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Comments

The example shows how free media in a free society needs access, access, access. To everything (except military secrets - I love the Swedish approach).

There also was a debate last night on US-network-television about media publications from Dover, Delaware.

I think the comparison between access to pictures of coffins of fallen US soldiers fighting for a free Iraq, clearly an issue involving sensitivity to the families of fallen soldiers, and access to mass human rights abuses involving hundreds of thousands of oppressed and murdered innocents is frankly an insult to the intelligence of every reader on this site.

What Klink just isn't willing to admit is that his sudden and fervent desire for access on this point is really more about demoralizing the USA in its support for Iraq than any sort of burning democratic impulse on his part. If that happens and the US pulls out of Iraq then we can go back to things the way they were under Saddam, business as usual, hear no evil, see no evil. No, it is no secret that US soldiers are dying, but we don't need to offer up a propaganda event to the leftist media and their cronies like Klink on a government military facility. We have more respect for our fallen men and women in uniform than that.

Raymond wrote:
What Klink just isn't willing to admit is that his sudden and fervent desire for access on this point is really more about demoralizing the USA in its support for Iraq than any sort of burning democratic impulse on his part.

"Klink just isn't willing to admit" is a nice rephrasal for "let me put these words into Klinks mouth".

My "sudden" interest simply comes from an earlier phone conversation today with an American friend of mine where he mentioned this. (I think he mentioned ABC's Peter Jennings news - there was a debate/feature apparently about it last night)

And I do have a burning democratic desire on things like FOIA or general transparency like the 9/11-commission for many years, because I believe it is one of the things that gives the US a superior edge over other countries, including Germany. (Only Sweden is IMO yet more radical) Citizens rights - from a far greater Free Speech, FOIA all the way to the right to bear arms - I admire that. Want it for my country. I'd wish Germany only had half the transparency of the US. And now I fear some of these things are slipping away under George Bush.

And there was nothing disrespectful about these photographs.

And while you and me strongly differ on the run-up to war, we both certainly agree that Iraq must be a success now that it is in progress - there is no losing now. In fact, I think Powell's old strategy of big man-power was better than Rumsfeld's current of only 120.000 men plus huge private security firms. I am not sceptical because I want to be demoralizing, but because I am fearful.

There isn't only one problem with the photograph of the flag draped coffins of US soldiers killed in Iraq and there's a good reason there's a debate about it in the US. As I understand it, it was forbidden for people to take photos there at the base, she did it anyway because she doesn't believe in rules apparently and perhaps she wants to profit from the photo. It wasn't her job to take photos there. She was properly fired, just as I would have been had I taken photos at a place I used to work since it was forbidden as well. They didn't want people coming in a taking photos out of respect for the families of dead servicemen. Unfortunately they themselves [the Air Force] have shown essentially the same disrespect by giving in to a request by some morbid bastard using the Freedom of Information act and releasing more photos. What's next, are they going to release morgue photos, just because some nut wants them and thinks it's his God given right to have them?

Great posting, Ray, thank you for reminding us.

That's why your work is so important.

Der neue alte Konflikt im Sudan ist ein gutes Beispiel, wie die Medien die Richtung unterstützen. Nichts genaues weiß der Leser, aber wenn Frau Wieczorek-Zeul für eine Intervention ist, steht die Richtung fest. Warum im Sudan "geholfen" im Irak nicht "geholfen" sollte, wissen die Journalisten sicher genauso wenig wie diese Politikerin.


"Die afrikanischen und arabischen Länder widersetzten sich anfangs einer Behandlung der Lage in Sudan und warfen dem Westen ein politisches Manöver vor. Sie beschuldigten die EU und die USA, sich in die inneren Angelegenheiten eines souveränen Staates einzumischen.

... Genau zehn Jahre nach dem Genozid in Ruanda, dem damals niemand Beachtung schenkte, konnten die Regierungen nicht erneut vor einem Drama so großen Ausmaßes die Augen verschließen.

