Is this a message for all potential “whistle-blowers” and/or “dissidents”?
SECOND: Kill the messenger?
Is this news-worthy (i.e., media influence/background), if it’s a pertinent question???
THIRD: Remember the name of Thomas Wilson.
Call me paranoid, call me Sicilian, but if anything should happen to Thomas Wilson…if lightening should strike Thomas Wilson…I am prepared to take it personally, and be suspicious. Very suspicious.
I’m sure Spc Wilson must have known when he asked his question that he was about to become a public figure. Depending on what his motives were, he was either willing to make this sacrifice or eager for the publicity.
Lemme get this straight… a reporter that was planeted in a unit planted a soldier in the unit?
Many things wrong here. First of all, embedding reporters. If one day I am to be whisked away to the Armed Forces in some zany national draft, I really hope I get to get into the PsyOps rather than the bang-bangOps, they had a great idea for planting propaganda, and it has paid off. Grab all the reporters, show 'em around a few firefights, let 'em talk about it, but otherwise keep them leashed. You get live video footage shown from CNN to Al Jazeera showing you kicking ass and taking names, you get fewer “rogue” reporters… very smooth. The perfect plant operation, and the networks dug right into it.
Second of all, I doubt the journalist “planted” the soldier. This would involve either at least 18 years or some massive amount of fraudulant data to create a soldier. :-p Far more likely he convinced him to ask a (very valid and reasonable) question. That is not a “plant.”
If by “we” you mean the press, yes. If by “we” you mean the government, no. It was the press who tracked down his family for comment.
No. It is a message for all people who become famous or noteworthy for any reason. If you become famous or noteworthy for any reason, the press will track you back to your damn kindergarten teacher looking for a quote that helps make the story. It doesn’t matter whether you became famous for being CEO of a big company, hitting 73 home runs, asking a single question at a town-hall-style meeting that happened to resonate or banging Britney Spears.
It is not pertinent to the question itself, which is a good one. It may be pertinent to journalistic ethics. It may also be pertinent to how the event is covered by the mainstream media. There were some pretty gung-ho, pro-military, pro-US foreign policy questions at the affair. Do you know what they were?
You are aware, aren’t you, that Spc. Wilson is headed into combat? He’s no more or less at risk than other soldiers doing his job. The President of the United States today said that he’d have the very same question, were he in Spc. Wilson’s shoes.
Nemo: Are we all to consider that we might become “sacrifices” if we speak our mind?
Ottenok: I used the word “plant” with trepidation. This is what the media is calling it. See my second point for clarification.
*And I just got the papers to prove it. Which means I can now get on a big bird and fly, but really boils down to my being able to ask periodically, “Is it fascism yet?”, and being able to say “I told ya so” when it’s confirmed. But meanwhile, carry on.
“You go to war with the Army you have,” Rumsfeld replied, “not the Army you might want or wish to have.” Source here.
Dumb thing to say. Very dumb. Especially now. Any country with a crackpot leader, of even a terrorist group with a halfway intelligent leader will see we don’t have much to go to war. We can claim all the bravado we want since 9/11 but it seems to me a can of worms just opened. If what we got is best we got in Iraq, how does Iran see this, now that the Administration drum-beaters are gearing up for a possible party with them? North Korea?
I don’t think anybody “dissed” Rummy. Nor do I think there were any questionable journalistic ethics. The journalist is, from what I gather on the news, embedded with Army units. He seems to have heard a lot of grousing about scrounging for armor and suggested a question about it might be appropriate. It is entirely possible he has asked the question of Army officials and been brushed off. The soldier could have said, “Kiss off pal, ask it yourself.”
Rummy said it was a matter of “production.” But the CEO of the company making the armored Humvees at the rate 400 a month was quoted on Hard Ball as having said he informed the Army months ago that he could make 500 a month if they wanted them.
The Army seems to have prepared for a war in which there was a defined front line between “us” and “them” and a safe communication zone in which logistical vehicles could move about in “our” area. It has been obvious for a year and a half that ain’t the case and something ought to have been done about it by now.
In an interview on Today, Gen. Franks said that Rumsfeld is the kind of guy who will take this question to heart and look into the issue.
That comment left a knot in my stomach. Why was it necessary to call this problem to Rumsfeld’s attention?
I think the journalist was unethical by becoming involved in the story. That’s a no-no.
I don’t think he dissed Rumsfeld either. It was a reasonable question. If there isn’t a problem of money, then why is only one company making these armored vechicles? Why are the troops having to look for scrap?
I don’t think it’s paranoid to suggest that young Thomas should watch his back.
I don’t see anything to see here. If the guy had asked “Mr. Rumsfeld, how IS it that you can be such a dashing, yet entirely humble leader”, I would think he was a plant, or maybe if he asked “How is it, Mr. Rumsfeld, in 1973, when you were XXX XXX, that YYY YYY became ZZZ?”.
What this sounds like is the reporter asked a guy to ask a question for him. That question was a one that was on a lot of people’s minds, anyway. Thank God for people who ask questions, I say.
As I understand it, the issue isn’t that the soldier was planted, but that the journallist fed him the question earlier.
As far as ethics go, I think this is a great thing. For starters, the soldier in question must’ve wanted to ask the question, otherwise he wouldn’t have. No problems there.
The question is the sort of question that journalists should be asking in the first place. No problem there either. It’s even made the public more aware of how things are going on the ground in Iraq and some of the problems the troops are facing.
On Pat Buchanan’s show, Ann Coulter criticized the reporter’s asking the soldier to ask the question. Her argument was that The SecDef gives news conferences and the question can be asked there. Howard Fineman of Newsweek pointed out that Rummy doesn’t give news conferences in forward areas but rather in Washington. The reporters in Washington frequently don’t know the details of what’s going on in forward areas to ask the right questions, and reporters in the forward areas can’t get to Washington news conferences.
And a question asked in Washington by a reporter can be dismissed with the ususal, “Well, that’s old news and the problem is being taken care of.” Questions from Washington newsmen can also be dismissed by our many “Ann Coulters” as “Bush bashing” since neither the newsman nor the public at large knows the details of the story. Such a question from a soldier in the field is harder to brush off.
The reporter in question says he has been trying to get national attention focussed on this question for a long time without success. He is from a relatively obsure publication and the subject has been mostly ignored or rather sort of downplayed. Well, not any more and that’s a good thing I say. If that’s the end justifying the means, so be it.
I might be argued that the reporter can get the question asked by a stateside colleague in Washington but this was the reporter from a Chantanooga, TN paper who probably doesn’t have many of them.
According to morning news the reporter emailed his colleagues in Chattanooga that he rehearsed the questions with 2 GI’s, sought out the Sgt. in charge of the mic. and had him call on one of the 2 to ask the question.
After all is said and done it was a set-up to sandbag (embarrass) Rummy.
Muzzling the press? Heh. The bigger problem is that the press is (are?) lazy sacks of navel-gazing crap who don’t think something happened unless it happened right in front of them on TV and that anything which did happen right in front of them on TV belongs on the front page. Here’s a soldier asking Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers essentially the same question back in May, when production of up-armored HMMWVs was only 225 or so per month. There was nothing particularly newsworthy about the soldier’s question except that the reporter planted thinking it was a “gotcha” not SOP for these meetings.