If you want (yet) another sign of media bias, all you needed to do was to sign onto AOL. For the past twenty-four hours, during the same period the Iraqi parliament confirmed that nation’s first full-term elected government, AOL l”Top News” headline was about the Pentagon Probe of an alleged massacre by Marines. The sub-title to the article includes a quotation from Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha, a longtime critic of the Iraq war. As AOL’s leading with an article about an investigation long underway (but not yet concluded) call its objectivity into question, Murtha’s remarks call his own commitment to the troops into question.
To be sure, we may find out that such a massacre occurred. But, by claiming that it happened while the incident is still under investigation, this Democrat shows that, in his hunger for headlines, he assumes the worst about our armed forces. As Smash reports (via Instapundit), Murtha’s comments are most improper given that providing “inside knowledge of an ongoing UCMJ investigation . . . might prejudice it.”
Other bloggers have been less sparing in their condemnations of the Pennsylvania Democrat. Gateway Pundit finds it “sad that this “war crimes conspirator” is the best the democrats have to offer on Defense.” Hugh Hewitt agrees with Smash, being unable to imagine “a more irresponsible statement . . . given that the investigation is still open.” California Conservative simply calls him a “traitor.”
It is clear that Murtha wants to spin this story not as one faulting the Marines in question for what would be (if his allegations are accurate) despicable conduct, but as one faulting the Bush Administration for deploying them. If the investigation shows that the Marines in questioned murdered innocent Iraqis, I pretty much agree with Flopping Aces that “they should all be hung and quartered” for dishonoring the Corps.
When we look more closely at the investigation — and the alleged crime — we find, however, it does not fit into Murtha’s interpretation of nearly everything coming out of Iraq — i.e, that it is (yet) another sign of America’s failed policy there. In fact, what comes out is the story the media missed about Abu Ghraib two years ago. First, even a good government can’t entirely prevent human beings, working under its authority, from acting out their own evil impulses.
The second thing that comes out is what the military can do — what it has done both with this incident and the crimes at Abu Ghraib. It can investigate the charges and prosecute the perpetrators. Let us recall that the military launched an investigation of the crimes at Abu Ghraib more than three months before the media broke the story. It subsequently brought charges against those responsible. They’re all now serving time in prison.
The Pentagon even investigated its own conduct. While the Schlesinger Commission faulted the military for inadequate supervision of the prison, it cleared the Administration of involvement in the crimes committed there. So, before we jump to conclusions and make wild accusations (as Mr. Murtha has done), let’s await the outcome of the investigation. Knowing Murtha’s record as a partisan critic of the war, the media confirms its bias by highlighting his allegations — and downplaying the good news coming out of Iraq.
If MSM, however, accurately — and completely — reported what’s happening in Iraq, it would upset their narrative of Iraq as Vietnam, a failure of American military policy, the only template they have for describing the current conflict.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
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