Monday, July 02, 2007

REPOST: One Marine's Letter Clearly Proves the Bias of the Media


Remember this story?

On 31 May 2007, SINAN SALAHEDDIN, an Associated Press Writer reported that a suicide bomber had killed 25 and wounded 50 near Fallujah.

"Police said the bomber detonated his explosives vest at the third of four checkpoints as he stood among recruits who were lining up to apply for jobs on the force. The center had only been opened on Saturday in a primary school in eastern Fallujah."
Horrible isn't it?
It's also a terrorists who feed this propaganda to our media. Of course our media, having a particular bias, buy into these accounts and faithfully report them.

How do I know this story is a fabrication? I have the actual account of the incident from a Marine who was there.

Read his letter...and think twice before believing what you are being fed: (accents added by me)

“[D]ue to aggressive patrolling by Iraqi forces [a] bomber who doubtless wanted to target the civilians at the headquarters itself in order to cause the most catastrophic effects, was forced to detonate his vest almost a half-mile away when he was halted by police. He succeeded in causing superficial wounds to one Iraqi civilian, as well as killing himself. No one else was injured, no other damage caused, and in the aftermath of the incident, the precinct signed up an additional 75 recruits for police service. This bomber failed - he failed to kill innocents and he failed to deter the progress of standing up Iraqi police.

“Later that afternoon, from my temporary station at an Iraqi Army outpost, co-located with U.S. advisor personnel, I was checking the [I]nternet headlines when a ‘Breaking News’ alert appeared: ‘Suicide Attack in Fallujah kills 25; Police Recruits Targeted.’ Shocked, and initially very concerned that perhaps the outpost command center was out of the loop on a major incident, I read on:
A suicide bomber detonated outside of a police recruiting drive in Fallujah, killing 25 and wounding at least 50 others. According to unnamed sources within the Police Department, the bomber was able to gain access to the recruit line where he detonated a vest filled with explosives. An official at Fallujah General Hospital, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that he had treated at least 50 people with severe injuries in the aftermath.
"Literally running to the command center, I asked if anyone had heard of a second attack. Radio checks went around the horn, and everyone came back in the negative there had been no further attacks, other than the completely ineffective one earlier. This was, in every way, a false report.

"Yet, I checked the other headlines: CNN, AP Newswire, BBC, Yahoo - all picked up the same story. Over the next several hours, I was nervous that maybe we'd missed something, or possibly that the attack had happened somewhere else nearby in Anbar province, and that the location of ‘Fallujah’ was simply misreported. But, in the aftermath, we found out that no other attack that day could possibly have been referenced. Those headlines referred to the failed attack - but depicted a dramatically different outcome.

"[Recently], Iraqi Police, Iraqi Army, and U.S. forces won two decisive battles in Fallujah. The enemy was intercepted, denied, and in both cases, outright killed. The results of these engagements are as follows: one civilian wounded, no civilians killed; one Iraqi policeman wounded, no other Iraqi Security forces wounded; no coalition force casualties of any kind; eight enemy combatants confirmed killed, four enemy suspected wounded, at least two enemy suicide operatives discovered and killed before they could carry out their attacks (with a third forced to detonate early and to no substantial effect), at least two enemy suicide trucks discovered before their construction was complete, four foreign fighters detained, 200 Iraqi police recruits signed up for duty, and a new precinct headquarters was established.

"Western media reports for the same time period and area indicated no enemy killed, 28 civilians killed (including three children as the result of U.S. action), upwards of fifty civilians wounded, and an investigation underway.

"Make no mistake: the one area in which we are absolutely, positively, and without a doubt LOSING this war is in information operations. We are getting demolished, both by nefarious enemy media outlets, moles, and reporters (FYI - we know of plenty of instances where ‘reporters’ or ‘sources’ for Arab and other news agencies are either on insurgent payrolls, or have known sympathies with insurgent organizations), AND by a collective Western media that either fails to realize, or worse fails to care, that they are often being manipulated by enemy elements. What incredible economy of effort the enemy is afforded when U.S. media is their megaphone! Why spend precious resources on developing your own propaganda machine when you can make your opponent’s own news outlets scream your message louder than you could ever have hoped to do independently?”

Anyone want to argue that our media is not biased? Check your sources.

If you haven't heard this story, please consider linking to it. Examples of media bias cannot go unchallenged. The Information War is being won by the enemy through the co-opting of our media......this must not stand!

H/T: Senator John Kyl


Matt Sanchez said...

I was at that same precinct and wrote about that same incident as well.

Rogue said...

Nice blog Matt.

Freedomnow said...

Ahhh... damn I just linked to some other blogs and I was gonna hit the sack, but I have to Matt's site too.

(here is one of the sites I just linked, its a great idea...

Rogue said...

That's a good one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I needed that. Saw the same crap happen in Nam.


Rogue said...

my pleasure, Skul

WomanHonorThyself said...

thanks Rogue for fightin the good fight my friend!!!

RT said...

Thanks for posting this. Awesome!

LEB said...

