'Newsweek' retracts Koran desecration story

russ_watters
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Pengwuino said:
All the crap ive heard coming from US personel at Gitmo about the **** the prisoners do makes me think a lot of this crap is just back and forth mudslinging. Unfortunately the media just ignores when military personel tell of having feces thrown at them and being attacked at the base. And why dont we ever hear about when Christian religious symbols are desecrated? Such as... http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?article_id=44324

What a horrible media we have.
Yeah, I wasn't even going to bring up the insanity of starting a riot over the desecration of a book - but Muslims do it all the time and it doesn't cause Christians to riot. Heck, we barely care. But yes, the media is two-faced regarding such things. It seems its only newsworthy if its anti-US. I'm really starting to think the media actually is anti-American. Again, with the removal of [Canadian] Dan Rather, hopefully that'll start to change.
 
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Maybe all this isn't anti-American, but anti-bad governmental practices. Even you had difficulty finding positive things to say about Bush. That is what a free press is for. To question these practices. Dan Rather's departure will make no difference. Better government is what will make a difference.
 
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russ_watters said:
Yeah, I wasn't even going to bring up the insanity of starting a riot over the desecration of a book - but Muslims do it all the time and it doesn't cause Christians to riot. Heck, we barely care. But yes, the media is two-faced regarding such things. It seems its only newsworthy if its anti-US. I'm really starting to think the media actually is anti-American. Again, with the removal of [Canadian] Dan Rather, hopefully that'll start to change.
It's just that people have come to expect this sort of behaviour.
For example, when you start a new job, if you create too good an impression at first you will be expected to retain that level. If you start mediocre and then show an impressive improvement, you'll probably be rewarded.
It's just human nature.
 
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It's stories like this that lead me to believe the Newsweek story was in fact correct except the source recanted about which documents he/she got the information from.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/05/19/detainee.abuse/index.html

Documents released under a FOI request show that to this day US military personel are violating regs by staging mock executions and using religious items as weapons. I don't find it too much of a stretch to think the same psychological tactics would be used to interrogate detainees BEFORE these incidents first came to light. Hell, I'd be surprised if these tactics were not still in use.

What do you think Russ, and Pengwuino? Is it too much of a stretch or am I a fool for believing documents released by our own government?
 
plover
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Pengwuino said:
All the crap ive heard coming from US personel at Gitmo about the **** the prisoners do makes me think a lot of this crap is just back and forth mudslinging. Unfortunately the media just ignores when military personel tell of having feces thrown at them and being attacked at the base.
You want to license reprisals by soldiers in a situation where they have complete control over every aspect of detainees' lives?!? Whether or not this is what you intended, it is what you have described. If it is indeed what you intended, then I'm sorry, but it indicates either a contentment with authoritarian brutality or a staggering ignorance of how power dynamics work in such situations. Metaphorically, when you have your boot on someone's throat, and they curse you or scratch your leg, you don't then proceed to piss in their mouth. At least not if you have even a minimum of humanity and honor.

And to countenance this kind of action is to repudiate one of the proudest aspects of US military tradition:
... if you know the tradition of the United States Army, one thing has been consistent and that is that we are aggressive and tough on the field of battle, but when you take prisoners they are treated humanly and with respect. That's the rule that was set by George Washington in the battle of Trenton on Dec. 25, 1776. The soldiers of the continental army took the Hessians and said these soldiers are mercenaries and we should take retribution on them. They wanted the Hessians to run the gauntlet and they would beat them with sticks. General Washington said we will not do this. He said these people will be treated with respect and dignity and they will suffer no abuse or torture, because to do otherwise would bring dishonor upon our sacred cause. That's one of the first orders given to the continental army and that antedates the United States. It has been military tradition for [230 years] ...
 
Pengwuino
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They throw feces at gaurds and occasionally attack guards. How is that compltely control over their lives? Hell if this happened in a federal prison and the guards beat the crap out of the guy, you would think entirely different. None of this is being condoned but theres always pressure to retaliate when stuff like that is happening to you as a guard. Unless you can prove that if you were in teh same situation, you wouldn't at all be inclined to fight back.. then you really need to come up with a different reason to be mad at these soldiers.
 