Bundesentwicklungsministerin Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul (SPD) forderte die internationale Gemeinschaft eindringlich auf, den Gräueltaten in Sudan ein Ende zu bereiten. Sie müsse den verzweifelten Menschen beistehen und UN-Friedenstruppen in die Region entsenden, verlangte die Ministerin in Berlin. "Wir dürfen bei einem solchen Konflikt nicht wegschauen."

http://www.fr-aktuell.de/ressorts/nachrichten_und_politik/international/?cnt=426130


Kein Gerede von westlicher Arroganz oder ekelhaftem Missionsgetue, kein Unterstellen von Interessen. Hier wird von den Medien die Richtung der SPD unterstützt. Genozid ist das Zauberwort der Deutschen.

ich fürchte eher "konflikt" ist das zauberwort, alles was in der welt geschieht ist ein "konflikt", es gibt kein gut oder böse, deshalb muss man sich auch niemals klar positionieren oder gar eingreifen, wenn das morden gerade im vollen gange ist oder noch verhindert werden kann

kommt es aber ganz dicke, muessen halt die "angloamerikaner" ran, durch eine militärische intervention deutschlands ist noch kein genozid verhindert oder gestoppt worden

hier schaut man dann abwechselnd betroffen drein oder feixt über amerikanischen blutzoll und vermeintliches ungeschick bzw. solidarisiert sich glattweg mit den jeweiligen massenmördern,

die "internationale gemeinschaft" anzurufen oder den mond anzuheulen dürften im fall sudan ungefähr dieselben ergebnisse zeitigen, falls die ministerin das nicht WEISS, macht das nichts besser

Klink wrote: because I believe it is one of the things that gives the US a superior edge over other countries, including Germany. (Only Sweden is IMO yet more radical) Citizens rights - from a far greater Free Speech, FOIA all the way to the right to bear arms - I admire that.

Wow, this site must really be working...we've succeeded in turning a raving German leftist into a potential NRA member. :)

Only kidding! Anyway, I do agree that transparency is always a desirable thing in a democracy. But it should not be a stupid or naive transparency which plays into the hands of dictators or terrorists and allows them to overly exploit the very asymmetric relationship which exists in the media or which even allows them a military advantage. We do have to remember that whether we like it or not, the US is at war with terror. Unfortunately, the openness of our Western nations is one of the very things the terrorists take advantage of to strike us. So a balance between complete openness/transparency and safety/security needs to be found which does not compromise our democratic values.

Again, as far as fallen soldiers go, it is no secret that US troops are dying, we see pictures of the war every day and CNN repeats the statistics day for day for day on its website. I don't think it is unreasonable to forbid pictures on a military owned installation out of respect and consideration for the fallen. Perhaps their families don't want such pictures to be exploited (which they inevitably will be) by a leftist media out to demoralize America and bring down Bush in Iraq. As far as I know, the media is allowed to film the individual funerals of the soldiers as it is. Clearly, this whole Dover thing is about politics plain and simple and not about "transparency."

Ich möchte noch einmal den Artikel posten, auf den Samir hingewiesen hat.

hier

Das ist das Problem in unseren Medien. Diese nörgelnden Stimmen, die "kritischen", polemischen Stimmen bekommen viel mehr Raum als diejenigen, die die Kenntnissse und Informationen haben. Dieser Artikel muß von allen gelesen werden! Was sagen unsere Journalisten dazu?

ZEIT, FR, SZ, FAZ bringen natürlich auch einmal einen Artikel, der nicht in ihre Linie paßt, aber das Gleichgewicht ist doch nicht gewahrt, daß der deutsche Leser sich eine Meinung bilden könnte.

Aus dem Verfassungsschutzbericht zu der Rolle der Medien bei Selbstmordattentaten und anderes Erschreckendes:


