Jeremy Scahill at The Nation writes in a new commentary about the Eason Jordan resignation: "...the real controversy here should not be over Jordan's comments. The
controversy ought to be over the unconscionable silence in the United
States about the military's repeated killing of journalists in Iraq." He goes on to say that "Eason Jordan's comment was hardly a radical declaration. He was
expressing a common view among news organizations around the world." Quotes from other media execs:
David Schlesinger, Reuters global managing editor (see his 2004 letter to the U.S. military):
"We have had three deaths, and they were all non-embedded, non-coalition nationals and they were all at the hands of the US military, and the reaction of the US authorities in each case was that they were somehow justified...."What is the US's position on nonembeds? Are nonembedded journalists fair game?"
BBC anchor Nik Gowing:
"What is the US's position on nonembeds? Are nonembedded journalists fair game?...."The trouble is that a lot of the military--particularly the American...military--do not want us there. And they make it very uncomfortable for us to work. And I think that this...is leading to security forces in some instances feeling it is legitimate to target us with deadly force and with impunity."
In his resignation letter, Jordan wrote, "I never meant to imply U.S. forces acted with ill intent when U.S. forces accidentally killed journalists." The families and colleagues of the slain journalists believe otherwise. And it is up to all journalists, not just those in Europe and the Middle East, to honor the victims by holding their killers responsible. In Spain, the family of cameraman José Couso has filed a lawsuit against the US soldiers who killed him, and they plan to travel to the United States for the anniversary of his death this spring. Will any network have the courage to put them on the air?
There is a growing and increasingly nasty divide between those who believe there is a coverup going on and those who are upset about what they see as the unsubstantiated slandering of good men and women risking their lives overseas. This divide is not good for our democracy. It is not good for our foreign policy. It is not good for anybody.
We need a lot more facts. From all sides. From the military. From media organizations. This is important. I hope that people in a position to provide facts will make it a priority to do so. They have a responsibility to do so.