SOS2008
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russ_watters said:
And what part of that changes the fact that Rather's story was fabricated and intended to swing the election?

btw, SOS - pot/kettle: I agree with people who think it was wrong for Bush to manipulate the evidence regarding Iraq - so why is it ok for Dan Rather (and now Newsweek) to manipulate evidence regarding Bush?
It isn't okay for stories to be fabricated. There were other reports showing Bush did not serve his full term in the Guard, and the CBS memo was never proven as being not valid. In the meantime, no one lost their job or had their careers affected for the stories about Kerry's military service. As a result, there was more negative affect on Kerry than on Bush, so how was the election subverted against Bush? This is why I take issue with such statements, which will no doubt be made again in a few months.
 
Pengwuino
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What are you talking about. It was proven by hundreds of people that the documents were fake and they could not be sourced.
 
plover
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Pengwuino said:
They throw feces at gaurds and occasionally attack guards. How is that compltely control over their lives? Hell if this happened in a federal prison and the guards beat the crap out of the guy, you would think entirely different. None of this is being condoned but theres always pressure to retaliate when stuff like that is happening to you as a guard. Unless you can prove that if you were in teh same situation, you wouldn't at all be inclined to fight back.. then you really need to come up with a different reason to be mad at these soldiers.
Well, I'm glad you're not condoning it at least.

But your answer makes it sound like there's some meaningful question of personal ego. That it's a question of showing the prisoners who's boss. When someone is backed up by the entire apparatus of a detention facility, there's no question who's boss. Taking revenge is just petty, bullying, indiscriminately authoritarian, and on a personal level, mostly just shows a guard is insecure and/or doesn't know they're doing.

What do you think complete control is? The guards control a detainee's access to food, water, light, contact with other people, medical treament, whether or not they get out of their cell. Detainees can have their sleep disrupted. The power is all on one side. Detainees are going to be defiant, they're going to be psychologically traumatized – in some cases to the point of being irrational. But unless a guard has already done something stupidly provocative, it's not personal.

The power is all on one side. In such circumstances, all means to abuse that power must be prohibited. Do precisely what is necessary to maintain order, no more. Human beings are infinitely inventive when it comes to self-justification. When the issue is overt cruelty, don't give them the chance.

And this doesn't even address any of the practicalities of interrogation. If a skilled interrogator has spent a couple of days or weeks manipulating a detainee's mood and loyalties, has manouvred the prisoner into believing it's in his best interest to tell the interrogator what he wants, the last thing he wants is the entire process to be derailed because some yobbo guard felt insulted and beat the prisoner up. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then I would guess you don't know much about real interrogation practices (as opposed to what they usually show on TV).

As for federal prisons, no, I wouldn't feel much differently about this happening there. (Why would I?) But, beyond the simple fact of being a situation of prisoners and guards, there are numerous differences between a prison for criminal offenders and a military detention facility – the most obvious being how and why the prisoners ended up where they are, and the (fairly common, I would suspect, for military detainees) problem of the guards and prisoners having no common language and no common cultural understandings. However, I do think holding the military to the highest possible standard on these issues is even more important than for correctional facilities since 1) it's far easier to make mistakes when the guards and prisoners don't understand each other, and 2) what they do directly affects perceptions of the U.S.: what we stand for, what our sense of honor is.

And this is not about being "mad at these soldiers". It's not hard to train people to be good guards, but the training has to be appropriate for the situation. And from what I've seen concerning Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram (in Afghanistan), the training for soldiers in those facilites was not appropriate. You don't need to take my word for this, as I quoted above from the article on Erik Saar:
How America employs religion in interrogation strategy holds long-term consequences for its struggle against terrorism and for relations with the Muslim world, critics say. "The people doing the interrogating [at Guantánamo] know nothing about Islam and not much about interrogation.... You couldn't have a greater recipe for failure," says Col. Patrick Lang, former head of military intelligence at the Defense Intelligence Agency, and an expert on the Middle East.
A somewhat separate issue from detainment practices, but which is intertwined in both causes and effects, is the problem that a good percentage of the people in these facilities were entirely innocent and unconnected to any terrorist activity. Prisoners at Abu Ghraib were often picked up in indiscriminate raiding operations. A number of Afghan detainees have turned out to be scapegoats turned over by warlords looking to save their own asses – you can imagine the experience of an innocent Afghan farmer, shipped off to Guantánamo for no reason that he's aware, being interrogated by guards with no understanding of his religion or culture, and who have been told he is one of the "worst of the worst" terrorists. While there are inevitably a few of our soldiers who are thugs, the vast majority of them certainly are not. By putting them in situations where their skillsets are inadequate and with orders that blur the boundary between what is and isn't appropriate, their services have failed them (at what level of planning and policy this might have occurred is best left to a different discussion).
 