2.3 Die Strategie des Terrors
Zentraler Bestandteil der Terror-Strategie radikaler palästinensischer Gruppen ist die Durchführung von
Selbstmordanschlägen. Einem solchen Attentat zum Opfer zu fallen, ist zum allgegenwärtigen Risiko für
jeden Israeli geworden, denn wer zur Tat entschlossen ist, kann jederzeit und beinahe überall seine tödliche
Ladung zünden...Selbstmordattentate sind (aus der Sicht ihrer Initiatoren und Befürworter)
groß in ihrer Wirkung, erfordern aber einen vergleichsweise geringen Aufwand und sind "kostengünstig"
in der Durchführung... Fast beängstigender, und gleichzeitig integraler Bestandteil dieser Terrortaktik,
ist die Verbreitung von Angst und Schrecken innerhalb der israelischen Gesellschaft.
2.3.1 Traumatisierung der israelischen Bevölkerung
Selbstmordattentate sollen die Israelis in erster Linie das Fürchten lehren. Das langfristige Ziel solcher
Anschläge ist die Traumatisierung der israelischen Gesellschaft...
2.3.3 Öffentliche Aufmerksamkeit
Die Aufmerksamkeit der Medien, die den Selbstmordanschlägen in Nahost geschenkt wird, ist nicht nur
ein wünschenswerter Nebeneffekt, sondern zentraler Bestandteil der Kampf-Strategie. Selbstmordattentäter
glauben, das Anliegen ihres Volkes in das Bewusstsein der Weltöffentlichkeit bomben zu können.
... Edda Heiligsetzer zeichnet in einer Studie
den "Werdegang" von Selbstmordattentätern nach. Danach setzt der Selektionsprozess häufig schon im
Kindesalter ein. Die HAMAS beispielsweise, die Bildungseinrichtungen wie Koranschulen, Kindergärten
und Grundschulen unterhält, rekrutiert ihre Zöglinge in Moscheen und im Religionsunterricht. Jugendliche,
die etwa aufgrund eigener Gewalterfahrungen und Demütigungen durch die israelische Besatzung
ein besonderes Interesse am Thema Märtyrertod zeigen, werden einem aufwendigen Selektions- und
Segregationsprozess unterzogen, bis sie schließlich in kleinsten Gruppen gezielt auf ihre spätere Aufgabe
vorbereitet werden.

