Saturday, March 15, 2008

WaPo Gets DUPED at Winter Soldier

Bruce Kesler writes Washington Post Duped Instead of D.U.P.E.S. at Democracy Project:

It’s not like the major media, including the Washington Post, weren’t warned about what to expect at Winter Soldier II, and the basics of fair scrutiny. A Reporters Guide and a backgrounder were published. It was picked up at many other blogs. The Reporters Guide was distributed by PR Release, and Google showed it hitting at over 250 media sites. (See here for example.)

Key to the Reporters Guide is D.U.P.E.S.

Journalists should exert due diligence to establish the truth and search for the facts that will verify or refute each allegation.

-- An acronym has been developed as a simple guide to what should reasonably be asked by journalists of those making allegations: DUPES:

D: Date(s) - When did the incident occur?

U: Unit(s) - What military units were involved?

P: Personnel - What are the names of the participants and witnesses?

E: Event(s) - What exactly happened exactly where?

S: Signature(s) - Was this reported at the time or later and were reports, affidavits or depositions signed, or will they now be signed?

Instead, today’s Washington Post just repeats the IVAWers assertions. The only demurral is from a protestor outside, a retired Colonel [Harry Riley], demanding,
"This is too important to our nation. The credibility of our nation and the credibility of our soldiers are involved." Riley said those making allegations against the U.S. military should have to give sworn testimony instead of speaking at an antiwar conference.
Read the rest.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: and why reading the bloggers (TSO, Jonn Lilyea and Rurik) is important! Bruce Kesler has updated the above article based on what TSO reported at The Sniper and Robin posted at Chickenhawk Express:
UPDATE: No Mistake; WaPo Ignored Knowing Better
As far as wanting to get both sides of the story, Steve Vogel did throw in a couple of lines from retired Colonel Harry Riley. But Vogel had an opportunity to interview TSO who was live-blogging WSII and could have given a perspective from a non-IVAW point of view. Here's what TSO wrote about the encounter...

Walking back with the private goon (jk) run into Wash Post reporter (Vogel?) interviewing Vets For Peace guy. So I say hey, just wanted to let you know that the "so called hostile bloggers" are in the back row in case you want to talk to us and provide some balance.

We waves me off and says no.

Ouch! And deservedly so, dupe!

Read all of what Robin at Chickenhawk Express has to say, particularly as she notes TSO's interaction with IVAW's Geoff Millard and the subject of "unauthorized contact" with the media by bloggers!!!!!!


Winter Soldier liveblogging update: Rurik has been sighted!

Heard from Jonn Lilyea who will be live-blogging again today at This Ain't Hell But You Can See It From Here. He informs me that Rurik of Veteran American Voices – Silent No More is on site at WSI armed with a legal pad and pen, and will be firing off salvos from his blog when he gets to his PC! Stay tuned! TSO (Thus Spake Ortner) blogging at The Sniper is taking today off, but will be back live-blogging and I believe hoping to fraternize with the more charming of the "enemy" tomorrow! His posts from yesterday, though, worth a read.

A request for the live-bloggers: please let us know of any Dahr Jamail sightings! Indymedia is reporting about WSI that:
"In addition, there will be panels of scholars, veterans, journalists, and other specialists to give context to the testimony, such as unembedded reporter Dahr Jamail..."

14 comments:

Jonn Lilyea said...

Sighting #2 of Rurick; I saw him at the Rally for the troops. He said he was sick of the IVAW testimony.

Denis Keohane said...

Craptose intolerant?

Talon said...

It looks like a letter to the editor of the Washington Post is in order here - the WaPo's editors and readers deserve to be infomed of Steve Vogel's DUPE-licitous "journalism". Not only do the war stories echo an earlier winter, the media "coverage" echoes it, as well. Obviously, we now have a two-front war on our hands.

Note: I couldn't help but be struck that Vogel parroted IVAW's cognitive dissonance concerning the defamation of their fellow servicemen at WSI2 not once, but twice:

"Organizers and speakers said Winter Soldier is not meant to vilify soldiers."

"I'm not accusing anyone of a crime."

Unfortunately, Cliff Hicks couldn't resist himself:

"They are people being put in horrible situations, and they reacted horribly."

Really??

Hicks whips out a broad brush of tar and claims that our troops are acting "horribly", but somehow that doesn't constitute vilification.

Ditaur said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Denis Keohane said...

Deleted Ditaur's comment with a link and no explanation. Too many attempted viral attacks.

Talon, Namedic (John Boyle) has sent a blistering fact-filled letter to Vogel. I've asked John to let me know if Vogel replies.

John may at some point allow it to be posted, but Vogel is owed a chance to reply first.

Talon said...

Agreed.