Pengwuino
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You've unfortunately got it backwards. Humiliating and annoying some prisoners isnt much compared to having human feces thrown at you. It prevents a huge health hazard and obviously shows that they arent in 'total control'. This isnt just being "annoyed" or being "insecure". Im not sure if you've ever even been or known about any real prison-like situations, but most people who get crap thrown at them dont react with "oh well, lets not over-react... lets study their religion instead". I notice how you show immense amounts of sympathy for these people yet they are the same ones declaring holy wars on a religion they know nothing about. They also of course, do all the crap ive brought up and your practically defending it.

I'd also like to see some proof over how a majority of those people are innocent by the way.
 
russ_watters
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SOS2008 said:
There were other reports showing Bush did not serve his full term in the Guard, and the CBS memo was never proven as being not valid.
That isn't good enough and you know it. Even CBS admitted that (which is why they retracted the story). The memo must be proven valid - not just not be proven not valid - to be a credible/usable source. Again, (same as in the recent discussion about debate tactics), you're trying to present a binary and equal burden-of-proof situation where none exists. You can't prove a negative, but CBS's own experts did the next best thing: they said they could not authenticate the documents. Proving them forgeries (while one CBS examiner implied it, he stopped short of actually saying it) is not necessary (which is why CBS eventually retracted the story and fired all those people).
In the meantime, no one lost their job or had their careers affected for the stories about Kerry's military service.
That's because that story wasn't fabricated by the media. They were simply reporting on the claims of others. Remember, the SBV were just one of dozens of such groups operating on both sides of the election. In fact, IIRC, Kerry had something like four times the soft-money attack ads going for him as Bush did (~$40 million iirc). MoveOn.org, alone had something like twice the budget all the anti-Kerry groups had (the SBV had something like $500k). It just happens that MoveOn.org alienated people and the SBV touched a nerve.
As a result, there was more negative affect on Kerry than on Bush, so how was the election subverted against Bush?
Its one of the true ironies of the situation - big miscalculations by Kerry and CBS. Nevertheless, I didn't say the election was subverted, I said the story was intended to subvert the election. That comes from the gleefully toned emails sent by the producer prior to airing the story. The words were something to the effect of 'this could swing the election'. Whether she hoped it would because she didn't like Bush or she hoped it would because she wanted a Pulitzer doesn't much matter to me. Her (and, more importantly, Rather's) dislike of Bush certainly played a role in their willingness to leave their integrity at home.
 
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plover
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Pengwuino said:
Humiliating and annoying some prisoners isnt much compared to having human feces thrown at you.
I doubt you could find a social scientist (a reputable one anyway, though I'm not sure the shills would even argue this one) that would agree with you. The psychological effects of the power dynamics in prison situations are well documented. To the degree you are making an argument, and not just repeating yourself, you seem to be making an argument from machismo. My arguments have touched on preventing authoritarian abuses, promoting effective interrogation, the wider context of military detention, and the training and sense of duty of soldiers. Your response addresses none of these.
It prevents a huge health hazard and obviously shows that they arent in 'total control'.
You have neither shown why the situations you've mentioned violate my definition of 'total control', nor proposed a different one.
I'd also like to see some proof over how a majority of those people are innocent by the way.
You don't get to put words in my mouth. I did not say 'a majority'. I said 'a good percentage', the implication being: not a few isolated cases of mistakes, but, rather, enough to constitute a systematic problem that needs addressing. I don't know whether it is a majority or not. As an example, about a quarter of the detainees at Abu Ghraib were released without charges last June. Do you have evidence a substantial number of these releases were mistakes?

The rest of your post is pretty much boilerplate liberal baiting and Muslim bashing. Air your prejudices if you like, but if you are not going to make a real argument and give support for it, there is little point in continuing this.
 
Pengwuino
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I have not responded to the latter 3 as i agree that there should be changes in how those are handled but no, this is not machismo as you stated. You have failed to even hint at the idea that throwing feces at guards are bad and seem to imply that "since there prisoners, they should be able to do that".

The fact that these people have attacked and have thrown stuff at guards demonstrates that the guards are not in "total control". Nevermind the reports of being shot at from off-base by Cubans that the soldiers have had to deal with from day 1. Total control would mean these detainees would not be able to do anything and being able to attack a guard or throw something at one woudl be a simple pipe dream.

