What's the psychology behind this? (Media not updating info on crime (ed. title)]

The Iraqi girl who was raped by US servicemen and then murdered, along with her entire family, has had her age estimated by the US military, investigators, and US agencies, such as the FBI, to be between 20 and 25. However, neighbors of the girl and members of her extended family put her age at between 14 and 16.

After two days of conflicting information of her age, many of which now confirm her teenagehood, 20 to 25 years of age is still being quoted in news reports in the States, which are still calling the girl a woman.

First, how could the US military, investigators and the FBI all mistakenly estimate the girl’s age to be approximately 10 years older than she actually was? It is, after all, a murder investigation. What, did we suddenly become ignorant of basic biology and forensics? Second, what’s the benefit to anyone to continue to promulgate the false assertion of the girl’s age today, Monday, July 10?

Could it be that the various agencies involved in the investigation were/are engaged in a coverup of the girls age because raping, murdering, and attempting to torch the body of a 15-year-old girl, and then killing her remaining attending family members crosses a line, but it’s somehow not as bad if she’s 25?

It’s not adding up for me.

I think that’s exactly it. 14 is a kid, 25 isn’t. While rape and murder are horrible, the rape and murder of *a child *and her family is worse. There’s a lot more rapes than child rapes, but those are the ones that end up in The Pit.

It could be an honest mistake on the part of the Americans involved in the investigation, but I think that the crime certainly does come off as some small degree worse if it happened to a 14 year old rather than a 25 year old.

Perhpaps it’s wishful thinking on the part of the Americans, perhaps it’s an intentional “spinning,” or perhaps her age truly is 25 and other documents establishing her as a young teenager are incorrect.

Well, if that’s the case then we, as a nation, have officially crossed over to the dark side.

This doesn’t seem possible, in my view.

I do agree here. I’m just disgusted by the calculation seemingly evident.

So you’re sure that the US media KNOWS the real age of the victim, but is lying about it to make the perpetrators look a little bit less bad?

Dude, that’s pretty weak.

Can you imagine the scene? Cheney, Rove, and Rumsfeld summon the heads of the media to the secret lair. Cheney opens.

“I have a new directive for you. You know that story I allowed you to print about the rape/murder or heroic soldiers performed? Yeah, I want you to change the age of the victim.”

“But Master…that would be…diabolical!”

“Silence, fool! We must keep the age of the victim secret! If the American people only knew that the victim was 14 instead of 25 they will turn against the war! Guards, take this worm out behind the chemical sheds! Anyone else have any objections?”

The media slaves leave. Cheney sits by himself, and a smile comes to his lips. “Ah, the American people will never know how they have been deluded. Now only one more step and our plan is…COMPLETE!”

Now that you’ve painted such a vivid picture, i’m having a hard time imagining the scene happening any other way. :slight_smile:

I’m of the opinion that the media was reporting what it was told by the government, backed up by the fact that they’re now starting to talk about the “conflicting reports” that they are receiving regarding her age. As for whether the government officials who released the info knew her real age or not, I’ll just say that it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it turned out that they knew her age (or a better approximation) all along, but were attempting to lessen the impact of the news when the story broke. I’d probably be more surprised to find out that they didn’t know the truth.

Mission accomplished!

CBS news went with an age of 14 tonight. They showed a picture of her on an ID card in which she looked about 12, and stated that the photo was ‘a few years old.’

I’m saying, as far as the media are concerned, once new evidence is presented, and is validated, to continue to report a discredited assertion smacks of an agenda.

And as for the investigators, I find it extremely difficult to believe they could have overestimated the girl’s age by approximately 10 years by mistake, so yes, in my view it’s conceivable they’re lying, not to make the perpetrators look a little less bad, or not solely to do so, but to attempt to prevent the further sullying of US reputation.

I disagree

I feel a deep disturbance in the Force . . .

Or inertia. That kind of thing happens all the time. Reporters tend to base their reports on earlier reports unless directly confronted with contradictory information, and even then . . .

“Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence.”

So has he been convicted yet? Or just convicted in this forum?

Whatever happened to “alleged.” (Not that I have any particular reason to believe otherwise…)

…unless it’s FOX News :smiley:

First of all it’s not ‘he’, it’s ‘they’. And from what I understand, two of the “alleged” perpetrators came forward and admitted it.

I read that early sworn government or military statements said that her age was 25. Hospital statements said that her age was fourteen. The five year old child that was murdered was her sister.

MSNBC referred to her as fourteen years old tonight. That would be a middle school student in the States. She was raped, shot in the head and burned.

The Iraqi government has asked the UN to help them secure the right to try American military personel for crimes allegedly committed in Iraq.

Now that’s going to get interesting!

Jailhouse hint, guys: “Saddam the Slug” can get you the best cigarettes! :smiley:

Onatomatopeia writes:

> And as for the investigators, I find it extremely difficult to believe they could
> have overestimated the girl’s age by approximately 10 years by mistake . . .

People make lousy estimates of ages all the time. When I was 35, someone estimated my age as 20. When I was 25, someone estimated it as 15. I’m sure that there are people who tend to get their ages overestimated. Please note, I have no idea what happened in this case. I have no idea what this girl’s real age is. I have no idea who is wrong about her age and who is lying. I have no idea about the competence and veracity of the investigators or the press in this case. All I’m saying is that it certainly is possible to get someone’s age wrong by over 10 years.

That’s what I get for not checking the spelling. Sorry about misspelling your name, Mr. O. Please pretend I wrote:

Onomatopoeia writes:

in the first line of the above post.

That’s just a journalistic convention used to maintain an aura of impartiality. There’s no requirement or expectation for non-journalists to use it when discussing pending criminal proceedings.