Jim jnantz2 at 216-19-216-108.GETNET.NET
Wed May 25 04:38:57 MDT 2005

John wrote:


> Ignorance of the fact that blasphemy in some Islamic countries carries
> the death penalty is difficult to understand.

In these moslem countries, spitting on the sidewalk, jaywalking, or
drinking a beer while you're at home watching the game will get you the
death penalty.

> The editorial staff of /Newsweek/ had to know that the Muslim community
> of the world would react violently, thus further damaging the image of
> the United States at a critical time in the organization of a democratic
> government in Iraq.

I know it will never happen, but wouldn't you just love to see the
people responsible for this article put on trial for treason?

> The Pentagon was well aware of the sensitivity surrounding the Koran,
> and as early as January 2003, months before hostilities began in Iraq,
> issued instructions setting out rules for “handling and inspecting of
> detainees’ Korans” at Guantanamo Bay. Specifically, the directive said,
> “U.S. personnel must ensure that the Koran is not placed in offensive
> areas such as the floor, near the toilet or sink, near the feet, or in
> dirty/wet areas.” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman stated in answer to a
> direct question by a Reuters reporter, “What I’m saying is that this
> allegation that /Newsweek/ made … about Koran desecration is
> demonstrably false, and there have thus far been no credible allegations
> of willful Koran desecration.”

Let's give them korans made with pig skin.

> The worst part of the whole situation is that the /Newsweek/ report was
> a lie.

As opposed to the rest of the bullship they print?

> Journalists must be held accountable in protecting the image of America,
> but more importantly the safety of our Armed Forces now in harm’s way.
> The United States is at war.

Imagine what would have happened in 1944 if an American newspaper had
made up a story about American soldiers raping German women, desecrating
  Shinto shrines, or anything else that would make us look bad.

> All forms of media during World War II were under the control of the
> U.S. Office of Censorship, headed by Byron Price, former President of
> Associated Press.
> For nearly two years, during my U.S. Navy service in World War II, the
> Office of Naval Intelligence assigned me, on detached duty, to serve
> with the office of “Chief Radio and Cable Censor.” My station assignment
> was at Radiomarine Station WMH on Baltimore’s harbor front. To my
> knowledge World War II censorship worked well and was not considered
> offensive. The news media did a superb job at great sacrifice during the
> war and the public loved them for it.

You KNOW what would happen if a similar setup was proposed today.

> Following World War II journalism has been considered to have matured to
> the extent that it could be trusted, without the threat of censorship,
> to protect the interests of the nation.

Somebody sure got that one wrong.

> Today, some 70 percent of Americans don't trust the press.

I wonder why.

> Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., in his immortal quote about "fire in
> a crowded theater" went on to say, "The question in every case is
> whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such
> nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring
> about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent."
> Would this leave the door open for laws of accountability where the
> clear and present danger resulted in loss of human life and massive
> destruction of property?
> Or have we reached a point where the U.S. needs a criminal libel law
> similar to present laws in England?

I like the idea of a law that makes it a crime for a journalist to
publish as fact something they know to be false.

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