From: "Richard Niemela" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 12:41 PM
Subject: Fw: Media deceiving Americans about facts in Iraq
> IT IS BEGINNING TO APPEAR AS IF OUR MILITARY ARE ACTING EXACTLY AS THE
> BASTARD JEWS OF PALESTINE HAVE BEEN DOING FOR 50 YEARS...JRN
> Note: If you wish to be removed from this list, please advise and you will
> be taken off...
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <email@example.com>
> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Monday, April 05, 2004 8:48 PM
> Subject: Fw: Media deceiving Americans about facts in Iraq
> Independent Journalism Under Occupation in Iraq
> By Dahr Jamail
> April 3, 2004
> Today in Iraq, like in the U.S., there is a horrendous disparity between
> what is really occurring on the ground and what the Western corporate
> chooses to report.
> I recently spent nine weeks in Iraq working as a freelance independent
> journalist. On a daily basis, I witnessed first-hand the corporate media
> either mis-reporting or not reporting stories as they arose.
> The signs were glaring -- from the parking lot full of parked white SUV's
> the middle of the day supposedly used by the CNN and Fox news crews, to
> absence of ABC, NBC, or CBS media crews at any of the sites of the news
> stories I was covering. Even stories that were on the front pages
> are regularly being covered from the press room and not the field.
> It's no wonder the corporate media rarely reports on the torturing of many
> of the over 10,000 detained Iraqis by the US military, the constant home
> raids, or the infrastructure in nearly complete disrepair as we begin the
> second year of the occupation. For most of the corporate media tend to
> closer to their hotels, rather than where the stories are occurring and
> being lived every day -- out amongst the Iraqi people.
> The majority of the corporate media tend to simply go where the U.S.
> military tells them it is safe to go, while donning their flack jackets,
> helmets, and the preferred 'we vs. they' mentality with Iraqis. Once they
> arrive at the scene of, say, a sealed off section of Baghdad where yet
> another Improvised Explosive Device has detonated near a passing patrol,
> they are herded to the one section the military allows to be
> so at best they might get shots of an already cleaned up scene. The U.S.
> military in Iraq has a strong tendency to hide its own destroyed hardware
> sanitize a scene, and the corporate media does a good job of making sure
> they don't run photographs of this, nor any wounded or dead U.S. soldiers.
> Then there is, of course, the editorial selection factor. In mid-December
> broke a story of U.S. military personnel detaining sixteen 14-17 year-old
> school boys at a secondary school in Al-Amiriya, Baghdad for holding a
> non-violent pro-Saddam Hussein demonstration after the dictator was
> When a friend who writes for the AP assisted in filing the story of armed
> soldiers pulling children from their classrooms to over 100 major
> throughout the U.S., only one editor responded. The reply? "This is not
> Other stories I covered that were never run by corporate media outlets
> included a massacre near Ramadi where the military executed three men from
> family, the gross mis-reporting of the military of their 'killing' 54
> Fedayin fighters in Samarra during the end of November (really there were
> two fighters and eight civilians killed), or the fact that most of the
> people in southern Iraq are suffering from water borne diseases due to the
> fact that Bechtel is not fulfilling their contractual obligations and
> rebuilding the water infrastructure there.
> Instead, the US public is fed bogus polls telling them half of Iraqis feel
> they are better off now with a year of occupation under their belts. That
> an amazing figure, since nearly every one of the hundreds of Iraqis I
> interviewed throughout Iraq was understandably enraged at the 70%
> unemployment, less than 8 hours of electricity per day in Baghdad, water
> terrible there are cholera outbreaks in southern Iraq, and a security
> situation that spirals further out of control on a daily basis.
> About the only time it's easy to find Iraqis who are pro-occupation is if
> you let the CPA show them to you, thus it's the journalists with the least
> initiative that find the rarest selections of public opinion by speaking
> those pushing brooms or sitting at a desk at CPA HQ.
> Every independent journalist I spoke with in Iraq reported the same thing:
> the majority of Iraqis, already incensed at the Americans' failure to
> rebuild, and coping with the aforementioned abuses and hardships, have run
> out of patience with the occupying forces.
> In fact, the conduct of the corporate media in Iraq is making the climate
> more dangerous for journalists. I have arrived at the scene of an attack
> the U.S. military to report their heavy-handed reactions of shooting
> Iraqi civilians, only to be threatened and yelled at by angry Iraqis. Why?
> Because they had become frustrated with telling their stories to corporate
> journalists, only to have these journalists return to Baghdad and parrot
> military press release.
> The most common example of the lack of investigative journalism by the
> corporate media in Iraq is that most of the journalists simply parrot what
> General Kimmitt and Dan Senor (Mr. Bremer's spokesman) feed them at the
> Coalition Provisional Authority press conferences. During these surreal
> "press conferences", if the general or Mr. Senor are asked a tough
> the journalists microphone is sometimes cut, or the question is simply
> avoided altogether.
> This was clearly illustrated when a US patrol was hit by an Improvised
> Explosive Device on January 27 in Khaldiya, an area between Ramadi and
> The U.S. military reported three American soldiers and one Iraqi civilian
> killed in the attack. Every witness I interviewed at the scene, as well as
> wounded Iraqis in the nearby Ramadi hospital and an Iraqi Policeman,
> reported seeing far more body bags than the three reported by CENTCOM.
> Meanwhile, Dr. Rayid Al-Ani, the Assistant Director of the Ramadi Hospital
> reported three dead Iraqis having been brought to his hospital from the
> scene of the attack, and said three of the wounded brought to him with
> terminal injuries died shortly thereafter. Did the military revise their
> story? Of course not. Did any of the corporate media outlets hold them
> accountable for this? Of course not. Did they even bother driving out to
> Khaldiya to check the military's claims?
> Getting the facts in Iraq is not rocket science. I am simply doing my job
> a journalist to report the Iraqi side of the story, along with the
> Press Information Center side. An informed citizenry forms the basis of a
> democracy. Not only are U.S. citizens being deprived of access to
> information about the true nature of the critical situation in Iraq, they
> are being outright lied to by most of the corporate media outlets.
> Should the corporate media not be held accountable for blocking the
> democratic process? How can U.S. foreign policy be shifted when the media
> simply not reporting the facts?
> There may never have been a time such as this where the need for
> investigative independent journalism has been so great. In Iraq, citizens
> and soldiers both will continue to die on a daily basis while the
> media continues to report on bogus polls.
> Dahr Jamail is an independent journalist who recently spent 9 weeks in
> His writing has appeared on websites such as Electronic Iraq, Information
> Clearinghouse, and The NewStandard. You can help Dahr continue his crucial
> work in Iraq by donating to help fund his return trip, beginning April 1.
> For more information or to donate to Dahr, visit