A new set of WikiLeaks documents reveals the United States is just as paranoid as Fox News.
The latest WikiLeaks exposé is dedicated to the decade-old Guantanamo Bay. It’s closure was once a campaign platform for the progressive president-elect Barack Obama, but the WikiLeaks documents explain the prison in starker terms.
Guantanamo Bay is the official torture-friendly establishment of the United States, not so much a stain on our past but an emblem of our future. It represents the deep-seeded paranoia and general hypocrisy that governs our daily lives and empowers our government.
The New York Times article today focusses on several points brought to light by the leaks, from the treatment of 9/11 mastermind KSM to the role of foreign officials in Guantanamo affairs. However the most disturbing selection from the leaks concerns Al-Jazeera camera man Sami al-Hajj.
Al-Hajj, who is Sudanese, was detained in Guantanamo for six years. He underwent questioning that involved Al-Jazeera‘s “training program, telecommunications equipment, and newsgathering operations in Chechnya, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.” Al-Jazeera is a television network and website.
This is exactly the type of warped information Glenn Beck has profited from. It’s how he built his extraordinary brand. Beck has described Al-Jazeera as a propaganda machine. He says what they say in English is different from what they say in Arabic (duh) and enthusiastically relays how when the outlet polled its audience on the fifth anniversary of 9/11 asking if they supported Osama bin Laden, 50 percent said yes.
So what? Journalism is disinterested truth. I’m sure it makes the editors of the Wall Street Journal want to squirm when they report Donald Trump is leading or trailing slightly in Republican polls. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t publish it.
And to what type of “training program” are the leaks referring? The one where the Al-Jazeera interns retrieve coffee for their editors, and the fastest one gets to write an article someday? Scan the front page of Al-Jazeera today and you’ll see an Op-ed by Tony Blair on the fight against malaria.
Still, al-Hajj’s file says he was an al-Qaeda member who worked as a military mule couriering money and weapons. Upon his release, al-Hajj was rehired by Al-Jazeera. I suppose that makes them a terrorist network, literally and figuratively.
Both myself and Death and Taxes political columnist Andrew Belonsky have conducted video interviews for Al-Jazeera on U.S. politics, mostly on how the populous came to believe what they believe about Barack Obama or how particular policies effect segments of U.S. culture.
Perhaps Al-Jazeera should conduct a series of interviews with the U.S. youth examining their thoughts on Guantanamo Bay. It might be eye-opening for the government to see what we really think terrorism is.