"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sarcasm and RTE

Tonight's RTE Nine O'clock news reported that President Bush wants to close the Guantanamo detention centre. According to an RTE report Bush 'understands' European concerns over the imprisonment of terror suspects in Guantanamo.

Anne Doyle commented that the President had "gone out of his way" to assure EU leaders about treatment in Guantanamo.

RTE correspondent, Sean Whelan, stated that President Bush "would like to close" the facility, to which the correspondent followed with the question, "when would he like to close" the facility?

There seems to be one seemingly obvious question RTE failed to ask. If Bush would like to close the detention centre, and yet it remains open and will continue to be open for the foreseeable future, doesn't this suggest President Bush has either insufficient power or insufficient will to close the centre.

Human rights organisations have continually called for the centre's closing, which has been the subject of numerous credible allegations of torturing detainees. The only assurances that these crimes are not being committed have come from those that run the centre. These assurances are at odds with the majority of information we have available on the facility. The recent suicides of three inmates is adequate grounds to warrant speculation about the veracity of these assurances.

Robert Shortt described the brutal killing of a disabled Iraqi man and the recently exposed killing of men, women and children in Haditha as an 'incident of considerable embarrassment' for the same US military responsible for the Guantanamo facility.

If the question as to the accuracy of President Bush's recent statement is neither obvious nor important to RTE's correspondents, it appears that the manner in which this 'confession' has been reported is less than balanced.

Would the same reporters be able to report the same statements, and then ask the same follow up questions "'when would he like to close the facility?", if the leader making the statements was Saddam Hussein or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Would a similar pacification of language be employed?

Guantanamo prison is an integral part of the War on Terror, it is not as it was described just the 'dark side' of this war.

Contact RTE at complaints@rte.ie

More on the story: RTE

From the BBC: "I'd like to end Guantanamo. I'd like it to be over with," Bush said.

[cross posted at Indymedia.ie]