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The New York Times takes us a step closer to "The Whole Truth"
The irony, Mr. Lawson said, is that the public spectacle might have been avoided if the military and the federal government had been responsive to his claims that his nephew was simply following orders. Mr. Lawson said he sent letters to 17 members of Congress about the case earlier this year, with virtually no response, and that he ultimately contacted Mr. Hackworth's Web site out of frustration, leading him to cooperate with a consultant for "60 Minutes II."
"The Army had the opportunity for this not to come out, not to be on 60 Minutes," he said. "But the Army decided to prosecute those six G.I.'s because they thought me and my family were a bunch of poor, dirt people who could not do anything about it. But unfortunately, that was not the case."
That would be William Lawson, Ivan Fredericks uncle, explaining why his family decided the international media would give his boy a better shot at a fair trial than the US Army would.
The connection between Frederick and the 60 Minutes crew is apparently retired colonel David Hackworth:
Mr. Lawson sent an e-mail message in March to Mr. Hackworth's Web site and got a call back from an associate there in minutes, he said.
What took you so long? He might have asked.
The Times story of course, doesn't speculate how the photos (none of which show Frederick involved in any torture) made it to CBS for airing immediately following Frederick's article 32 hearing. But here's a new timeline:
Jan: Frederick apprehended, begins a journal and starts sending letters and emails home detailing events he claims occurred the previous fall at Abu Ghraib.
March: His family contacts Hackworth.
We'll fill in missing pieces later.
Military-turned-journalist Hackworth seems the likely channel between Frederick, 60 minutes, and the Hersh/Myers My-Lai dream team.
Hat tip: Commenter "old maltese" and Tim Blair.
Update, added thought for discussion: Put yourself in a victim's place. You've been humiliated and the proceedings have been photographed. In the interest of justice do you want those pictures on the internet?
If appearing naked is the greatest humiliation a Muslim man can suffer, if it is, as so many have lately claimed, a far worse torture than that inflicted by Saddam, then who is guilty of a greater crime than 60 minutes, the program that magnified their torture by millions?
Man, if the whole media isn't playing these people like fools.
The "criminals are the real victims" defense isn't going to fly. The best Frederick and his crew can hope for is confinement somewhere other than Abu Ghraib.
Posted by Dennis Ahern at May 9, 2004 01:51 AM
Oh oh oh I know...Al Jazeera?
He keeps a journal. Isn't involved. His crime is in knowing about it and blowing the whistle? Splain, 'Loosy.Posted by Cricket at May 9, 2004 03:23 AM
The only one guilty of a "greater crime" here is Mohammed himself, the pedophile prophet of the moon god. I would give my worthless soul to project myself a couple of hundred years into the future to see how this all turns outPosted by the markman at May 9, 2004 03:54 AM
In Rumsfeld's hearings on Friday, senators expressed outrage and congressmen expressed regret that the Pentagon hadn't given them a heads-up that this bombshell was about to drop.
Rumsfeld stated repeatedly that Kimmett had put out two press releases in mid-January stating that an investigation had been begun.
From the NYT story linked:
"Mr. Lawson said he sent letters to 17 members of Congress about the case earlier this year with virtually no response..."
Sounds as if the military brass weren't the ones who were asleep at the switch.Posted by danae at May 9, 2004 09:05 AM
And if, as I understand, the photographs are evidence in an ongoing judicial matter and their release was, thus, illegal -- where is CBS's accountability for using them?
Would they use material from a US Court system trial ...say, the Peterson trial, that way? ohyeah -- nevermind.Posted by Claire at May 9, 2004 04:20 PM
I would just like to point out that, if Muslims really believed that being photographed naked in a pyramid was worse than being killed, that's what they'd be doing to "infidels." But they don't. They kill us with suicide bombings and by flying planes into buildings. Why are people buying this?Posted by Deus ex Macrame at May 10, 2004 12:57 PM
GH...your "updated thoughts" about "60 Minutes" role in perpetuating the humiliation reminded me of an old joke about an ignorant lumberjack using a chainsaw for the first time and cutting off a finger. He walks up to his tree boss with the bleeding stub and a running chainsaw in the "good hand" (which he did not know how to "kill") and shows the bloody mess to the boss, who in turn immediately asks, "How on earth did you do that"? The ignoramus triggers up the saw as he says (cutting off another finger) "Like this"!
Maybe, just maybe...some of those CBS producers will go tree trimming with a chainsaw in the near future.