3.2 Vermarktung des Terrors
Märtyrer-Operationen sind weltweit Gegenstand, aber auch Zweck der medialen Präsentation. Im Nahost-
Konflikt eignet sich die Brutalität, mit der palästinensische Selbstmordattentäter Unbeteiligte mit in den
Tod reißen, sowohl dazu, unter der israelischen Bevölkerung Angst und Schrecken zu verbreiten, als auch
auf möglichst aufsehenerregende Weise den unbedingten Willen zum Widerstand zu unterstreichen. Die
Effektivität des letzten, eigenen Machtmittels, des Selbstmordanschlags, wird dabei auf grausame Weise
in den Mittelpunkt gerückt. Bilder zerfetzter Körper und blutverschmierter Straßen haben eine enorme
emotionale Wirkung – auf die Weltöffentlichkeit und insbesondere auf die direkt am Konflikt beteiligten
Parteien. Für die gezielte Nutzung der Medien zur Propagandierung und Verherrlichung von Selbstmordattentaten
steht auch die libanesische 'Hizb Allah'. Eine ganze Abteilung der Organisation soll für die
"Vermarktung" jedes "erfolgreichen" Selbstmordanschlages aus den eigenen Reihen verantwortlich
zeichnen. Dazu gehört, den jeweiligen Märtyrer auf jede erdenkliche Weise populär zu machen, Bilder
von ihm in Zeitungen und ins Fernsehen zu bringen und ihm ein ehrwürdiges Andenken in der Bevölkerung
zu bewahren. Videos vom Abschied des Märtyrers eignen sich in besonderer Weise, die Vorbildfunktion
des Attentäters, seinen Mut und seine Entschlossenheit zu dokumentieren. Ein Instrument, dessen
sich auch palästinensische Terror-Organisationen bedienen.
3.2.2 Die Rolle der Palästinensischen Autonomiebehörde
Die von der Palästinensischen Autonomiebehörde kontrollierte Fernsehanstalt wird von den Israelis als
Hauptverantwortliche für die Mystifizierung von Selbstmordattentaten gesehen. Schon während der ersten
Intifada habe die Übertragung einpeitschender Gesänge und stundenlange Wiederholungen von Bildern
erschossener Palästinenser, die sogar im Kinderprogramm gesendet wurden, die Stimmung in der
Bevölkerung angeheizt und zu einer nachhaltigen Glorifizierung des Märtyrertodes beigetragen. Auch
wenn entsprechende Übertragungen aufgrund der internationalen Kritik seltener geworden sind, bleiben
gewaltverherrlichende Einspielungen, die den "gerechten" Kampf gegen den zionistischen Feind zum
Thema haben, tägliche Realität im palästinensischen Fernsehen. Dazu gehört auch die regelmäßige Übertragung
von Freitagspredigten, in denen religiöse Eiferer zum Jihad gegen die Juden aufrufen und palästinensische
Jugendliche zu Selbstmordattentaten anspornen.
Menschen im Gazastreifen und im Westjordanland, wo Tausende palästinensischer Flüchtlinge dicht
gedrängt in Lagern leben, hat eine Generation von Hoffnungslosen geschaffen. Die Stimmung unter der
palästinensischen Bevölkerung ist strikt anti-israelisch und anti-zionistisch und treibt junge Leute geradezu
in die Arme islamistischer Prediger. In einer von Leid und Hass geprägten Gegenwart und ohne Zukunft
haben die Menschen, die sich Terror-Organisationen als Selbstmordattentäter zur Verfügung stellen,
nur eines zu verlieren – ihr eigenes Leben. Hinzu kommt, dass die finanziellen Versprechungen der Terror-
Organisationen und die Aussicht auf materielle Sorglosigkeit der eigenen Familie als Belohnung für
die Tat gerade für mittellose Jugendliche einen starken Anreiz bildet.
3.3.3 Materielle Anreize
Selbstmordattentäter werden von Extremistenorganisationen mit finanziellen Zuwendungen gelockt. So
übernimmt die HAMAS nicht nur die Kosten für die Beerdigung des Märtyrers und kommt für die Ehrenzeremonien
auf; sie belohnt/entschädigt darüber hinaus seine Familie mit einer Einmalzahlung von 5.000
Dollar. Die palästinensische Autonomiebehörde ihrerseits sorgt für die hinterbliebenen Familien mit einer
lebenslangen, monatlichen Rente in Höhe von 1.000 Dollar. Ein anderer Teil der finanziellen Fürsorge
seitens der HAMAS ist die Finanzierung des Schulbesuchs oder des Studiums von Geschwistern des
Attentäters durch Stipendien. Auch Häuser, die von der israelischen Armee als Vergeltung für den Selbstmordanschlag
niedergerissen werden, hilft die HAMAS wieder zu errichten. Bis zum Sturz des
irakischen Diktators waren die wirtschaftlichen Aussichten sogenannter Märtyrer-Familien noch vorteilhafter.
Der irakische Diktator, der zur Zeit des irakisch-iranischen Krieges die Hinterbliebenen der irakischen
Gefallenen mit einem Auto und 10.000 Dollar versorgt hatte, zeigte lange Zeit ein ähnliches Gebaren
in den Palästinensergebieten. Die Unterstützung der palästinensischen Intifada war ihm im Laufe der
Jahre immer wertvoller geworden. So hatte er die Entschädigung für die Familien von Selbstmordattentätern
noch in den letzten Monaten seiner Regierungszeit von 10.000 auf 25.000 Dollar erhöht.
Ein Beispiel dafür, dass die Versorgung von Märtyrer-Familien weit über rein materielle Hilfeleistungen
hinausgehen kann, ist die sogenannte "Märtyrerstiftung" der libanesischen Hizb Allah. Erhält die Stiftung
Nachricht vom Tod eines Attentäters, besucht sie umgehend seine Familie. Die finanzielle Unterstützung
erstreckt sich neben einer monatlichen Rente und dem freien Zugang zu Bildungseinrichtungen wie Schulen
und Universitäten auch auf eine umfassende medizinische Versorgung. Darüber hinaus bietet die
Organisation den Hinterbliebenen eine spezielles kulturelles Programm an, das u. a. Vorlesungen und
Ausflüge beinhaltet. Sie stellt notfalls auch Experten zur psychologischen Betreuung der Familienangehörigen
zur Verfügung.


Mehr hier

Ray,
you wrote: Hear no evil-see no evil. Without dramatic pictures of the thousands of dead and wounded from yesterdays train catastrophe in North Korea, the entire event comes across in the Western media as a collection of sterile numbers, blurry satellite images and outdated file photos.

How do you know, yesterdays train catastrophe cost thousands of dead and wounded?

First of all, I agree with you on your post.
But my point is, this post is a typical example how easy people post 'facts', they couldn't get first hand. Why doing so? Your post doesn't need hypothetical information.

Yes, I know, numbering the casulties was not the message in your post....

Thank you for the insights, Ray. The clairity of your thought and prose reminded me of Victor Davis Hansen.

@Raymond
Wow, this site must really be working...we've succeeded in turning a raving German leftist into a potential NRA member. :)

Haha...stop playing to your audience now. :-) IMO judging from your replies, you understand anyhow a bit more where I come from, instead of the "troll", "anti-American" or "typical German" ramblings against me from the pro-Bush Germans on here, often said with foam-at-mouth. So you will likely be the least surprised to hear that I am already a legal private gun-owner (and even a number of them! *gasp* ) - so I sadly can't you give credit on this issue. *g*. (Of course everything registered and controlled for safe storage by the local Ordnungsamt - obedient little German I am.).

