by Nina Totenberg
| Jan. 13, 2007
A deputy assistant secretary of defense says corporate leaders should pressure law firms to stop representing Guantanamo detainees. The Pentagon says the views do not reflect policy, but legal experts are aghast.
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Nina Totenberg is an excellent journalist and consistently presents both sides of whatever issue she is covering. In this case, the concept proferred by the Penagon official is so out of step with US legal precident, one might be inclined to ignore it out of hand, that is, if one had been in a coma during the last six years under this administration.
Ever diplomatic, NPR does not point to other such attacks on dissenting voices and activists and the attacks of members of the government on their Free Speech rights or loyalty. Nor do they mention that not one person from Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo has been brought to any court of law, military or otherwise. NPR should have mentioned that the bulk of this legal work is being done by Rights Activists and lawyers contributing pro-bono. All in all, it is a good message, but flawed in its failure, in just a few words, to show the larger picture better.
Nina Totenberg is usually a reliable mouthpiece for for conservative talking points, though she usually dresses them in centrist "concern." Here, even the reliable mouthpiece is shocked into something like surprise, if not outrage.
Detainee rights have and will remain ambiguous. The real argument and failure on the part of the public in not supporting legal history of detainee's not in uniform. This apparently minor glitch in the Convention on War is being ignored by the public and a Main Stream Media narrowly focused on destroying the President more than the threats to Democratic nations. A sad and possibly disastrous interpretation making it impossible to defeat rogue nations or perhaps protect ourselves within the country.
Nina T is one of the well schooled veteran guard and an expert on the Law so I do trust her reporting. Especially on matters pertaining to the Law. If there is a lack of depth, detail,big picture I would say that's a disturbing trend coming from on high at NPR and PRI as the Right has had an impact on just
how much negative reporting NPR does when it concerns this gov't.