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CNN The Mother of All Cover-Ups

CNN: The Mother of All Cover-ups

By Michael Reagan

One of Rush Limbaugh's listeners wondered how many lives might have been saved if the press had told the truth about the torture in Iraq. I wonder too, especially after CNN boss Eason Jordon confessed that for some 12 years he covered up the fact that Saddam Hussein was a murderous "maniac" whose goons regularly tortured not only Iraqi citizens but even his own Baghdad bureau CNN employees.

The incidences of torture he covered up simply boggle the mind -- stories of top level Iraqi officials kept in line by having all their fingernails ripped out, or all their teeth extracted with a pair of pliers. In the case of his own CNN employees, he cited an incident in the mid-1990s, one when one of his Iraqi cameramen was abducted. "For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government's ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency's Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk."

Jordon's excuse for keeping this kind of thing from the public CNN is supposed to inform -- he might lose his Baghdad bureau, or his employees and informants could be killed. He doesn't tell us why he just didn't close down the Baghdad bureau and get his people out of there. And then tell the world the truth about the Iraqi regime.

The extent of his failure to do his job as the news chief of CNN and let the public know exactly what kind of man was running Iraq is best illustrated by his statement that several Iraqi officials "confided in me that Saddam Hussein was a maniac who had to be removed."

This is the news chief who despite knowing the truth about the Iraqi regime that was being run by a madman whose own officials warned had to be removed, had no problem giving hours of air time to the Saddam appeasers who were perfectly willing to allow him to stay in power-- the Conyers, the Daschles. the Pelosis and that motley anti-war crew of Hollywood celebrities -- the Sean Penns, the Martin Sheens, and Mike Farrells and the rest of that sorry bunch of witless nincompoops.

How many people died in Saddam's torture chambers because CNN couldn't bring themselves to tell the world about their plight?

As frightening as this story is, even more frightening is the thought that this network and other liberal dominated news media are covering up similar horrors elsewhere.

We know that CNN, for one, has kowtowed to Fidel Castro, whose own torture chambers were recently described in terrible detail in a State Department human rights report.

The Media Research Center analysts reviewed all 212 stories about the Cuban government or Cuban life that were presented on CNN's prime time news programs from March 17, 1997, the date the Havana bureau was established, through March 17, 2002.

That analysis found that instead of exposing the totalitarian regime that runs Cuba, "CNN has allowed itself to become just another component of Fidel Castro's propaganda just as it had in the case of Iraq."

MRC's shocking major findings can be read on the internet at: http://www.mediaresearch.org/SpecialReports/2002/sum/exec20020509.asp. Their report concluded that "CNN could have used its unique bureau to add to the American public's knowledge of the only totalitarian state in the Western hemisphere. But instead of enlightening the public about the regime's repression, CNN's Havana office has mainly provided Castro and his subordinates with a megaphone to defend their dictatorship and denigrate their democratic opponents."

In October of 2002, Eason Jordon was interviewed by NPR's Bob Garfield. Here's what he said when Garfield asked him "Have you analyzed what you can get access to without appearing to be just a propaganda tool for Saddam?"

EASON JORDAN: "Well absolutely. I mean we work very hard to report forthrightly, to report fairly and to report accurately and if we ever determine we cannot do that, then we would not want to be there; but we do think that some light is better than no light whatsoever."

That, we now know, was a flat out lie.

And we now have proof of what we've suspected all along: CNN cannot be relied upon to report the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. CNN simply cannot be trusted. CNN cannot be believed.



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