I think it's sometimes no surprise that a confident proud citizen's attitude often goes hand in hand with more easy gun-laws, in contrast to hugely restrictive Western countries who view their citizens more as sheep. Be it US, Canada, Switzerland, etc. (I am a bit generalizing here, but ya get the idea. Of course easier gun-laws aren't the reason for this, more a result)

But speaking of raving leftists: I still hope someone will explain to me these self-defined "anti-German and communist" groups who are apparently pro-American/Bush on Iraq, which I mentioned. Who all here is anti-German of you Germans? And why would *anyone* self-define himself with a word like "anti-german"?

Unfortunately, the openness of our Western nations is one of the very things the terrorists take advantage of to strike us. So a balance between complete openness/transparency and safety/security needs to be found which does not compromise our democratic values.

True, we only differ where that balance lies. And unfortunately, the Bush-administration is far more secretive than previous ones, not only on security issues but on many others as well. I view it as a means to avoid criticism - not how it should be. And not the true American spirit.

And don't forget re: Terrorists: Terrorists know they can't win militarly. It is their goal to use single criminal acts to push our side into a reaction for us to take away our freedoms. To make us less of a desirable role-model. So it's important to consider this balance every time and not simply scream "yes" to any new infringement of civil liberties.

Perhaps their families don't want such pictures to be exploited (which they inevitably will be) by a leftist media out to demoralize America and bring down Bush in Iraq.

The pics were of closed caskets and very dignified. If one were to argue about family sensitivities, I'd be more worried about Prince Harry and Prince William having pictures of their dying mother published by CBS this week as well. Or her driver, Henri Paul. Or countless starving children in Africa - where is their dignity when photos are published?

Don't ban anything because: Life is sometimes ugly and painful and it is important to remind us of it. I liked your headline "out of sight, out of mind": Those pictures can also be viewed as an important reminder that war is not without a price. It does not change any of the argument pro or against - casualties are expected in war. But it reminds us that this is not a clean arcade-game with stats on a CNN-website, but a dead-serious issue. (And, indirectly, it tells us also that there is no turning back now, as those lives lost until now would be in vain, if we would)

Clearly, this whole Dover thing is about politics plain and simple and not about "transparency."

It's both. And in the end, everything is political.

Like the blog-entry today about Pat Tillman. This guy truly seems remarkable indeed - I read somewhere he was reluctant to give interviews on this, because he didn't want any special limelight compared to other troops. Well, he certainly gets it now (not meant as criticism - someone altruistic like him certainly deserves it)

But answer for yourself this following question: Had the current POTUS back in his young years the same free choice between a several million $$ contract or to serve in the front-line for his country for few ten-thousand a year, what would've been his choice then? The same as Pat Tillman? I think we both know the answer to that one, considering his biography.

True, we only differ where that balance lies. And unfortunately, the Bush-administration is far more secretive than previous ones, not only on security issues but on many others as well.

Did I ever make a statement as to where that balance is? I must have missed something...And BTW, "previous administrations" didn't have to deal with 9-11. I think that is the reason for most of the Bush Administration's so-called “secretive” actions. And I also never remember having screamed “yes” every time someone suggests curtailing civil liberties. If you expect others not to jump to conclusions about you (foaming at the mouth) I’d very much appreciate it if you didn’t jump to conclusions about my viewpoints.

The pics were of closed caskets and very dignified. If one were to argue about family sensitivities, I'd be more worried about Prince Harry and Prince William having pictures of their dying mother published by CBS this week as well. Or her driver, Henri Paul. Or countless starving children in Africa - where is their dignity when photos are published?

You are comparing apples and oranges. No one here is advocating showing pictures of Princess Di's autopsy or humiliating children in Africa. Again, you must have missed my point about soldier's funerals complete with flag-draped caskets being accessible to the media. You are right, the Dover thing is about politics, and there is no reason we should allow these pictures to be exploited politically at the expense of our soldiers and their families if we can avoid it, that is entirely our political prerogative as well.

Don't ban anything because: Life is sometimes ugly and painful and it is important to remind us of it. I liked your headline "out of sight, out of mind": Those pictures can also be viewed as an important reminder that war is not without a price. It does not change any of the argument pro or against - casualties are expected in war. But it reminds us that this is not a clean arcade-game with stats on a CNN-website, but a dead-serious issue.

