Monday, June 25, 2007

Journalists- Accessories to War Crimes?

For quite some time, certain media outlets have formed an understanding with perpetrators of horrific acts of violence. For example, about a year after 9/11, al-Jazeera received a tape from Osama bin Laden which praised the murder of thousands of innocents, and yet the Qatar-based network did not disclose where it received the tape. Such disclosure could have lead to actionable intelligence, and to the possible capture of the head of al-Qaeida. Yet al-Jazeera hid under the cloak of "protecting its sources."

So could it be possible that a reporter for an American news outlet would similarly protect evil in order to "get the scoop?" The answer, apparently, is yes. Aparisim "Bobby" Ghosh, a reporter for TIME Magazine, writes in an article that insurgents have told him how they have developed new tactics for countering the U.S. surge. Ghosh explains that:

At least one Sunni group has adapted its "martyrdom operations" to eliminate the risk to its own fighters. The Al-Qaeda-linked Ayesha Brigade plants bombs in cars owned by Shi'ites and, when the unwitting owners drive them into a crowded area, detonate them by remote control.

Ghosh then goes on to say:

The videotape of one such operation,bearing the date stamp March 26, was showed to TIME by an insurgent who said he had participated in at least six such operations. (We were not allowed to make a copy since the video had not been edited and the faces of several of the Ayesha Brigade fighters were clearly visible.)
Ghosh also talks about two other insurgent commanders that he spoke with for the article. He has obviously earned their trust. And the only way he could have earned that trust is by not "squealing" on the insurgents. Does TIME, or any other news organization, find it morally acceptable to have the confidence of terrorists and war criminals?

Killing an innocent Iraqi for political purposes is clearly an act of terrorism, and using that innocent Iraqi in a war zone to kill others is clearly a war crime. When TIME protects the identities of the perpetrators of such acts, it has the dubious distinction of becoming an accessory to evil.