For the time being, I will assume that Vogel was granted permission to cover the WSI on the condition that he refrain from interviewing the critical bloggers in attendance. This incident concerning TSO's "unauthorized" contact with the media leads me to believe that Vogel may have been honoring the terms of such an IVAW-brokered agreement.

Nevertheless, this speaks volumes to IVAW's desire to get the "truth" out. It reminds me of the recent show trial of Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly in Vietnam, where he was sentenced to 8 more years in prison for advocating human rights and democracy in his communist-ruled homeland. When Father Ly had the audacity to open his mouth and speak, he was promptly muzzled by his captors and dragged out of the courtroom where the press could not record and report his remarks. I am not suprised in the least that Mr. Millard, a self-proclaimed Chavezista, would engage in this classic Stalinistic behavior by threatening to remove TSO from IVAW's own kangaroo courtroom.

Dissenting Patriot said...

One of the main reasons why bloggers were restructed is that IVAW did not want opposition media harassing or exploiting members during a very emotionally stressful event. The objective was to safeguard the mental health of the members.

As for sworn testimony, if the military chain-of-command had dealt with these issues properly in the first place, if members of Congress had exercised proper oversight instead of disgracing themselves as shameless loyalists and cowards, if our Executive was not such a brazen violator of the law, there would be no need for an event such as Winter Soldier.

It is the prerogative of Congress and the military to investigate these issues and bring the individuals responsible to justice. I suspect that will not happen however. I suspect there will be a continuation of the same- official denials, scapegoating of low-ranking members, etc. The system is broken. The integrity of this government is thoroughly compromised. This is why Winter Soldier was necessary.

Denis Keohane said...

"It is the prerogative of Congress and the military to investigate these issues and bring the individuals responsible to justice."

And of course that begins with filing official reports of these events, when they happened, by witnesses and participants!

No go back to the first WSI and found out how many would not cooperate with any military investigations to determine if crimes had occurred, and how many retracted their charges?

Winter Soldier wasn't necessary. It was theatre, pure and simple.

Dissenting Patriot said...

Regardless of what happened, this isn't 1971. And it does not prove that the veterans of VVAW were lying simply because they refused to submit official statements to CID investigators. It is a serious thing to risk incriminating oneself, knowing that other guilty parties are not likely to corroborate in order to point the blame at a higher level. There is a great deal of pressure for others not so committed to deny what they saw and participated in.

I should also note that official investigations are no guarantee that justice will be served, as we have seen in the case of the prewar intelligence process, the Abu Ghuraib prison scandals, etc. What happened in these cases? The blame was shifted away from the perpetrators.

Low-level investigations can serve a useful purpose to the Bush administration and its allies in Congress: a mechanism of legal coercion designed to intimidate, isolate, and silence. If Congress is going to initiate any investigations, they should start from the top down, not the bottom up. The fish rots from the head.

Talon said...

A few of my own observations in response to DP's posts:

"One of the main reasons why bloggers were restructed is that IVAW did not want opposition media harassing or exploiting members during a very emotionally stressful event. The objective was to safeguard the mental health of the members."

That explanation is ringing a bit hollow and disingenuous in these ears, since VVAW and IVAW exploited these members themselves. It also doesn't explain why TSO almost got thrown out of the proceedings for "unauthorized contact" with the media covering the WSI.

Moving on to the next post:

"Regardless of what happened, this isn't 1971. And it does not prove that the veterans of VVAW were lying simply because they refused to submit official statements to CID investigators."

What you're asking people to do is disprove a negative, which is a logical fallacy - the burden of proof was on IVAW, and they failed to deliver. As Scott Swett noted:

“Winter Soldier II is the sequel to a fraud. At the event, radicals told horror stories about Vietnam, but then stonewalled, hedged and backtracked when questioned by military investigators. The Army’s Criminal Investigation Division opened 48 cases to check out the VVAW’s allegations, but only one was ever substantiated. These people have been using rumors and lies to slander the US military for nearly 40 years. The vast majority of their allegations are meaningless.”

But this comment takes the cake, DP:

"It is a serious thing to risk incriminating oneself, knowing that other guilty parties are not likely to corroborate in order to point the blame at a higher level. There is a great deal of pressure for others not so committed to deny what they saw and participated in."

Where have we heard THAT sanctimonious bullsh*t before?? From the "morally superior" slander artists who were "so committed" as to characterize the conduct of their fellow servicemen and women as "reminiscent of Genghis Khan". Such pretentiousness is truly a wonder to behold.

Talon said...

Pardon my typo. My second comment should have read:

"What you're asking people to do is disprove a negative, which is a logical fallacy - the burden of proof was on VVAW, and they failed to deliver..."

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