Saturday, May 15, 2004

Bush Administration releases Saddam torture videos

The latest blogsphere rumor is on Roger Simon's conservative-leaning blog.

Apparently, the American propaganda broadcaster Al Hurra, which is controlled by the Bush Administration and broadcasts to the Arab world out of D.C., has decided to release some especially shocking videos of Saddam's torture squads in operation.

I support American "propaganda" broadcasting to the Arab world to correct serious misconceptions about America there (see my earlier posts on the Corporation for Public Diplomacy).

However, in this case the word "propaganda" does not belong in quotes --- the Bush Administration has been sitting on these vides now for at least a year and a half, and waited until the Iraq prison scandal before releasing them. This is such an obvious attempt at Arab media manipulation by the Bush Administration that it can only serve to further increase Arab cynicism about the American broadcaster there --- this is a total misuse of taxpayer resources.

Here was one of the more intelligent posts (many of the rest seemed to just paraphrase Rush Limbaugh, who believes the electrodes, the hoods, and the dead bodies were all just like "faternity hazing" in the U.S.):

> If this "rumor" is true, then it is conclusive proof that the Bush administration is
> not only the most depraved government ever, but dangerously stupid to boot. The rank
> hypocrisy of the Pentagon refusing to release the rest of the Abu Ghraib photos--
> citing the Geneva Conventions, of course--while releasing photos of Hussein's torture > on AlHurra, the US propaganda channel, is breathtaking. Does the Bush administration
> really believe that the world won't notice? [...]

> Posted by Suzanne @ 05/15/2004 06:35 AM PST

The Bush Administration has decided to release videos of Saddam's torturers, but keep reportedly shocking video of America's torturers in operation secret.

Neither the Congress nor the American have any supervisory authority or responsibility for Saddam's torture squads.

However, the world holds us responsible for murder, rape, and mayhem carried out by U.S. government contractors.