Accuracy in Media

Former jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller has returned to print, this time in the Wall Street Journal, with an article hailing and explaining Libya’s reported abandonment of its weapons of mass destruction programs. That led to an appearance on the Wall Street Journal Editorial Report, now on the Fox News Channel. Her article appeared as the Bush Administration restored diplomatic relations with Libya and took the regime off the list of state sponsors of terrorism. But all of this occurred at about the same time that lunatic Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was entertaining lunatic Venezuelan ruler Hugo Chavez. It was not the best of timing for the administration or the press.

While Miller and the rest of the media have made references to Libya’s bloody record of supporting terrorism, they have failed to confront the basic and irrefutable fact that Gadhafi himself is a cold-blooded killer of Americans and that he has escaped justice. Why aren’t there calls in the media for Gadhafi to be brought to justice?

We should remember that Barbara Slavin of USA Today once remarked that female reporters were getting interviews with Gadhafi by going to bed with him. “There were some female journalists who succumbed to his charms in hopes of getting interviews and great access,” she said.

Are the media as a whole in bed with him? Is Gadhafi, like Castro, supposed to be a romantic revolutionary worthy of adulation? 

A statement has been issued by the American victims of the La Belle terrorist attack, which was orchestrated by Gadhafi and his regime. The Washington Times covered it by running a UPI story, but the entire statement deserves to be heard. It says:

“The sudden removal of Libya from the list of terrorist states coming only days after the Department of State published its annual report on terrorism which retained Libya on that list comes like a thief in the night.

“The action of President Bush came as no surprise to the officials of that terrorist state nor to the leaders of several major corporations. The American servicemen who were victimized at the La Belle Discotheque were not given such a courtesy. The assurances given these men and women by President Bush through the State Department that Libya would not be removed from the list until it had resolved claims growing out of the La Belle terrorist attack obviously had no weight when measured against the commercial interest of a few corporations.

“In response to the La Belle terrorist attack, President Reagan bombed Libya. President Bush’s response impedes the pursuit of justice by American Armed Forces veterans who were maimed and the estates of those killed by the bomb detonated by Libyan agents in Germany in 1986 and assists an international killer. Both the German government and the Turkish government stood up for their citizens who were killed and injured in the same attack. They insisted on compensation from Libya and got it.

“Our national tradition has always been to leave no soldier behind. That tradition has been ignored by President Bush. It is unfair and unjust to us and it compromises our national security in the face of the international terrorist threat. We ask that President Bush have the courage to delay this action until justice is done.”

Daniel Cohen, who lost his daughter Theo in the Gadhafi-ordered destruction of Pan Am 103 in 1988, wrote a column published in several papers that asked, “How would you feel if the man who murdered your child was forgiven-and embraced-by your government?”

It’s true that Libya has given up its WMD program. But the New York Sun says that a January 6 Al-Jazeera clip shows Gadhafi saying “that Libya could save money on its defense budget by using suicide bombers and committing terrorist acts.”

Indeed, MEMRI-TV reports that Al-Jazeera showed Gadhafi saying that “As for the defense budget…The current circumstances-which, Allah willing, will persist-are circumstances of peace, and not of war. One may ask how this can be, while there is a gigantic power that threatens and occupies the world, and has weapons of mass destruction? All this is true, but we don’t need all these costs in order to fight it?

“In our current circumstances, we don’t need to buy tanks, airplanes, missiles, or other huge things like this. If the enemy is a superpower like NATO, America, Russia or China, which occupies Libya, I will not fight it with tanks, missiles or cannons. I will fight it with explosives belts, car bombs and Kalashnikovs.

“If every Libyan is booby-trapped, every car is booby-trapped, every house is booby-trapped and every road is booby-trapped-the enemy will not be able to survive. The enemy will be unable to use their nuclear bombs, their airplane carriers or their inter-continental missiles. They will not be able to use them against people who booby-trap themselves, and fight the enemy?

“Vietnam won. It won because of its fighting, armed people. It was not a regular army. They did not have tanks, cannons, missiles, or planes. The same happened in Somalia, and so on…”

Our media cheered and lavished fawning coverage on an ad hoc U.N. tribunal designed to prosecute former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic for his role in violence in the Balkans that didn’t have anything to do with the national security of the U.S. Gadhafi, by contrast, is implicated in the mass murder of American citizens and the media follow the Bush Administration line that he has changed for the better.

I thought the media were supposed to have woken from their slumber and were adopting a more adversarial posture toward the Bush Administration’s conduct of foreign policy. Like the media, Democrats hailed Bush’s new policy on Libya.

All of this just goes to show that the negative coverage of the Bush Iraq policy is done for partisan reasons, in order to benefit the liberals. Since there’s no political gain for the liberals by attacking Bush’s new Libya policy, the media go along with it.

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