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Terrorists and "freedom fighters"

Reader comment on item: [Beslan Atrocity:] They're Terrorists - Not Activists

Submitted by Tom Martin (United States), Sep 8, 2004 at 09:14

Your comments re the various terminology for "terrorist" (soon to be known as "The 'T" Word) seems to stem from restrictions imposed on news services and correspondents operating in hostile or semi-hostile regions. Some years ago, CNN was accused of covering up atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein. Their ultimate excuse was that if they had stepped outside the restrictions imposed on them by Saddam's government, their permits would have been summarily cancelled and they would be forced to leave the country, with no further access to any occurences in that country. Hence, our overt news services are constantly hindered in their efforts to print truth, and call terrorists terrorists.

This of course makes it doubly difficult for any President to inform our nation of impending threats and to identify just who the bad guys are. This is made doubly dangerous when those Presidents, like Carter and Clinton, and a wide array of legislators who feel that we might be the bad guys after all, in interfering in the affairs of other nations, should cancel our efforts to obtain covert intelligence. When such intelligence is obtained, it is scorned as being an attempt to bolster the current President, whoever it might be, by "scaring the people." Frightened correspondents and politically timid leaders tend to hide truth when they feel it is either unpopular or will inconvenience them. Then, of course there is the news service with an agenda -- like totally distorted quotations and statistics, and mislabeling of successful allied strikes against known terrorist positions as the bombing of innocent civilians. Don't think our troops and allies don't resent it.

A year or so ago, the British troops in Iraq officially cut off the overseas broadcasts of the BBC as demoralizing to the troops. Who needs Tokyo Rose, when the BBC does it for free?

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