Remember all the stories the mainstream media devoted to “what is being dubbed as the “Kill Teams” – rogue elements of US forces accused of intentionally killing unarmed Afghani civilians.” Jazz Shaw sure does, but he points out that they hardly gave this story the attention they devoted to the horrific photographs of prisoner abuse at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison now nearly seven years ago. And he hints at one reason behind the media’s apparent disinterest in this story:
The real question here crossed my mind while watching more than an hour of television coverage of this story this morning, as well as reading the Rolling Stone article which is more than eight pages and I don’t know how many thousands of words long. Many names are mentioned, ranging from the individual soldiers involved and their direct supervisors all the way up to General McChrystal. But one name seems to be conspicuously absent from all of this coverage. Can you guess who it is? I’ll give you a hint… his initials are B.H.O.
When I suggested this to a friend this morning he responded by saying, “I don’t really agree that it’s right to hang every act of soldier misconduct on whomever is president. If a soldier gets drunk on leave, drives drunk, and kills a motorist, is it the president’s fault?”
It’s an important point. The president is definitely not responsible for every single action by every soldier acting badly such as in the example he cited.
He’s right. The president is not responsible for the rogue actions of the bad apples in our armed forces. Yet, during Iraq, our mainstream media spent weeks trying to tie the abuse at Abu Ghraib to the then-president even though the Army had begun an investigation of the crimes long before the photographs became public.
Shaw, to be sure, thinks it “was proper to hang the Abu Ghraib mess around the necks of President Bush and his top staff. It was a systemic problem of policy and responsibility for such things goes straight to the top.” And now he says Obama “must be held to the same standards as his predecessor for the warts and rough patches as well as any potential victories.”
Read the whole thing.