Accuracy in Media

Writing articles on terrorism in a post 9/11 world becomes more difficult each day. It’s certainly not due to the lack of terror or terror arrests; that, unfortunately, is never ending. Since 9/11 there have been 18,598 deadly terror attacks all in the name of Islam.

The writing on the subject of terror for myself and others has become a ‘cat and mouse game’ with the media and the current administration. I cannot even count the amount of times arrests have been made in a terror plot here in the U.S. and there is absolutely no further information available.

When I say no further information, I am referring to the suspect’s gender, age and of course, the name. I have written about this before; if the name of the suspect in any way can even be misconstrued as being Islamic, more often than not either the media or law enforcement refuses to release the information.

The factual statistic of a terrorist is: male, age 18-34 of Middle Eastern descent. If the suspect falls into any or all of these categories it is more likely that the information is unavailable.

But what is even worse is when it is never even categorized as terrorism. The amount of terror acts committed that get swept under the proverbial prayer rug is actually unknown. What is known are those that come to light long after the fact that were classified as crimes, from vandalism to domestic violence and even murder.

I have written on this subject many times before. Just last May I wrote about Fatima Abdallah, a woman murdered in Tampa, Florida in what was an obvious case of an ‘Honor killing’ that was deemed a ‘suicide’ by law enforcement.

Many cases of terror never even come to light; the case may be reported as vandalism such as the case I wrote about in both September and October of 2010 when a homemade bomb was thrown at a woman outside the Islamic Society of Portland, Maine by a 13-year-old. Only after I pushed the issue with the District Attorney was it even investigated and then, after being lied to, it was classified as vandalism and the boy was never even charged.

Most cases are usually reported as a disgruntled or mentally ill individual not terror; hell, even the case of Major Nidal Hassan, the Fort Hood shooter, was recently classified as “workplace violence” by the Obama administration.

This whole situation begs the question: why are the administration and media so afraid of the consequences of reporting the truth – the potential repercussions of reporting the perpetrator was Islamic or is it the fear of being accused of ‘Islamophobia’?

So with all the dancing around the issue and the handling of terror reports with kid gloves, what in the hell is with the recent reports of the U.S. soldier who is accused of the Afghan village murders?

Releasing the name of the Staff Sergeant accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers last week is one thing, I expected his name to come out eventually, what I did not expect (but in hindsight I probably should have) was the blatant disregard for his family’s privacy and safety.

His name was released by the Military on Friday and according to reports was first publicly announced by FOX news, the NY Times reported,

The release of Sergeant Bales’s name, first reported by Fox News, ended an extraordinary six-day blackout of public information about him from the Pentagon, which said it withheld his identity for so long because of concerns about his and his family’s security.

A six day “blackout” “because of concerns about his and his family’s security”. So did his family all of a sudden become unimportant or just collateral damage waiting to happen?

I cannot write how I truly feel about this situation because my words would never make it past the editor. The handling of this story goes well beyond all logic.

I have seen his wife’s name and age along with where she works, the two children’s names and ages, the address where they last lived (thank God they recently moved), and the location of his parents.

As if this were not enough, even photos and videos of his house have gone viral on the internet and printed publications. So much for the Pentagon’s “concerns about his and his family’s security”.

I try and keep my personal information from public view but not for my safety, it is for the safety of my family and friends. I knew when I started writing and hosting a radio show that I would be a target. I accepted and expected that, but my family did not sign up for this.

I receive on average 10 death threats a month and that is just due to my articles; one does not need to have a Ph.D. in law enforcement to know the danger these reports have put Sgt. Bales’ family in.

The Fatwas (a legal pronouncement in Islam) have already gone out on both his and his family member’s heads.  As I stated earlier, I expected his name to surface eventually, but the media digging and putting forth the information of his family goes beyond any ethical journalism.

The Staff Sergeant’s wife, children and parents are not accused of any crimes, but the way this has been handled and the way the media is portraying them, the media may have well pulled the trigger themselves.

The comments posted in U.S. publications show just how volatile the situation for his family is. The local news from Tacoma, Washington has had some disturbing comments, to say the least,

Kat from Pahrump, NV: What they should do is let the village try him and then do a rapid BEHEADING so his HEADLESS TRUNK could do an IRISH JIG before it drops. LMAO

Joe from Las Vegas, NV: He should be publically BEHEADED in that village with a rusty knife.

These comments were aimed at the Staff Sgt., but the ones that I have read calling for the harm and death to his wife and family from people here in the U.S. go beyond violent, and I refuse even to post them.

The internet is an amazingly positive tool when used correctly but, in a darker way, it can also be used to find people with the stroke of key. The information that has been released about Bales’ family makes it far too easy for someone to locate them if they wished them harm.

Bales’ family now is living with a target on their backs; in fact, the media might as well have placed a flashing neon sign over their home that said “Here we are, come kill us.”

When it comes to retaliation and Islam, the facts are written in over 1400 years of history and hundreds of thousands of deaths. In this case we are not just dealing with some American nut case who might take it upon himself to seek justice on his own, we are dealing with Islam.

Six of our troops were murdered after the Qurans were burned last month with a total of over 30 dead. No need to wonder what would happen to the Bales family when Islam calls for murder over burned books.

I am sure those who chose to report about his family’s information have no trouble sleeping at night, but the same cannot be said for the Bales family. Now thanks to the media, they had better be sleeping with one eye open for the rest of their lives.

I can only hope and pray that they are long and healthy lives, because if any harm comes to this family, it will fall squarely on the media.

 



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