The Guardian reports:
A US newspaper has been forced to apologise after admitting that photographs it published apparently showing US soldiers raping Iraqi women could be fake. The Boston Globe said it had been wrong to publish the photographs, which appeared alongside a story about alleged abuses, because they "were overly graphic and the purported abuse portrayed had not been authenticated".
"There was a lapse in judgment and procedures, and we apologise for it," said the editor, Martin Baron.
The paper's stance is in stark contrast to the Daily Mirror's refusal to back down over its claims that photographs purporting to show British soldiers abusing an Iraqi prisoner were genuine.
Many critics believe that the Mirror editor, Piers Morgan, should at least apologise to readers and say he had published the photographs in good faith.
But the Boston Globe case appears to be much more clear-cut - unlike the Mirror, the Globe has admitted it knew the photographs could have been fakes when it decided to publish them.
I guess the Mirror had a change of heart:
Piers Morgan, editor of the London paper the Daily Mirror, was ousted Friday in the wake of the publication of pictures showing alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners by British soldiers from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment that turned out to be fake. "There is now sufficient evidence to suggest that these pictures are fakes and that the Daily Mirror has been the subject of a calculated and malicious hoax," the newspaper said in a released statement. "The Daily Mirror therefore apologizes unreservedly for publishing the pictures and deeply regrets the reputational damage done to the QLR and the Army in Iraq."
The photos, depicting British troops urinating on prisoners and beating and abusing detainees, caused an uproar when they were first published on the front page of the anti-war paper. But the authenticity of the pictures was immediately questioned, and troops from the QLR denied the photographs were real.
Here's the thing: these are serious times. There's a war going on.
Not just a war with bullets, but a war for hearts and minds.
Now it's fine to uncover wrongdoing that is legitimate. But to be so irresponsible as to publish unvetted photos implicating wrongdoing by soldiers prosecuting a war should be a criminal offense
I would even argue that the photos CBS released, though legitimate, were not necessary. Referring back to Greyhawks Timeline, it is clear that the situation was already being investigated and dealt with long before CBS decided to release the photos.
So what was the point?
To the extent that this (and the faked photos) was done for partisan political reasons (what other motivations are there?), can it not be seen that it is counter-productive? Example:
Let's just suppose for a moment that such sensationalism as has been perpetrated by the press does all that is hoped; it gets John Kerry elected.
But by the time he takes office in January, the well will have been so poisoned in the process of getting him elected that the new President simply has no chance to be successful anymore.
No matter how many times he pleads with the UN for help or kisses France's ass.
And it may very well be that the whole region is lost to democratic reform for decades, meaning that the wellspring of anti-American, pro-Islamo-Fascist terrorism continues to breed ever more virulent and deadly strains.
Is this what is really desired? Can the perpetrators really be that shortsighted?
So I hold to my contention that firing or apologizing is not enough.
It should be a crime.