Third Party & Independents Archives

Ramsey Clark, Saddam Hussein and the Media

As I went to my start page today, this Headline immediately caught my eye; US Attorney General to Assist Saddam Defense. Once you click on the link it states it is Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark who had arrived in Iraq to assist the Saddam Defense. This started me reflecting on several issues. Why such a misleading headline? After reading the article, even more questions came to mind.

I realize unless you use sbc's start page, you will not see the same link headline that I did. The actual AP article is titled "Clark Arrives to Assist Saddam Defense" The bulk of the article is about arrests concerning the attempted murder of an Iraqi judge and does not contain much additional information related to Ramsey Clark despite the title:

The announcement came as former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark arrived in Baghdad, airport officials said, apparently to aid in Saddam's defense.

Clark has been advising nearly a dozen international lawyers on Saddam's defense team. He has contended that Saddam's rights have been violated in the legal process following his capture. But a U.S. government official close to the court said the defense team had not filed the proper paperwork to have a non-Iraqi lawyer in the courtroom.

Whether you agree with Ramsey Clark and his International Action Center or nor matter how you feel about the legality of Saddam's trial there is a deeper more disturbing issue to me that this points out. This is not just about the media being "liberal", there are times that the "conservative" sources also provide a bare minimum of facts that do not give an unbiased news report. I am using this article as an example of one of the major problems with the media as it exists today, it's not so much what is written (or said) it is what is not written (or unsaid) by the Main Stream Media.

Ramsey Clark does not just believe that Saddam's rights have been violated. In his own words in a letter from him to the LA times, found on Common Dreams on January of 2005, he states:

The concept, personnel, funding and functions of the court were chosen and are still controlled by the United States, dependent on its will and partial to its wishes. Reform is impossible. Proceedings before the Iraqi Special Tribunal would corrupt justice both in fact and in appearance and create more hatred and rage in Iraq against the American occupation. Only another court - one that is actually competent, independent and impartial - can lawfully sit in judgment.

He then adds:

Finally, any court that considers criminal charges against Saddam Hussein must have the power and the mandate to consider charges against leaders and military personnel of the U.S., Britain and the other nations that participated in the aggression against Iraq, if equal justice under law is to have meaning.

Let's be blunt, anyone who follows the work of the IAC knows one of their primary goals is to impeach the President of the United States. World Net Daily in it's article concerning this does provide more of the facts despite their own minor editorialization of the "news":

Clark, who runs the International Action Center, a front group for the communist Workers World Party, is a longtime critic of Bush foreign policy, referring to the president's actions as "criminal offenses, they are high crimes, they are indictable offenses, and they are impeachable offenses."

The Workers World Party connection is not totally accurate. Realistically with the creation of ANSWER there is more of a connection to the Party for Socialism and Liberation which split from the Workers World Party last year. Nor is the impresssion that only Communist Party members are involved with IAC or Answer accurate.

The tone of the World Net Daily article is obvious, however one does have to give them more credit for at least providing more background information than the AP article does.

So why does this matter? Why am I making an issue of one AP article? It is deeper than that, it is a continual effort to not provide background information. If you take the AP article at face value you are left with the impression that here is a former Attorney General of the United States a position most people equate with having a great deal of power/respect who is trying to help Saddam Hussein. If you are not aware of the connections Clark has with IAC or ANSWER you wonder; "Why is a Former Attorney General helping Saddam? Is there something funny going on with this trial?". Those of us that know Ramsey Clark's background are not surprised that he would participate in this trial, and of course every story cannot include all angles but to not mention even in passing Clarks' past or his current agenda? It's very misleading, almost more misleading than the choice of the link headline that sbc/yahoo chose. This goes beyond the typical "hook" as a headline to lure readers into being curious enough to read more or to watch a program.

The media has an obligation to give an unbiased report on situations. If they are not going to provide an accurate picture as this AP article demonstrates they should start referring to themselves as "Editorials or Pages of Opinion" rather than "News Organizations". At least that would be honest.

Posted by Lisa Renee Ward at November 27, 2005 1:19 PM