Saturday, March 10, 2007

Lessons in Politically Correct Reporting from the U.S. Military

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Karen Greenberg runs the Center on Law and Security at the NYU School of Law. She is also a journalist and a regular contributor at Not too long ago, Greenberg visited the U.S. prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, where she discovered that there is a correct way and an incorrect way to write about Gitmo:

Guantanamo Is Not a Prison
11 Ways to Report on Gitmo without Upsetting the Pentagon
By Karen J. Greenberg

Several weeks ago, I took the infamous media tour of the facilities at Guantanamo. From the moment I arrived on a dilapidated Air Sunshine plane to the time I boarded it heading home, I had no doubt that I was on a foreign planet or, at the very least, visiting an impeccably constructed movie set. Along with two European colleagues, I was treated to two-days-plus of a military-tour schedule packed with site visits and interviews (none with actual prisoners) designed to "make transparent" the base, its facilities, and its manifold contributions to our country's national security.
In the course of my brief stay, thanks to my military handlers, I learned a great deal about Gitmo decorum, as the military would like us to practice it. My escorts told me how best to describe the goings-on at Guantanamo, regardless of what my own eyes and prior knowledge told me.

Here, in a nutshell, is what I picked up. Consider this a guide of sorts to what the officially sanctioned report on Guantanamo would look like, wrapped in the proper decorum and befitting the jewel-in-the-crown of American offshore prisons… or, to be Pentagon-accurate, "detention facilities."

Via Cursor.

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