I agree entirely, so why isn’t the German media showing us more about the mass graves, the prisons and the rape rooms under Saddam?

And, as far as I can remember, I’ve seen all kinds of images of death, destruction and carnage in Iraq on both US and German media outlets. So I don’t see how you can claim that the media today is presenting the Iraq conflict as a “clean arcade-game.” Clearly, you are knocking down an imaginary straw-man of your own making on that point.

But answer for yourself this following question: Had the current POTUS back in his young years the same free choice between a several million $$ contract or to serve in the front-line for his country for few ten-thousand a year, what would've been his choice then? The same as Pat Tillman? I think we both know the answer to that one, considering his biography.

Another meaningless political statement. Pat Tillman was one of a kind, and you are using him as an instrument to politically attack Bush so shortly after his death, pretty tasteless and gutless if you asked me and not something welcome on this website.

I wonder whether good old Gerd or any of the editors or writers at SPIEGEL ONLINE would have put their asses on the line for our freedom?…I seriously doubt it.

I can never help but smile when a European speaks of secretive government. I always wonder just what they mean or what they are comparing. They surely cannot be using any European governments as standards.

The investigative nature of the European press is even more disappointing. Look at Germany where the press cannot even speculate on the use of hair dye or where a work of fiction can be pulled because the story line is about assassination.

The information coming from the current US Administration is more in keeping with how information has historically flowed to the press and the public. Information comes either from the principles, their deputies or from official spokesmen. It represents the position of the administration and by extension the policies and positions of the President. As these positions are clear to all these individuals and have been coordinated one sees little backing and filling. The same about backing and filling cannot be said of the majority of the European governments.

Is the different from the previous administration? Of course it is. In the previous administration low level third, fourth and even fifth level members of that administration felt free to provide information in an almost unchecked and uncoordinated manner. Much of this information was not in fact wrong and required much backing and filling to correct. This started almost immediately with the ill-conceived health care plan.

It surely is not done to avoid criticism as these positions are criticized all the time by the media or the Democrats. What is missing is the circus atmosphere that was so prevalent in the previous administration

Does this frustrate the press? Of course it does. The press lives off leaks and insider information. It is difficult to get much copy when one has the same sources as almost all other reporters.

The American public has lost confidence in much of the media. The news broadcasts of the three major networks continue to lose viewership as results of this. Less than a third of Americans trust the major networks to report a fair and unbiased report on an event. More and more Americans feel not only do the networks spin the news they no longer represent the views and values of the majority of Americans.

As for the showing of America’s dead coming home, it can only be a local story for the media. In the hometowns of each death American there is wide coverage in both the print media and on local television. There are stories about who these brave men and women were, the loves one left behind, and the lives not lived. It is reported with dignity and respect. Just are the burials are conducted with dignity and respect.

>> As an aside, I would recommend to any European who might be visiting Washington DC to take an afternoon and go to Arlington National Cemetery. There you are sure to see an American service member being laid to rest. I think you will be surprised at how simple but how noble it is done.<<

@Raymond
Did I ever make a statement as to where that balance is? I must have missed something

Well, you and me did disagree on the balance-line over these pictures, no? Thus my conclusion of us two having a different balance-line. As a strong defender of Government transparency, I'd be only happy to know that the pics would be the only issue where we differ in terms of strong transparency.

And BTW, "previous administrations" didn't have to deal with 9-11. I think that is the reason for most of the Bush Administration's so-called “secretive” actions.

And I would have understanding for most of the issues solely for 9/11, but it goes well beyond 9/11. US News & World Report had a capturing article collection recently, with the main feature titled "Keeping secrets. The Bush administration is doing the public's business out of the public eye. Here's how--and why" by Christopher H. Schmitt and Edward T. Pound

Another meaningless political statement. Pat Tillman was one of a kind, and you are using him as an instrument to politically attack Bush so shortly after his death, pretty tasteless and gutless if you asked me and not something welcome on this website.

Ray, your rethoric seems unfair at this point.

I applauded Pat Tillman. And then added to this blog's _very own chosen political comparison_ another one. Please re-read the original blog-entry on Pat Tillman. You guys introduced your blog-entry on Pat Tillman with:

This if from George in the comment section of this blog:
Contrast Moore to Pat Tillman. You wonder what Moore does with his euro earnings. I know he does not spend it on his wardrobe!

