Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Trust me, I know what I'm doing

Two full decades ago (can it be so long ago?), a television series called "Sledge Hammer" made its debut on network television. With elements of Mel Brooks' "Get Smart" and the Zucker Brothers' "Police Squad", tinged with Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" Callahan, it was probably the funniest program to air in the latter half of the 1980s, so they aired it opposite two glitzy dramas, the high-style "Miami Vice" and the salacious "Dallas". Naturally, "Sledge Hammer" was doomed to fail. Its title hero was a cop who was certain he had the answers to everything, even though he was dimmer than a burnt-out bulb. His stock phrase was, "Trust me, I know what I'm doing," and he usually blew up everything in his path in order to accomplish his goal.

These days, the news media may be challenging ol' Sledge for his title as most dangerous idiot -- but without the quality comic writing.

At the very least level, they've tied themselves in intellectual knots presenting a fairy tale as real, around the Gaza strip: Reuters stated on this past Sunday, "Gaza truce takes hold despite rocket fire". Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't "truce with rocket fire" a bit of an oxymoron? No, according to Reuters, it's clearly a truce if Israel simply stops shooting back. That's thinking like ol' Sledge!

For more dangerous, more Sledge Hammer-like conduct, we can go back to the Newsweek publication of the fiction that guards were tossing Korans into Guantanamo's toilets, and recall the riots which followed. Still, that's hardly the end of it. More recently, the Associated Press ran the "news" that, in Baghdad, during a day of extreme violence, four mosques were burned, plus six Shiite men had been dragged out of prayers at another mosque and set on fire by "rampaging militiamen" from the Sunni side of the street.

The AP based this report on the word of one "police Capt. Jamil Hussein". The trouble is, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior has no record of this Captain Jamil Hussein in their police force. The US military has no record of any communications with a Captain Jamil Hussein. Add to that, evidence indicates only one mosque suffered from fire during that day, and further, there seems to be no record in the morgues in or around Baghdad of six men having been burned to death. It looks as though the Associated Press is now in the habit of presenting hearsay as hard news -- worse, this is hearsay likely from an enemy mouth, which makes it enemy propaganda.

This report has made the rounds, now, of course. It has been published -- in various incarnations -- in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and assorted other outlets, as verifiable fact. This follows on the footsteps of the Los Angeles Times' report of an alleged airstrike on Ramadi, wherein there is no official military record of a "pulverizing" strike, no hard evidence, no secondary or tertiary confirmation. They use only the word of a "stringer" -- a local reporter -- with ties to the so-called insurgency.

But "insurgent" informers aren't enough for some of the media elite. The New York Times, for example, likes to publish information from classified documents, as well. We've lost the defensive weapon, monetary tracking of terrorists via FISK, because the Times decided it needed to make public exactly how it was succeeding. We've had them destroy the usefulness of the NIE "eavesdropping" techniques against suspected international terrorists. And, now, they're leaking that our government knows precisely how much various "charitable organizations" have been contributing to terrorism (emphasis mine):
"The insurgency in Iraq is now self-sustaining financially, raising tens of millions of dollars a year from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, connivance by corrupt Islamic charities and other crimes that the Iraqi government and its American patrons have been largely unable to prevent, a classified United States government report has concluded."
The New York Times now prides itself on repeatedly leaking classified information, the secrecy of which is vital to the safety and security of Americans and their friends worldwide.

Just when you think the news media people can't go any lower, they start blasting the bedrock upon which the foundations of freedom -- especially freedom of the press -- rest. Even Sledge Hammer wasn't that stupid.

Must reads:
Hot Air
Junkyard Blog
The Jawa Report
Michelle Malkin (click through to her links, especially the one at the bottom of the article)
Gateway Pundit

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