2007/08/18

Why do some institutions exist?

In The Deputy by the German author Rolf Hochhuth, the question of what the Roman Catholic church should have done about Nazi persecution of the Jews was raised forcefully. The book acknowledged that the Roman Catholic church faced the very real possibility of extinction, but asked what the purpose of the church was. Was it not better for the church to cease to exist in Germany rather than to continue as nothing more than an interest group?

The group blog Firedoglake has raised much the same question about NARAL, the National Abortion Rights Action League. It's boss, Nancy Keenan, has been raking in contributions hand over fist for the express purpose of protecting abortion rights. What has Keenan's performance actually been like on the issue? Well, "Then NARAL goes and endorses people like Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Arlen Specter and Joe Lieberman — all of whom voted for cloture on Alito." There were other votes involved, but voting for cloture allowed Alito to get onto the Supreme Court.

As we've seen, Alito has not been friendly to choice. Alito wrote in 1985 that: "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion" and according to CNN in April "New justices Alito, Roberts provided solid conservative majority to uphold ban." The "ban" was the ban on late-term abortions and was vaguely worded. The only female on the court, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read out a "bitter dissent" on that.

The same question arises in the case of the mainstream news programs and Jose Padilla. The piece provides links to commentaries at the bottom as to what the Padilla case is all about, but the important question that the piece concentrates on is whether or not the news programs looked at the question of whether Padilla was tortured or not. Unfortunately, there is ample evidence that he was, evidence that is documented as having been comprehensively ignored by the news programs.

The simple question as to whether Padilla received counsel was crystal clear. Padilla did not receive any counsel for such a long period that when he did

"...according to Padilla's lawyers and a forensic psychiatrist who examined him, Padilla was uncertain whether his attorneys actually represented him or were part of the government's interrogation tactics, refused to review video recordings of his interrogations, and was reluctant to discuss what happened to him in the brig for fear of being sent back. According to one attorney, 'During questioning, he often exhibits facial tics, unusual eye movements and contortions of his body. ... The contortions are particularly poignant since he is usually manacled and bound by a belly chain when he has meetings with counsel.' "

Keep in mind that the news media was advised of all this in December 2006. They then had until August 2007 to inform the American public, but did not do so. Why do these news programs exist? If they can't be counted on to tell American citizens when an American citizen is being locked up and tortured, when they can't be bothered to protest the fact that a fellow American citizen is being held without charges, what CAN they do?

Our media is very badly broken and desperately needs to be fixed!

1 comment:

Marc McDonald said...

I think the progressive Web is filling the void left by the MSM in the latter's appalling lack of real, informative journalism these days. And I think it's just a matter of time before the Ruling Elite in this country clamps down on the progressive Web. When they do, they'll even give it a friendly sounding, Orwellian name like "The Internet Freedom Act."