Spin by Summary

I saw on CNN a story which basically was “a man who is alleged to have ties to Al Qaeda is on trial in Virginia, accused of plotting to assassinate George W. Bush.”

They didn’t even mention the more significant, factual part of the case, which is that he’s been imprisoned without charges in Saudi Arabia for almost two years, and was returned scarred by torture.

It also was not mentioned that he is an American citizen, and his family alleges that the Saudi government imprisoned him (he was there studying at a university) at the behest of the United States.

The admnistration has been claiming, all this time, that they had nothing to do with it and had no control over what happened to him at the hands of the Saudi government.

However, when a lawsuit by his family against the U.S. government threatened to expose more details of what was going on, suddenly he was magically put on a plane and sent to the U.S. for trial.


It’s chilling to realize the sheer extent of the Administration’s involvement in torture. Abu Ghraib was a small part of it. It’s ongoing at Guantanamo, and even an American citizen can be put away in another country for years of torture on a government whim.

It is heartening that protest and lawsuits by the family actually had some effect.

Anyway, I was amazed that none of this was considered newsworthy by CNN. All that was reported was the dubious allegations he’s being tried on, not the appalling situation, which is actually factual.

NYT story.

2 thoughts on “Spin by Summary”

  1. It’s great that CNN are covering that! I remember about a year ago Channel 4 News (UK) had a report about US involvement in transporting suspects to countries where torture is standard practice so as not to have to get their hands dirty directly. Their story was very well documented, and deeply disturbing. It appeared to have escaped those involved that being complicit in torture is itself a criminal act (not to mention morally disgusting). It’s about time the media here noticed!

  2. But it *wasn’t* covered on CNN. All I saw on CNN was that a man was on trial for plotting to kill the President. The rest was from NPR.

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