And I am not saying that the blog-entry was wrong - but aren't you now quite unfair in scolding me for becoming political after someone's tragic death, when one reads the wording you guys chose on this issue before me?

I wonder whether good old Gerd or any of the editors or writers at SPIEGEL ONLINE would have put their asses on the line for our freedom?…I seriously doubt it.

Right on, like with my comparison.

It would appear secretive is an individual judgment. To make a statement that an administration is secretive needs to be supported by some standard. What standard is being used? I would not think it is a German standard or a French standard or an EU standard.

In the case whether an American administration is secretive or not secretive one would have to compare it to previous administrations. To limit this comparison to the most immediate preceding administration not only gives a false results but it is also intellectually lazy. Of course, it is quite possible that making such comments the purpose is in fact to mislead. In this case, not only is no standard needed one is not wanted.

The only people who I hear making comments that this administrative is secretive are those who would are so bias in their judgment their comments do not warrant serious consideration and are nothing more than a continuation of their previous positions only changed to reflect the current topic. They also tend to live in nations where their own governments are secretive. They are quick to desire transparency in American government but do not demand it from their own governments.

The only Americans one hears that this government is secretive are the media whose job it is to report on what the government is doing. Because their access has been limited to those who are spokesmen for this administration they find this to be frustrating and thus charge secrecy.

The majority of Americans have direct access to the flow of information provided by their government without the need for media filters. They can watch gavel-to-gavel coverage of the House of Representative and the Senate. They can watch much of the committee hearings on important legislation. They can watch the daily press conferences held by each department of the executive branch. In these press conferences the spokesmen answer questions asked by the members of the media.

So little that effects the public is ever secret, as it must debated, and voted upon by Congress before it ever becomes law. If there is any secrecy in American government it is most likely found in the fine print of bills that Congress passes which all members generally agree too.



Umm, guys? The coffin pic? I don't really know how many were released, but I think the one going around the world was of the Columbia crew.

The FOIA was from 2/1/03 to a certain date. The guy in the brown pants and blue(?) sport coat works for NASA.

Via Instapundit 4/23:


"NOTE TO EDITORS : n04-059


Columbia Crew Mistakenly Identified As Iraqi War Casualties

Many news organizations across the country are mistakenly identifying the flag-draped caskets of the Space Shuttle Columbia's crew as those of war casualties from Iraq.

Editors are being asked to confirm that the images used in news reports are in fact those of American casualties and not those of the NASA astronauts who were killed Feb.1, 2003, in the Columbia tragedy.

An initial review of the images featured on the Internet site www.thememoryhole.org shows that more than 18 rows of images from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware are actually photographs of honors rendered to Columbia's seven astronauts.

News organizations across the world have been publishing and distributing images featured on the web site."
--

Hey - SPIEGEL ONLINE - if you're reading this, you gonna run a retraction if you printed this pic?

@Klink

How can you be such a strong defender of something that is all but totally void in your own nation and within the EU?

What am I missing here? It has to be something!

I always enjoy the way you use anecdotal evidence to support a point when you can find it and when you cannot you just revert back to the tired rhetoric of the elites of the social welfare states of Europe.

A brief review of the previous administration which you seem to so fondly miss would tell you that a third branch of the American government, the judiciary, ruled that they were acting in secrecy. I believe at this point you will not find a court that has so stated about this Administration.

Of course, I would not expect you to remember this or to comment on it as it fails to support any position you have taken.

So you really are not only intellectually lazy but intellectually dishonest as well.

Shame Shame Shame Klink!


@Sandy

thememoryhole.org had hundreds of pictures, and several dozen of them were from the NASA-accident IMO.

SPIEGEL ran a story here with two pics. The second picture is clearly genuine, showing the Kuweit-picture. The first pic is from AP, one of those who mistakenly distributed Shuttle-pics as well, but SPIEGEL's shows more than a dozen caskets. HTH.

@Joe
would appear secretive is an individual judgment. To make a statement that an administration is secretive needs to be supported by some standard. What standard is being used? I would not think it is a German standard or a French standard or an EU standard.

Which I always openly said - see my below quote from earlier. And I lived less than half of my life here, so I am relatively emotionless. (but still stand behind being German unlike apparently the bizarre "anti-Germans" on our topic of Iraq?)