Here's a pretty interesting article that goes into some depth on the subject of your post:

Here are the final three paragraphs:

Most of what I have said here is common knowledge. But it is common knowledge about a new period in American journalistic history. Once, powerful press owners dictated what their papers would print, sometimes irresponsibly. But that era of partisan and circulation-building distortions was not replaced by a commitment to objective journalism; it was replaced by a deep suspicion of the American government. That suspicion, fueled in part by the Vietnam and Watergate controversies, means that the government, especially if it is a conservative one, is surrounded by journalists who doubt almost all it says. One obvious result is that since World War II there have been few reports of military heroes; indeed, there have been scarcely any reports of military victories.

This change in the media is not a transitory one that will give way to a return to the support of our military when it fights. Journalism, like so much scholarship, now dwells in a postmodern age in which truth is hard to find and statements merely serve someone's interests.

The mainstream media's adversarial stance, both here and abroad, means that whenever a foreign enemy challenges us, he will know that his objective will be to win the battle not on some faraway bit of land but among the people who determine what we read and watch. We won the Second World War in Europe and Japan, but we lost in Vietnam and are in danger of losing in Iraq and Lebanon in the newspapers, magazines and television programs we enjoy.

I think what's really quite strange about this war, this situation is that there was, overall, more-or-less universal agreement that (a) Saddam had to go, and (b) he pretty much deserved getting his ass kicked.

But the perception now, fueled by the administration's self-serving sales pitch in the beginning, rather bungled attempts to prosecute the aftermath and the "peace," and to capatilize on it for political capital, have destroyed their credibility. The military's self-reporting has not been stellar either.

Now nobody believes anybody about the war; they just want it to go away.

And, as the rather lengthy article points out, negativity is what's selling to the monied audience these days, so that's what we hear the most of.

Rogue said...

Thanks leb.
The military has kicked terrorist ass from the start. The problem came in the form of poor post-victory planning. If they had instituted an Iraqi Marshall Plan, put idle Iraqis to work building toward a better Iraq, I believe (as do many war-planners) that they violence would have been reduced by 90%.
Paul Bremer was the wrong man for that job.

LEB said...

Rogue - concur.

But, per your post, how do we, those who do not have military connections, have any way to objectively judge what's going on?

On the one hand, we have journalists (mis)reporting and not correcting, and on the other, we have the Department of Defense doing things like they did with Tillman, Abu Griab, and so on. How many (senior) officers were cashiered for offenses there?

I do not see how the American people will continue to support a war that is fostered upon them by leaders they do not trust, with no objective measures of truth or progress toward a defined goal.

We can lament our leaders being "trators" to the cause of victory, but in the end, it is the American people that are losing their stomach for a war that -appears- to be unwinable, and, perhaps more particularly, for an administration that continually demonstrates contempt for its own accountability to its electorate, or to the rule of law.

Define victory, define how we can achieve it, and show us in truthful reporting how we are measuring our progress toward those goals, and the situation could change.

The bottom line is that the media caters to the hunger of the public audience, not the hunger for truth, but the hunger for emotional response for a good scandal, for a hot expose, for a juicy pecadillo or liar caught in the act - which is what builds ratings, circulation, and advertising dollars. It is a reflection on our societal norms that we are more interested in social disfunction, than we are in reaffirming our Mayberry or Leave-it-to-beaver values.

In short, sex, scandal, death, disfunction, and drama sells. Normalcy and peace are boring.

And, ultimately, as every politician knows, it's easier to be against something than it is to be for something. Getting people pissed off is easy, and more gratifying to the people (when they're frustrated about lots of other things - witness Hitler's use of the Jews as a way to distract the Germans from their post-war economic plights). Gobbels understood this perfectly.

Right now, the emotional response is focused and building against the current administration, and the war in Iraq is the centerpiece of the current administration's public legacy. Hence, I think we can expect more dire-situation reporting to be heard.

This will reach a crecendo when Petraeus reports in September. Regardless of the truth-in-reporting issues, I think there will be a major tipping point reached in the public perception of the war, the current administration, and the US congress that continues to defend them, at that time, short of his reporting major successes.

Rogue said...

There is no doubt that some will allow themselves to be lead; others will be easily distracted.

(American #1: Oooooo, shiny!
American #2: Shut up, that's just Paris Hilton's complexion.)

It is more difficult to find "ground truth", but it is there. Michael Yon, Bill Roggio, et al provide us on-the-ground information that cuts through the bias.

And, ultimately, as every politician knows, it's easier to be against something than it is to be for something.

The purpose of this blog is to point out that "Anyone can bitch. Leaders find solutions." Hence I rail against the contrarians.

Keep looking and don't trust those shown to have a contrarian agenda.

LEB said...


I don't trust anybody.


Freedomnow said...

I think the problem is the betrayal of our country by the Democrats.

In previous wars atrocities by our enemies were propaganda winfalls. The Bataan Death March got people up in arms, but if it happened today the Democrats would scream that it is evidence that we should capitulate to the enemy's demands.

Thats why people dont get angry at terrorists when they bomb a restaurant or funeral. Instead they blame the U.S. for it.

The culture of suicide is strong for now. It wont last because people like winners.

Rogue said...

Freedomnow, spot on...

The stupid is strong in this Republic.