Information Warfare: Massive Misreporting in the Media Ignored

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May 25, 2006: A number of stories have been unreported on - or misreported - in the war of terror. The mainstream media is willing to discuss the car bombs. But which of these stories have been the most damaging in terms of not getting out?

@ The memos from Saddam's regime. These memos, often ignored by major mass media outlets (unless targeted for derision), have generally shown the terrorist connections that Saddam's regime had, and showed that the regime was also interested in acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Far from lying, the Bush Administration had largely been spot on.

@ Guantanamo Bay and the detainees. Instead of focusing on how the United States was trying to handle prisoners in a new type of war, the media focused on scandals, most of which (the Koran flushing and torture at Guantanamo Bay claims) had little, if no, basis in reality. The one that did, was used to flog the military constantly.

@ The American efforts in the Horn of Africa. This is a theater of the war on terror where few shots are fired by American forces, but where a small number of American troops have carried out a major strategic offensive that has been largely successful.

@ The intelligence efforts that have meant no large-scale attacks have hit the United States since September 11, 2001. Efforts like NSA surveillance have often been attacked, often for political gain, without regard for the damage done. These efforts also have made it possible to fight the war without taking extreme measures that could have infringed upon civil liberties.

@ Contributions of various allies to the war on terror. The notion of unilateralism is not only untrue, but by not highlighting these contributions, it set the stage for the United Arab Emirates to be given very short shrift during a fear-mongering campaign in recent months.

@ Al Qaeda's media-based strategy has also been ignored. A better understanding among the American people of what al Qaeda is trying to do would help them understand the events. Instead, the mainstream media is playing along with al Qaeda's strategy.

@ The true level of progress in Iraq has also been ignored. Rather than the entirely gloomy picture the mainstream media has portrayed, what has happened is that al Qaeda has largely been defeated in Iraq. Three elections have been held, and have resulted in the second real democracy in the Middle East.

@ Afghanistan is also a subject of misreporting. In one recent case of misreporting, the media recently focused on headlines indicating a hundred dead. The details were hidden - 87 of the 100 killed were Taliban fighters who were killed in a series of attacks, the other 13 were Afghan police.

This misreporting has become a constant pattern, and it is costing the United States. In a real sense, the mainstream media's failures will not end the war, but will instead prolong it and make it more costly. - Harold C. Hutchison (haroldc.hutchison@gmail.com)

 


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