And if you can provide any evidence that these people were actually innocent (and not simply released on pressure from the international community), I would take to heart such an accusation.

Also, i am showing about as much anti-muslim hatred as you are showing anti-christian hatred. You declare that all of this is done because we dont care to learn about their religion and im saying basically the same thing on the other side of the coin, we have such huge problems because theres a large amount of people who dont care to learn about the other sides religion. Vent all your hatred of Americans that you want if you need to.
 
plover
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Pengwuino said:
I have not responded to the latter 3 as i agree that there should be changes in how those are handled but no, this is not machismo as you stated.
Ok.
You have failed to even hint at the idea that throwing feces at guards are bad and seem to imply that "since there prisoners, they should be able to do that".
This is inaccurate. First of all, my original argument had nothing to do with what the prisoners "should" (or should not) be allowed to do, it was about allowing guards to make arbitrary reprisals. (Perhaps, first of all should be to say that you've never even provided a citation to show that an incident like the one you're discussing actually occurred. I've just let that pass, as it does not sound like a particularly unlikely incident for any prison.) Secondly, I said above: "Do precisely what is necessary to maintain order, no more." Preventing attacks on guards is part of that. Under harsh conditions, one expects prisoners to be defiant, and to use whatever limited means they have toward that end. There are numerous methods for guards to use to ensure their own safety – seriously, a lot of effort has been put into coming up with procedures to ensure the safety of both guard and prisoner in these kinds of circumstances. For the most part, incidents such as the ones you describe mean that the guards are either being careless or are inadequately trained.
The fact that these people have attacked and have thrown stuff at guards demonstrates that the guards are not in "total control". Nevermind the reports of being shot at from off-base by Cubans that the soldiers have had to deal with from day 1. Total control would mean these detainees would not be able to do anything and being able to attack a guard or throw something at one woudl be a simple pipe dream.
As far as I can tell, your definition is based on an after-the-fact analysis, i.e. if no guards were attacked, they had total control. My definition is based on what the circumstances make possible: all the power is on the side of the guards, they have the force to back up whatever they want to do (such as e.g. leave prisoners tied up in a fetal position for a day or two lying in their own excrement as the FBI reported happening). I would say that if no guards were attacked, they used good enough judgement and procedures to keep themselves safe. And that this is a separate question as to whether their judgement was equally good and their procedures equally appropriate so as also to prevent abuse of the prisoners.

Actually this is where a citation about the feces throwing you're talking about becomes important. If it happened once, then the incident is almost certainly meaningless in terms of drawing any conclusions about the prisoners (less certain, but still quite likely is that it says nothing about the guards either). The circumstances at Gitmo could easily lead to some prisoners losing their minds. On the other hand, if this was a pattern of defiance, why was nothing done to prevent it after the first or second incident?

Just because you want to be angry about this incident doesn't mean there's anything to be angry about.
And if you can provide any evidence that these people were actually innocent (and not simply released on pressure from the international community), I would take to heart such an accusation.
"Innocent until proven guilty" – it's not a principle that changes with religion or skin color. The burden of proof is on the side that wants to show someone is guilty. If we want rule of law in Iraq, shouldn't we provide a good example?
Also, i am showing about as much anti-muslim hatred as you are showing anti-christian hatred. You declare that all of this is done because we dont care to learn about their religion and im saying basically the same thing on the other side of the coin, we have such huge problems because theres a large amount of people who dont care to learn about the other sides religion. Vent all your hatred of Americans that you want if you need to.
Does it not occur to you how silly this stuff sounds? How does parroting Ann Coulter et al. serve this discussion?

None of the arguments I've made about detention procedures have anything to do with religion. The guards or their charges could have any religion or none at all – as a matter of principle, I want prisoners to be treated humanely. And I don't believe this will happen if random reprisals by guards are tolerated in any way. Is this what you're calling "anti-Christian"?

I don't know what your real opinion of Islam or Muslims is. I do know that your statements about "these people" and their holy wars etc. are distorted, stock generalizations often used for expressing anti-Muslim sentiments. If such sentiments do not reflect your feelings, I would suggest not using such rhetoric; if you do use it, don't be surprised if you're viewed as prejudiced.

I'm not sure what the "all of this" might be that you say results from an unwillingness to learn about an unfamiliar religion on one side or the other. It's way too vague. And considering that I haven't been talking about religion and what might or might not be attributable to it, I have no idea where you're getting this from. Attributing opinions to me on topics I haven't been talking about is useful, how?

