Well, It Looked Like a Baby On a Bayonet to Us
So much for the main atrocity story in yesterday's Tele:
More than 400 sets of human remains discovered in a barracks outside of Basra are of soldiers killed during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, the leader of a U.S. military team that examined them said Sunday.
Forensics experts sent to southern Iraq to analyze the makeshift coffins and plastic bags in which the human body parts were found said all the injuries appeared consistent with combat, contrary to initial reports from an Iranian news agency some showed signs of torture.
From CNN - more
But in just a few hours, Chief Warrant Officer Dan Walters, the leader of the task force's Criminal Investigation Division unit, said a preliminary examination of the remains and some of the thousands of pages of documents that were abandoned in a building next to the warehouse suggested that atrocities had probably not occurred here. Rather, he said, Iraqis had apparently been processing the remains and preparing to exchange them with Iran.
From the New York Times
In case you missed the Tele's original report
, check out the room for doubt here:
Something terrible happened here. Something murderous. Something evil.
The proof lies in a cargo container nearby. Its metal door hangs open and inside are pages and pages of files.
The Murdoch mouthpieces will probably claim that they did include quotes from a spokesman that "We can't speculate on what this is until an investigation." Of course, the very next paragraph states:
But one officer, speaking privately and looking on in shock was more blunt. "Just look at those photos. Look at this place. People were being tortured and executed here," he said.
The real foolishness here is that Hussein is demonstrably a vicious thug, and the head of a vicious thug regime; and other reports of torture and mistreatment, particularly to force loyalty to the regime during this invasion, could be very relevant to understanding how quickly this war is going to end, and how the post-invasion reconstruction should go. But what credibility can we give claims that issued from a source as unreliable as these craven Murdoch whores? What use are they as a news source?
I got those two links from an SMH
article by Margot Kingston, not my favourite source. Intellectual giant Tim Blair
takes Ms Kingston to task for referring to the Telegraph story as a "scoop" invented by Newscorp - which given it was featured on all the television media over last weekend, it wasn't. Sadly, this isn't the first occasion Ms Kingston has lobbed Mr Blair a slow, high one through her sloppy use of the English language. That said, it was nice of Mr Blair to provide links to earlier reporting of the story from the Independent
and the BBC
to allow us to compare the cautious balanced journalism of these news outlets with the yenta-fest the Tele ran from the Observer
. (And, before you ask, I don't believe those effete small-l liberal wankers at the Observer would
know any better.) So Murdoch's myrmidons didn't write this trash themselves, they just borrowed the most inflammatory op-ed they could find and ran it on page one - I stand corrected. (Mr Blair's permalinks don't seem to be working so if you want to read his piece try April 8 2003 at 2:42AM. His 1:10PM post is also a hoot. In the Media Watch
episode I mentioned below, David Marr complained about Miranda Devine's use of the word "cockroach" to describe people we were about to bomb. Timmy trumps him with a quote from previous Media Watch
host Richard Ackland describing people who were about to face a judicial enquiry. Touché, O Champion of Logic!)
Update to Update [9-4-03]:
Mr Blair pointed out in a most congenial e-mail that Ackland's "cockroaches" were to be taken before a public enquiry of the ABA, not a "judicial enquiry" as I slapdashedly referred to it. I'd do obeisance for the error, but after reading it again I think leaving my lame-ass "O Champion of Logic" insult there for all to see and mock will be punishment enough.