Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fox News Award goes to its namesake

Journalists as legitimate targets in wartime? A "final solution" for Guantanamo inmates? Who's hoping the Taliban kill a captive US soldier?

This week, Jotman's Fox News Award* goes to Fox News. The award recognizes Fox News for having given a lot of airtime over the years to its military analyst Ralph Peters. What kind of views has this retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel expressed lately?

First, on Sunday the Fox News military analyst said that it might be a good thing if the Taliban were to execute 23 year old captured American prisoner Bowe Bergdahl (NWB, YouTube):
... if he walked away from his post and his buddies at wartime… I don’t care how hard it sounds, as far as I’m concerned, the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills.
Second, the Fox News military analyst views journalists as potentially legitimate targets in wartime (via Tika Olan):
…Future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media. Perceiving themselves as superior beings, journalists have positioned themselves as protected-species combatants.
Third, the Fox News military analyst would be happy to see the US government abandon any legal proceedings and simply execute prisoners at Guantanamo Bay (YouTube):
Peters: First of all, I am not worried about the human or legal rights of terrorists... Since we've had this whole movement to close Guantanmo, the word I'm getting from this field is that our special operators and our soldiers and marines on the front lines are taking fewer prisoners... [Fox: so in other words, they're killing them?] Yeah. We're dealing with people who aren't human anymore, they're monsters. And just like in the movies, monsters deserve to die.

Anchor: What if all the 200 or so detainees [at Guantanamo Bay] are not monsters? Suppose some were just caught up in a round-up where they weren't doing anything wrong. I don't know the details on who's who or how many might fill that equation here. Then you would be wiping them all out!

Peters: Look there will be miscarriages of justice in a brutal war like this. But I don't think too many. We're pretty good at figuring out who is right and who's wrong... Unless we know a terrorist has intelligence value, we're just better off killing known terrorists on the spot. Because a dead terrorists poses a lot fewer legal problems down the road.
Ultimately, this is not about Ralph Peters. Accordingly, Jotman's award this week goes to the most-viewed American television news network where this "military analyst" regularly appears.
*Jotman's Fox News Award is a feature at that began early 2008. It goes to a media organization that has gone the extra mile during the course of the week to make the public more stupid. (Otherwise corrupting the ethic of creativity and global citizenship.) Previous winners listed here.


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