This is news?
The NYTimes has printed a two page story to a case of prisoner abuse at Bagram over two years ago which has been investigated and prosecuted by the military. Here's my comment to Jeff Jarvis's blog:
I'm wondering why we're just reading this now, after the Newsweek retraction? Apparently, this story is the result of the military investigating itself, which makes it a case of individuals out of bounds, not a policy to torture prisoners.
I have to wonder about the timing of this leak and the motives of whoever leaked it. Accounts like this are troubling, but coming from the NYTimes, I can't trust it to be a fair and objective report. It's luridly written, to elicit maximum outrage, particularly from Muslims, as the Newsweek leak that wasn't did.
The current climate in the media is poisonous. They are so intent on proving that the Newsweek story was based on truth even if the exact details turned out to be wrong, that I prefer to wait for the Pentagon's response. This is starting to look like a meltdown of professional detachment. These are the same people who accused the blogosphere of being a pack of wolves and vigilantes, but the Eason Jordan, CBS memo scandal, etc. only made most people think the MSM had lost their minds.
They may have good sourcing for the Bagram story and the photo of Saddam in his underwear, but the issue isn't that some individuals are ignorant boors when given a little authority. The reports are that the military is steaming mad about the leaking of these photos in violation of its rules. So are these stories really proof that the whole military is out of control and bent on demeaning Muslim prisoners? Add them up and compare them to the numbers of people we have in custody.
Abu Ghraib was sickening and disgusting, and so are the stories out today, although the photo of Saddam in his shorts doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that members of the news media have made themselves participants in violation of the Geneva Conventions by publishing information they should recognize as explosive and possibly illegal in a petty effort to get even with the White House Press Spokesman.
I hope the reporters are willing to go to jail to protect their sources, because those sources deserve to be jailed along with any soldiers who committed abuse of prisoners.