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Yet Another Faulty Meme Dies Hard

In our ongoing and neverending series on liberal myths, James Taranto at Best of the Web:

One persistent media myth about Guantanamo Bay is that it is a prison or a jail--that is to say, a criminal detention facility. This myth is seldom stated explicitly, but it shows up in reporters' use of police-beat jargon: describing detainees as "suspected" or "alleged" terrorists; noting that most are "held without charge," etc.

Funny how these mischaracterizations of the detainees' status seem to seep out into the public consciousness. Do the journalists not understand why the detainess are at Gitmo, or . . . do they know and not care that they spread misinformation?

There was a time when most people would have ascribed such a mistake to a lack of knowledge. That is still quite possible, given how often reporters write about things they know nothing about. But in the post-Rathergate era, the possibility that journalists wilfully disseminate deliberate untruths looms large.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 4 May 2007 01:19 PM


How true. Gitmo is not a criminal facility, but essentially a POW camp, except that the detainees are illegal combatants, and thus have fewer rights than true POWs.

Of course, we could simply open the fence and release these monsters. Let Fidel have them.

Posted by: Bigfoot at May 4, 2007 01:46 PM

Of course, BF and Ken are wrong.

To date, the US has identified only about 12 prisoners at Gitmo as being suspected of terrorist or combatant activities.

Out of some nearly 900 people who have been held there.

Gitmo has held children as young as 14 and men as old as 95. Yeah, these folks present a real threat to us.

There's a reason why this gulag is in Gitmo--because they can torture there.

Posted by: Jadegold at May 4, 2007 02:06 PM

Complete nonsense, JadeGold.

The Combat Status Review Tribunals as of March, 2005 found that all but 38 detainees were 'enemy combatants'.

These tribunals were stuck down by the Hamdi case, and Congress acted in the Detainee Treatment Act to create tribunals which pass constitutional muster, and so the CSRT have started anew.

Not to mention the idea that a 14 year old cannot be a suicide bomber, for example, is ludicrous. There have been Palestinian suicide bombers as young as 12, for example.

Everyone in Gitmo has been suspected of terrorism or fighting for the Taliban.

Sorry JadeGold, this isn't your Planet Moonbat where Young Master Bush just rounds up random innocent Muslims and imprisons them because it's just a lot of fun, and he has nothing better to do.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at May 4, 2007 02:34 PM

"because they can torture there"

supposition based on what you believe the Bush administration is capable of, which is ultimately a self-reinforcing argument. People believe many evil about Bush, which are supported by other evils that they believe about him, which are supported by more suppositions. Ultimately, one of the turtles have to be standing on something; it can't be turtles all the way down.

That said, there are credible reports that the original guards of the detainees did mistreat them. Torture, however, is a convenient word. Any detention is unpleasant. Not all mistreatment is torture.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at May 4, 2007 04:41 PM

"the possibility that journalists wilfully disseminate deliberate untruths"

And this feeds the BDS which keeps chasing its own tail and has to rely on continually re-enforcing misconception by feeding to itself more misconception.

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at May 4, 2007 07:31 PM

You continue to put up good stuff.
I read all your posts, may not comment to all. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at May 4, 2007 08:13 PM

Thanks Eneils, comments like that make it all worthwhile.

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