Looking at the arguments I've given, in so far as they relate to America rather than to more general prison issues, a summary of what I've said might run: inadequate planning has forced our military to put our soldiers into situations where their skills and training have been inadequate to allow them to uphold the standard of honor set for U.S. forces by George Washington. Is this what you're calling "anti-American"?

While you could just be writing sloppily, my impression is that you have very little notion of how I think, why I say things the way I do, and what your own rhetoric means. Without a real ground to work from, your trying to turn my words back on me is unlikely to do anything more than look foolish. I'm not saying this to be nasty, but just pointing out: you can snap back at me, but what does it really accomplish?

And again: do you know anything about the power dynamics I've been talking about, the social psychology results what I've been saying is based on? If not, this and this might be worth a look.
 
I understand to some degree where Penqwuino is coming from on this.

"Do precisely what is necessary to maintain order, no more."
This is very difficult. If some one gets out of hand not only does the situation need to be resolved as quickly as possible but you need to make sure that the prisoners don't feel they can get away with it. If you do only what is necessary to stop an incident you have done nothing to prevent it from happening again. All it takes is one individual who gets out of hand regularly with little to no punishment to get the others to start getting out of hand too. If the will to defy authority spreads among the prisoners the situation becomes rather volatile and unsafe for both the prisoners and the guards. In a prison you can't predict when these incidents will happen and prevent them. It's almost certain that they will happen and you will have to deal with them. I don't believe that these people have been handling the situation very well but I think a certain amount of problems with the guards and how they handle situations is to be expected as well.
Trying to maintain authority and not over step the bounds can be very difficult to accomplish. Personally I am a security guard. I think that I am a very levelheaded person and can keep my cool in stressful situations yet there has been at least one instance where I overstepped the bounds while dealing with an incredibly defiant individual. You have made several referances to the psychological situation of the prisoners and their lack of control over their environment but you don't seem to really take into account the situation of the guard. I'm sure that their situation is quite stressful and even if the military did put quite a bit of effort into training and screening the people who are simply going to be guarding prisoners there will still be those that make mistakes or just can't hack it.
 
alexandra
Pengwuino said:
And if you can provide any evidence that these people were actually innocent (and not simply released on pressure from the international community), I would take to heart such an accusation.
Recent conversations have shown me that I don't know as much about the US as I thought I did. I was just wondering whether the USA's laws also follow the principle common to other western 'democratic' systems of 'innocent unless proven guilty'? Or is it the other way around?
 
SOS2008
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russ_watters said:
That isn't good enough and you know it. ...Again, (same as in the recent discussion about debate tactics), you're trying to present a binary and equal burden-of-proof situation where none exists...
As stated before, there were many other reports by reliable sources documenting Bush’s failure to complete his service in the Guard, a couple of examples as follows:

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/040920/20guard.htm
9/20/04
The service question
A review of President Bush's Guard years raises issues about the time he served
By Kit R. Roane

But last week the controversy reared up once again, as several news outlets, including U.S. News, disclosed new information casting doubt on White House claims.
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/09/08/bush_fell_short_on_duty_at_guard/

Bush fell short on duty at Guard
Records show pledges unmet
September 8, 2004

He didn't meet the commitments, or face the punishment, the records show. The 1973 document has been overlooked in news media accounts. The 1968 document has received scant notice.
Then there is the matter of the CBS memos, and questions as to the timing and method by which these were exposed, such as by the Free Republic (Buckhead’s post within a couple of hours) and FOX News, an example as follows:
We always favor looking at the content and substance over WHO is offering up the information, but in the war that will ensue about WHO gave CBS the potentially phony documents, it is interesting to Note that the right (Drudge, Fox, right-leaning blogs, others) led the way in pointing out the questions we have all been asking — and they were onto the questions, with remarkable detail, relatively soon after the documents were made public.
For more - http://mediamatters.org/items/200409100010

As well as the inability to prove the memos as not valid, an example provided as follows, this controversy remains: http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/09/23/cbs.documents/index.html
Burkett: 'Jury still out' on memos CBS aired
From Ingrid Arnesen
CNN
Friday, September 24, 2004 Posted: 12:17 PM EDT (1617 GMT)
(CNN) -- Bill Burkett, who gave CBS News the alleged documents about President Bush's National Guard service, insists "the jury is still out" on whether those documents are authentic.

