Media and Politicians Exploiting Prisoner Abuse Scandal

A family values spokesman says the media and political frenzy about the apparent prisoner abuse by U.S. military personnel at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq is spiraling out of control, to the detriment of America, the war on terror, and the troops who are in Iraq trying to do their job.

Gary Bauer of American Values says critics in the Muslim world, in the American media, and on Capitol Hill should take note that the scandal is being investigated aggressively, that the first court-martial related to the scandal will take place in full public view, and that the Administration &#0151 from George W. Bush on down &#0151 is committed to justice being served. So why isn't that enough for those critics?

“Because there are a whole lot of opportunists, as well as outright enemies of the U.S., who want to exploit the problem and harm our nation or use it to serve their own narrow political purposes,” Bauer observes.

The former GOP presidential candidate says it is right and proper that U.S. officials are taking appropriate steps concerning those prison abuses because “such abuses violate our own values.” But that is no reason, he says, to allow “Middle Eastern propagandists” to claim the moral high ground. “They are nowhere close to being able to sit in judgment of us,” he adds.

Bauer also points out that CNN &#0151 the same network that deliberately downplayed the brutality of dictator Saddam Hussein so as not to damage their access to Baghdad &#0151 has become what he describes as “a non-stop media frenzy machine” on the prison abuse scandal.

“In other words,” Bauer says, “they looked the other way when it came to Saddam while they wallow in the mistakes of a few U.S. soldiers.”

And Bauer apparently is not content at stopping there, taking the opportunity to accuse Capitol Hill lawmakers of spewing forth what he calls “record levels” of hypocrisy. “The politicians are the worst of all,” he says. “The senators who are screaming the most are the very ones who adamantly opposed the U.S. liberating Iraq to begin with.”

According to Bauer, those politicians' calls for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld are a smokescreen of sorts. “Their real target is Bush,” he says, noting that Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy was among those attacking Rumsfeld for not acting fast enough to deal with the prisoner abuse reports.

“Senator Kennedy is hardly in a position to lecture anyone on timely reporting in view of his actions at Chappaquiddick,” Bauer says.

A major conservative group says the White House should reject those calls for Rumsfeld to resign in the wake of the prisoner abuse controversy. Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America does not think the Defense Secretary should be held accountable for the actions of a handful of prison guards in Iraq.

Pratt says Rumsfeld's critics are operating on a double standard. He says he would like to see the White House challenge those critics by saying something to the effect that they will consider the resignation requests “after candidate [John] Kerry apologizes and steps down from the United States Senate for having admitted that he committed genocide in Vietnam.”

More and more people inside the Beltway are beginning to understand it is the media push that is driving the controversy. Some media outlets were allegedly aware of these incidents six months ago but failed to report them until now.

Meanwhile, Associated Press says Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a senior Iraqi-born Shiite cleric, predicts terrorist attacks on U.S. interests worldwide will increase because of Muslim anger at the American abuse of Iraqi prisoners. Fadlallah's prediction may be based in fact. In what may be an apparent retaliation to events in Abu Ghraib, news reports on Tuesday indicate that another American has been beheaded by Islamic militants in Iraq.

In a video clip posted on the Internet, Nick Berg, a 26-year-old contractor from Pennsylvania, was reportedly decapitated with a large knife wielded by a group of five masked men who shouted Allahu Akbar! &#0151 “God is great” &#0151 and then held his head out before the camera.

Berg's body was found Saturday on a highway overpass near Baghdad. According to reports, U.S. officials think that terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi may have either authorized Berg's execution or actually performed the act himself.

According to Bauer, the American media's treatment of this latest killing shows a clear double standard. When Berg's body was found, the press reported that his body showed “signs of trauma.” Now the videotape of Berg's death gives clear evidence of how Iraqi extremists abuse and mutilate Americans.

Bauer makes the following comment: “The media that wants to show us every image out of the Iraqi prison did not want to tell us what had been done to this man.”

On the website where the video clip was posted, one of the executioners read a statement indicating they had offered to exchange Berg for Iraqi detainees being held by U.S. military police in Abu Ghraib, but were refused. “The dignity of the Muslim men and women in Abu Ghraib and others is not redeemed except by blood and souls,” the executioner stated.

Another American, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was kidnapped and then beheaded in Pakistan in 2002 by a group of Islamic militants, four of whom have since been convicted of Pearl's kidnapping. Seven other suspects remain at large.

(This article courtesy of Agape Press.)

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