Witchell, said: "After the appalling reality of what the Americans have been doing, the Mirror's pictures threatened to compromise the work of every British soldier." By contrasting the 'reality' of American abuse with the unreality of "the Mirror's pictures", Witchell managed to whitewash the British army while fretting that its good 'work' in Iraq might be 'compromised'. Are BBC trainees taught sophistry like this?
"The British army is doing no worse in Iraq than it has done in its long history of colonial occupations. Torture was deployed as a strategy in Palestine (where the British pioneered the terror tactic of home demolitions), in Cyprus, the British Cameroons, Brunei, British Guiana, Aden, Borneo and Northern Ireland. In Malaya, the conversion of entire villages to concentration camps and the use of carcinogenic defoliants were copied by the Americans in Vietnam. In Northern Ireland, British interrogators refined their methods, reported Amnesty, 'for the purpose or effect of causing a malfunction or breakdown of a man's mental processes'. Little of this was reported at the time."
This link was found at the Whole Wide World of Fat Buddha.

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