"The documents have not been conclusively proven false," Burkett said. "Neither have they been proven authentic. That jury is still out."
In conclusion, Dan Rather’s story was substantiated by other reports, the memos have never been proven false, and if there is a question regarding subversive activities, FOX News and other right-wing sources are just as suspect if not more.

Moving on to the matter of reports about Kerry’s military record, reports involved false documents, as follows:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/wiki.phtml?title=Swift_Boat_Veterans_for_Truth
Central to the SBVT media campaign has been a reliance on sworn affidavits to be provided as 'evidence' to journalists. However, Patrick Runyon, who provided a statement about the mission for which Kerry was awarded his first Purple Heart, found the interest in his views to be more partisan than neutral. When his statement was returned for his signature, he told the New York Times, references to being fired on had been removed. “It made it sound like I didn't believe we got any returned fire … He made it sound like it was a normal operation. It was the scariest night of my life,” he said. (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/20/politics/campaign/20swift.html?ex=1094005334&ei=1&en=729916e83be2ab35)

Commander George Elliott—who praised Kerry's conduct during the Vietnam War—provided an affidavit criticizing Kerry for being awarded a Silver Star.
However, what appeared at first as a coup for them appeared to backfire when, on August 5, 2004, a Boston Globe article reported that Elliott had recanted his criticism of Kerry. The article quoted Elliott as saying, “It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I'm the one in trouble here.” The affidavit states that the incident for which Kerry received the medal was actually shooting “a wounded, fleeing Viet Cong in the back.” Elliott said he felt “time pressure” to sign the affidavit “That's no excuse,” Elliott said, “I knew it was wrong. … In a hurry I signed it and faxed it back. That was a mistake.” (http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/08/06/veteran_retracts_criticism_of_kerry/
Also the reports regarding their claims were found to be faulty, for example:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21239-2004Aug21.html

Swift Boat Accounts Incomplete
Critics Fail to Disprove Kerry's Version of Vietnam War Episode
By Michael Dobbs
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 22, 2004; Page A01

Furthermore, the Swift Boat Veterans were not a neutral, independent organization:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Swift_Boat_Veterans_for_Truth/Complaint_to_the_FEC
In mid-August three campaign finance watchdog groups - Democracy 21, Campaign Legal Center, Center for Responsive Politics - filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission arguing that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were in breach of restrictions applying to 527 committees. (http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/0811-03.htm)

The complaint argues SBVT, as a registered 527 committee, should be bound by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 requirements. While noting that SVBT is not registered as a ‘federal political committee’ the three groups argue that it should be. “SBVT is an entity which, as a 527 group, has a ‘major purpose,’ indeed an overriding purpose, to influence candidate elections, and more specifically, federal candidate elections, and which has spent, or is planning to spend, significant amounts of funds to influence the 2004 presidential election,” it stated.
The biased reporting by FOX News was blatant, and yet reporters such as Colmes and O’Reilly did not lose their jobs for reporting untrue stories (there are many examples, but here’s a couple):
Swift Boats Still Anchored on Fox
Friday's Fox News live with Alan Colmes (8/20-8/21) - This is a perfect example of how the media falls into the hands of the conservative spin machine. First, a group like the Swift Boat Vets comes up with a well-funded PR campaign. They go on TV and radio talk shows, especially the right-leaning ones and despite the fact that a lot of facts are not on their side, voila, they have a bona fide issue and a conversation.

The O'Reilly Factor. August 5, 2004. 8:12 PM to 8:19 PM EDT. FOX News aired the ENTIRE ad at the beginning of this interview and then for another two minutes showed it over and over silently during the discussion between O'Reilly and Morris. Despite O'Reilly's claim that the ad is "horribly exploitive", he gives it more FREE air time that the Swift Boat Vets could have hoped for in their wildest dreams.
Did Rather/CBS hope to subvert the election? One can speculate, and even if that was their intent, they did not succeed.

If we examine subversion of elections that have succeeded, we have only to look at Bush’s political track record. We can begin with his background. One in which his education is of question, his use of alcohol/drugs is of question, his business failure is of question up to the age of 40. Lacking any merit, we can look at his campaign techniques beginning with a bid for governorship. Then after serving for only five years as governor—a very brief political career—he runs for president in 2000. We all know the controversy of the 2000 election.

