OPEN LETTER TO ABC NEWS:

"For God's Sake, Grow a Spine and Write News, Not Press Releases for the Bush White House"

ABC didn't even mention that Newsweek presented the Koran story to the Pentagon before they published it and the Pentagon gave the story its approval.

To ABC News:

Your news story titled, "Muslims Skeptical of Newsweek Retraction" is completely insane. Does Newsweek set US policy? If you bothered to actually read what Newsweek said, you would know that what they retracted was the source of the story because he changed his mind. Somehow, and with your complicity, the blame for US foreign policy disasters is not the government that created them, but the news media that barely report on them.

Your article accepts the Orwellian notion that Newsweek is responsible for two years worth of (unfortunately) verified prison abuse stories from Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. Your story fails to mention that days before the White House decided to shift blame to Newsweek they were on record as saying that the unrest in Afghanistan was a function of maneuvering for the upcoming election. Nor did you mention that Newsweek presented the story to the Pentagon before they published it and the Pentagon gave the story its approval.

It is absolutely irresponsible of your news organization top report this story in this way. The closest you come to any kind of reporting is the tepid line, "frequent reports of mistreatment at the camp from released detainees."

Have you guys had your memories removed? There were frequent reports of interrogators using the Koran to get a psychological advantage. There are verified reports that Islamic prisoners have been subjected to electrical shock, beatings, stress positions, near drowning, forced sexual manipulation, outsourced torture and that tens of thousands of Islamic prisoners are in US detention facilities indefinately.

Why are you soft-pedaling the facts? Do you think people in Islamic countries are unaware of this? Do you think the American people are too sensitive to be reminded of bad acts done in their name? Or are you afraid that the White House will blame you for reporting uncomfortable news?

For God's sake, grow a spine and write news, not press releases for the Bush White House. We are in real trouble and so are Iraq and Afghanistan. Hiding under the covers will not make it better. Creating a "new reality" for the White House will not make it better. Our future is at stake--and you must do a better job.

Robert Millman
Glenville, NY


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This story was published on May 20, 2005.