Friday, May 20, 2005

Bulworth Country

The Senator caught this exchange Monday night on Scarborough Country:

DR. BOB JENSEN, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: Well, actually, the U.S. news media is not cynical enough. If we think of the way the U.S. corporate news media rolled over in, lets say, the runup to the war in Iraq, when the lies and the distortions of the Bush administration were never challenged, what we see is that, in these hyperpatriotic times, the news media isnt aggressive enough. The problem isnt not enough isnt too much coverage. Its not enough coverage.


SCARBOROUGH: Bob, what about Abu Ghraib? Did you not think The New York Times doing 43 pieces on it was not aggressive enough?

JENSEN: I think that when the United States is guilty of torture, murder and the sexual humiliation of prisoners, we should remember, by the way, that the story about the Koran has not been disproved. Its a question about sources. There are detainees who come out of these prisons who talk about this kind of treatment.


SCARBOROUGH: Professor, how do you prove a negative, though? How can you say it hasnt been disproved?

JENSEN: It hasnt been disproved because there are people who...


SCARBOROUGH: How do you disprove a negative?

JENSEN: People who testify to this, that the United States government then denies it.
But in the context of the proved abuses by U.S. officials in these prisons, not just in Guantanamo, but in others, Abu Ghraib and, of course, in Bagram, we have a repeated record of up to and including homicide in these prisons. So is it so hard to believe...

Brent BOZELL (Media Research Center--ed): Oh, come on. Just stop that. Just stop that.


JENSEN: No, the record is clear.

BOZELL: Just stop that.

JENSEN: So, if you want to talk about what the United States news media had and has not done, my argument is, would be, it has not been aggressive enough. Now, did Newsweek perhaps represent a sources words improperly? Yes. Should it be corrected? Yes. But it doesnt go to the question of this pattern of abuse in U.S. facilities, both in Guantanamo and in the Middle East and Central Asia.

SCARBOROUGH: Brent Bozell, respond.


BOZELL: Let me put you on the record right now. You cite me the evidence of American soldiers murdering people in prisons.

JENSEN: Well, these are in reports that...


BOZELL: No, dont give me reports. You give me the evidence.

JENSEN: No, the evidence is from the Armys own reports. There have been homicides in these prisons. We have photographic evidence of the routine sexual humiliation of prisoners.

BOZELL: I didnt say about routine sexual humiliation. I talked about murders. Youre accusing the American military of murder. If you dont back it up, back off.


JENSEN: Well, Im not at my computer. Ill send you the sites tomorrow, Brent. You might want to put them up on your Web site.

BOZELL: In other words, you cant do it?

JENSEN: No, I can. If you want to talk about the, if you dont believe the governments own reports about homicides in these prisons...


BOZELL: Im saying, dont make allegations you cant back up on national television.

JENSEN: Ill back them up to you tomorrow, Brent. Give me a call.

BOZELL: Send it tomorrow.

JENSEN: The point is that theres a pattern of this kind of abuse. And to pretend that this story about the Koran is sort of fanciful I think is to ignore reality. I also think that youre willfully distorting the reality of these protests in places like Afghanistan. These are not simply a reaction to this. These are not simply spontaneous protests. Theres a political process going forward in Afghanistan. And many people, not just ex-Taliban or al Qaeda, but many people, disagree with the U.S. occupation. They disagree with long-term presence of U.S. military troops. And this event is being used, yes, its being used to whip up peoples opposition, but that opposition is real.

SCARBOROUGH: All right. Ill tell you what, Professor. I invite you back tomorrow night. If you could get us those names.

JENSEN: I would love to.


Taking time out from his busy schedule, Senator Bulworth addresses a letter to Brent Bozell of the conservative Media Research Center. A copy of the letter is sent to University of Texas professor of Journalism, Robert Jensen, who appeared on the segment with Bozell.


Dear Mr. Bozell,

First, thank you for the excellent work you continue to do to ensure conservative interests are represented by the conservative media.

On Monday's Scarborough Country, you expressed an interest in any evidence documenting the murder of detainees by U.S. prison officials or staff members.

I was surprised you hadn't already read the Taguba report, which documented just such a case, but in any event, the New York Times this morning provides evidence of two more death cases, based on a new military report.

For your convenience, I have provided a link to a summary of the Taguba Report authorized by the U.S. military: It's a bit cumbersome to read, there's lots of numbers and stuff, but I trust you can give it the sufficient time it warrants.

You can read the NYT story here:

Now, unfortunately I've been unable to provide you with any direct evidence of the murder, such as blood, DNA, fingerprints, fingernail clippings, or video or audio tape, but I hope you will consider the military documentation sufficient evidence, since I know how fond you are of that institution.

Once again, thank you, Brent, for your tireless efforts on behalf of this country's conservative elite. They need all the help they can get. Be assured you have our complete confidence and gratitude. If I or my staff can be of any further assistance, please let us know.


Jay B. Bulworth
U.S. Senator

cc: Robert Jensen, Associate Professor of Journalism, University of Texas at Austin.

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