Are FOX employee’s innocent bystanders or an integral part of
the American war machine? That may turn out to be an important question now
that 2 FOX workers have been captured by a group of Palestinian militants.
It would be hard, if not impossible to draw a line of separation between
the US military and FOX News. Their anchors may shun the camouflage
fatigues and jack-boots, but that is where the difference ends. FOX is a fully-integrated
cog in the corporate/state media apparatus; faithfully reiterating the official
statements of Pentagon Big-wigs and administration powerbrokers. Their “embedded”
news team provides the splashy graphics and right wing chatter which energize
their base and marshal public support for American aggression. They carefully
create a narrative which makes deliberate acts of unprovoked warfare appear
necessary and (even) humanitarian.
No one has violated the basic standards of journalistic integrity more consistently
than FOX News. Their unwavering support for the war in Iraq demonstrates their
blatant disregard for professional evenhandedness and neutrality. Dissenting
opinions are scrupulously scrubbed from their broadcasts while the vulgar displays
of jingoism and xenophobia are presented as “Fair and Balanced”
coverage. On some FOX web sites it’s still possible to find articles which
claim that Weapons of Mass Destruction were actually found in Iraq. No wonder
nearly 50% of the American people still believe that Saddam posed a threat to
our national security and that Bush’s illegal invasion was justified.
If FOX is an essential part of the state propaganda-system which facilitates
the war, then how can we absolve their employees from accountability? Doesn’t
that make them legitimate targets for resistance organizations?
Reporters are given immunity because their work is perceived to be beyond the
activities of combatants. That rule cannot be applied to FOX. FOX is the corporate-arm
of the war machine; a critical cog in the Pentagon’s information-management
strategy. It is as indispensable to the smooth operation of the modern army
as any of the high-tech weaponry or space-age gadgetry.
FOX News is franchise journalism; information that is crafted to meet the requirements
of ownership. Counterpunch editor Alexander Cockburn summarized the Rupert Murdoch
business-model this way:
(Murdoch) “offers target governments a privatized version of a state
propaganda service, manipulated without scruple and with no regard for truth.
His price takes the form of vast government favors such as tax breaks, regulatory
relief, monopoly markets and so forth. The propaganda is undertaken with the
greatest cynicism, whether it’s the stentorian fake populism and soft
porn in the UK’s Sun and News of the World, or the shameless bootlicking
of the butchers of Tiananmen Square” (Alexander Cockburn “A Journey
into Rupert Murdoch’s Soul” counterpunch.org)
The journalists who participate in the Murdoch-system are mere functionaries
in a corporate news-militia. They deserve the same treatment as any other POW,
The group which captured the two FOX employees did what they felt they had
to do to address the egregious human rights abuses at American gulags at Guantanamo
and Abu Ghraib. When peaceful means for acquiring justice are foreclosed, violence
becomes inevitable. This truism is even enshrined in our own Declaration of
The “Holy Jihad Brigades” has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping,
although the group remains unknown in Gaza. They have released a video demanding
a prisoner-swap for Muslims held by the United States.
“We are going to exchange the Muslim female and male prisoners in American
jails in return for the prisoners we have. We are going to give you 72 hours,
beginning tonight, to make your decision,” says the voice on the video.
“If you implement and meet our condition, we will fulfill our promise.
If not, wait, and we are going to wait with you.”
It is not clear what will happen to the victims after the 3 day deadline passes,
but the FOX duo appears to be in good health and there are no signs of torture
or abuse. The same cannot be said for the victims of American detention in Iraq
The demands of the militants are consistent with the basic principles of American
justice. The prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib have been detained in violation
of international law and without regard to their fundamental human rights. Bush
claims the absolute authority to imprison anyone he chooses; stripping them
of their right due process and of any legal means for acquitting themselves.
The prisoners at Guantanamo are nothing more than Bush’s personal hostages.
It was only a matter of time before someone responded to this insidious act
Bush is not above the law. The inmates at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib have “inalienable
rights” just like the rest of us. These rights cannot be repealed by presidential
The first of these rights is the “presumption of innocence”. If
Bush insists these men are “the worst of the worst”; let him prove
it in court of law with solid evidence of wrongdoing.
Secondly, “justice delayed is justice denied”; either try them
or let them go. Bush has no authority to keep these men languishing indefinitely
in a legal black hole without formally charging them with a crime.
Guantanamo should be shut down, dismantled, and steamrolled into finely-ground
powder. The prisoners should be returned to their countries of origin and compensated
for their mistreatment at the hands of American jailors. The men who are responsible
for creating Guantanamo should be held accountable before an international tribunal.
As long as Muslims are deprived of their rights and freedom, we can expect
more random incidents of kidnapping andcruelty. These are the unavoidable consequences
The Holy Jihad Brigades is the natural offspring of Bush’s “New
Middle East”, a hotbed of animosity and violence. America has radicalized
the region and is fueling the rage and bloodshed. The chickens will continue
to come home to roost until America withdraws from Iraq, stops its blind support
of Israel, and negotiates a comprehensive settlement to the Palestinian issue.
If Bush really wants to know why Americans are targets, he ought to take a
good look at his own blinkered foreign policy and rethink his strategy.
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Murdoch is effectively a member of Blair's cabinet
Rupert Murdoch the Minister of Propaganda for the Bush Administration?