The US sets standards as our Western leader and countries like Germany should move towards the US, not vice versa, as I fear it happens right now when I read detailed articles like the one in US-News.

And I do have a burning democratic desire on things like FOIA or general transparency like the 9/11-commission for many years, because I believe it is one of the things that gives the US a superior edge over other countries, including Germany. (Only Sweden is IMO yet more radical) Citizens rights - from a far greater Free Speech, FOIA all the way to the right to bear arms - I admire that. Want it for my country. I'd wish Germany only had half the transparency of the US. And now I fear some of these things are slipping away under George Bush.

Kink,

Another great non-answer totally ignoring any discussion on what standard is being discussed. It would seem the American people do not share your personal standard.

In fact, it is not a standard at all but only an opinion. It is your opinion. Again, it is nice to find that you are consistent in not allowing facts to get in the way of your opinions.

You are like some liberals in the US who want to confuse topics and rationalizations. Because the flow of information is controlled, in that it comes only from designated sources, does not imply secrecy nor do it mean this administration is secretive. It only means this administration is functioning in the way previous administrations have behaved traditionally.

@Joe
It would seem the American people do not share your personal standard.

Since you apparently haven't read the detailed US-News article on issues other than security (I seen now it costs 2.95 by now in their archive), here is just another random colum from someone of the American people from the coming week and another meaningless online-poll.

Yes, We Can Handle the Truth

The bottom line: this government doesn't trust the people. The last thing it wants to do now is fight an image war at home

By Jonathan Alter
Newsweek

....

The bottom line is that this government doesn't trust the people. It didn't trust them with the real reasons for going to war or the price tag. It doesn't want to fight an image war at home when the United States is already losing that fight in the Arab world.

...

Should the military alter its policy and allow photos to be taken of fallen soldiers returning home?
As of now, 9:54pm CET:
* 13206 responses
Yes 70%
No 26%
I don't know 4%
(What's the matter - haven't the Freepers discovered this poll yet with their scripting and cookie-deletions?)

Klink,

You missed the point again. There is no demand to see dead Americans arriving at Dover AFB except from the national media.

You once again jump from topic to topic mixing anecdotal examples to fit your bias viewpoint.

Again you want to use the media as a reflection of the American people. Unlike Europe there is a huge gulf between the positions, valves and beliefs of the media and the majority of Americans. The American media reflects only its own views.

I realize this a difficult point for you to understand.

The media admits reluctantly that it is liberal and votes more than 90% for Democrats. More and more Americans are seeing how obvious the bias of the media is reflected in there reporting. This awareness explains why viewership, circulation, and subscription rates are all down for what you might consider to be the mainstream media in the US.

As for the latest example you use, it only supports my previous comment. Look at the quoted you used “….with the US already losing the fight in the Arab world.”

Reading that comment alone gives a very clear indication of the point of view of the writer. I would think the social welfare states in Europe would embrace such an analysis.

What is frustrating the media and I am sure those in Europe who are paying attention is in the last week Kerry lost 5 points in the polls Bush gained 5 points in the polls for a net swing of 10 points. This should have been a bad month for Bush with the 9 11 commission and the news from Iraq. It was not. Some would credit this to the media ad run by the Bush campaign but the biggest changes were in states where the ads did not run.

In spite efforts of the Democrat members of the 9 11 commission and the efforts of the national media, most Americans now view these hearing as partisan. They blame the eight years of Clinton more than the eight months of Bush for allowing 9 11 to occur. They are also more forward looking than either the media or the commission.

America's still a 50/50 nation. That's to say, 50 percent of the nation backs Bush, and the other 50 percent either loathe him, or are undecided, or aren't yet paying attention to Campaign '04. The president's numbers should be higher.
But the problem for John Kerry is that he and the networks and the New York Times are finding it all but impossible to make any dent in the Bush half. If it is a 50/50 nation, one side's 50 percent is pretty solid and the other's a lot softer.
Do not be surprised as the media in the US will be and I am equally sure the European media will be too that Bush wins by an impressive margin. I for one will not be.

Klink,

You cite an on line poll from a little visited web site. > Klink you could have voted yourself 100 times. Who knows?<

As a point of interest, the web site you used to support your position is sponsored by NBC and Msn. It is part of MSNBC.

FOX News had more viewers last month than CNN and MSNBC combined. I would expect their respective web sites reflect this also.

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