The ugly, polarizing tactics associated with Bush, and now the Republican party as a whole, the list of subversive behavior is so lengthy (talk about a post that would be infinite), suffice it to mention a few items--aside from the now obvious need for election reform--for example, the targeting of Democrat candidates, redistricting, use of religion (e.g., props to ban gay marriage), etc. to manipulate voter turn-out and to divert attention from legitimate issues, etc., etc., etc. Do you really believe Bush is the victim of anything?

BTW – This post is an example of making a case with sources in response to an unsubstantiated claim.
 
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plover
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TheStatutoryApe said:
"Do precisely what is necessary to maintain order, no more."
This is very difficult. If some one gets out of hand not only does the situation need to be resolved as quickly as possible but you need to make sure that the prisoners don't feel they can get away with it. If you do only what is necessary to stop an incident you have done nothing to prevent it from happening again.
It was in no way my intention to downplay the difficulties of these situations, and what you are saying here is included in what I meant by "maintain order".
All it takes is one individual who gets out of hand regularly with little to no punishment to get the others to start getting out of hand too. If the will to defy authority spreads among the prisoners the situation becomes rather volatile and unsafe for both the prisoners and the guards.
I agree with this also. The focus of my comments has been the flipside of this: that under a system where the rules are fuzzy enough to allow guards to take out their frustrations on prisoners or enact personal vendettas, they too will push the envelope of what they can get away with.
In a prison you can't predict when these incidents will happen and prevent them. It's almost certain that they will happen and you will have to deal with them. I don't believe that these people have been handling the situation very well but I think a certain amount of problems with the guards and how they handle situations is to be expected as well.
Yes, these situations are volatile, and the guards are, of course, human – and as with virtually every other human effort, perfection is extremely unlikely. My point is that all the evidence currently indicates that the professionalism of our military detention camps is often falling vastly short of what could be expected from appropriately trained personnel with clear guidelines.
Trying to maintain authority and not over step the bounds can be very difficult to accomplish. Personally I am a security guard. I think that I am a very levelheaded person and can keep my cool in stressful situations yet there has been at least one instance where I overstepped the bounds while dealing with an incredibly defiant individual. You have made several referances to the psychological situation of the prisoners and their lack of control over their environment but you don't seem to really take into account the situation of the guard. I'm sure that their situation is quite stressful and even if the military did put quite a bit of effort into training and screening the people who are simply going to be guarding prisoners there will still be those that make mistakes or just can't hack it.
The psychological dynamics I was talking about concern the guards as well as the prisoners. My purpose above was to object to a conception of these dynamics that seemed to allow far too much opportunity for authoritarian abuses, not to discount the stresses faced by guards. It sounds to me like you yourself most likely take your job seriously, have a clear concept of what is appropriate, and feel responsible for your actions – which is the better part of what is most important for dealing with these types of situations, no?
 
russ_watters
Mentor
19,016
5,168
SOS2008 said:
As stated before, there were many other reports by reliable sources documenting Bush’s failure to complete his service in the Guard, a couple of examples as follows:

....In conclusion, Dan Rather’s story was substantiated by other reports...
No!! That is not correct. In the question of running the story or not running the story, the decision is made based on the new evidence in hand. The new evidence was what the story was about. It was not a story covering the overall picture of Bush's Guard Service, it was a story covering the new memos CBS had received.

If the story had been the story you are describing, then you'd be right - there would have been nothing wrong with it. But that was not the purpose of that 60 Minutes piece.

The burden of proof here was not the burden of proof for Bush's overall guard record, but the burden of proof for those specific memos. If those specific records cannot be positively authenticated - not 50% burden of proof, 95% burden of proof - then the story cannot run. That, sos, is why so many people lost their jobs over the story. They failed to authenticate the story before they ran it.

CBS isn't MoveONpac, SOS (or are they....?) they can't do what you are suggesting they can do. You're incorrectly characterizing the issue.
BTW – This post is an example of making a case with sources in response to an unsubstantiated claim.
Pffft - you're making a case that isn't at issue. Bush's overall guard service is irrelevant here. For what you posted about the specific memos, you posted a link to a quote by the guy who provided the memos. That Burkett thinks "the jury is still out" is irrelevant and its laughable that you would consider that "making a case". You're asking the accused if he's guilty - what do you think he's going to say?

For my part, no, I didn't provide any links in that post. Do you want some? Are there any specific facts you take issue with? I made the assumption that you were familiar with the facts of the issue: I assume that you are familiar with who MoveONpac (and the SBV) is, what they do, and where their money comes from. And I assume that you read CBS's report on the 60 Minutes story. I assumed you had read the memo written by the producer. If you don't already know this stuff....

However, here are some things you really aught to already know:
http://www.campaignaudit.org/articles/527democratsspendmore.html [Broken] is where you can read about how the Democrats won the "soft money" battle in 2004.

http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/cbs_report.pdf is CBS's report on the 60 Minutes story.

http://www.frankpastore.com/runsheetarchives/runsheet-2005-01-10.html [Broken] you can read quotes from Mapes that show her political motivation for pushing the story.
 
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78
0
I'm starting to change my mind about Bush administration, they are friggin good players.
Looks like White House administration now proclaimed that America's miserably bad image in the Muslim world is entierly the fault of one or two lines that appeared in a Newsweek magazine story.
The administration has even more or less demanded that Newsweek fix it.
I conclusion the administration is doing everythig perfectly all the fault is in our free and too liberal media.
 
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TheStatutoryApe said:
You have made several referances to the psychological situation of the prisoners and their lack of control over their environment but you don't seem to really take into account the situation of the guard.
No one ever does these days.
 
russ_watters said:
...In the question of running the story or not running the story, the decision is made based on the new evidence in hand...
The first attempt to stop the stories about Bush's service was the release of lies from the White House, but that did not stick. Then Bush support groups tried to diminish the story by focusing accusations on the opponent (Kerry), but that did not stick. So in the end, let's say the memos were forgeries. The question of where the memos originated remains. We are talking about an administration that has had pundits on the payroll as it were. The dirty politics and lies that we have seen can only make one suspect of everything during this administration.
 
SOS2008
Gold Member
18
0
russ_watters said:
...The new evidence was what the story was about. It was not a story covering the overall picture of Bush's Guard Service, it was a story covering the new memos CBS had received.
I disagree with your usual black and white view. The story was about new evidence in connection to Bush's failure to serve his full term in the Guard. It was about both.

With regard to your original claim, I quote myself:

SOS2008 said:
It isn't okay for stories to be fabricated.
The story was not fabricated. Separate from this, I agree the memos needed to be valid to be used as evidence. However, it doesn’t help the case that the memos can’t be proven invalid either—I’m sure you’re familiar with the term “shadow of doubt.”

Returning to my point, once again I quote myself:

SOS2008 said:
In the meantime, no one lost their job or had their careers affected for the stories about Kerry's military service. As a result, there was more negative affect on Kerry than on Bush, so how was the election subverted against Bush?
A price was paid by Rather and CBS because of the memos—even though the story itself was true. However, the same can’t be said in regard to false affidavits about Kerry’s service, which were the basis for a story that was also false. This is my case, and I have made it. If you can't see the difference, I'm not going to waste any more time on this.

Furthermore, not only is there hypocrisy in the matter, but also as a result of these two stories, the election was subverted in Bush’s direction. You can’t substantiate intent to subvert the election in Kerry’s favor anymore then I can substantiate that the memos were used as a set-up to subvert the election in Bush’s favor.
 
plover said:
It was in no way my intention to downplay the difficulties of these situations, and what you are saying here is included in what I meant by "maintain order".
I was probably more wordy that necessary. I really only meant to point out that from the looks of it Pengwuino was arguing from the stand point of the guards and you from the stand point of the priosoners.
Thank you for the response.
 
There was a recent article about Newsweek and the hypocrisy of White House criticism of the media, which was in follow up to this blog article about CBS:

January 11, 2005| 6:30 p.m. ET, "Document flaps" (David Shuster):

...But as concerned as I am about the integrity and credibility of any news organization, I am far more concerned about the credibility of the United States. And to that end, CBS seems to have shown far more courage and accountability than our own government.

...Remember Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi opposition leader in exile who was paid millions of dollars by the Pentagon? He gave the civilian leaders at the Pentagon some documents that were allegedly from Iraqi scientists... documents that allegedly proved Iraq was an imminent threat to the United States. Chalabi also provided written testimony from Iraqis who claimed Saddam was close to completing a nuclear bomb.

Were the documents authenticated? Were the claims confirmed? The answer is "no." Because to do that kind of fact checking might have undermined the story line. Sound familiar?
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6679533/ [Broken]

Also interesting are the results of a CNN poll conducted May 25, 2005:

Do you think the Bush White House is trying to control the media?

YES @ 94% (7,700)

NO @ 6% (478)
 
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