Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's Time To `Out' The Cops Who Lied About Arar

In the current issue of Walrus Magazine, old-style investigative journalist Andrew Mitrovica has done a great job of exposing the complicity of Canada's national news media in the "terrorist" smear and persecution of Maher Arar.

The National Post's Adam Radwanski, and the Globe and Mail's Margaret Wente and Paul Knox emerge with honour.

But the same can certainly not be said of the Globe's Jeff Sallot, Canwest's Robert Fife, CTV's Lloyd Robertson, The Toronto Star's Graham Fraser, the Ottawa Citizen's Sheldon Alberts, or - last but certainly not least - the Ottawa Citizen's Juliet O'Neill.

"At a minimum, the reporters who were complicit in blackening Arar’s name and reputation should offer him a swift and unambiguous apology," Mitrovica writes. "They might also want to revisit the journalistic convention stipulating that promises of anonymity are voided when sources are revealed to have lied. In Arar’s case, if anonymous sources kept an innocent man imprisoned, separated from his wife and newborn child, and tortured, and then prevented the truth from emerging, all under false pretenses, then they must be outed."

I wrote much the same last month, here, contrasting Arar's case with that of a Bangladeshi comrade, the journalist Sallah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury (whose case I updated here.)

Thanks to Damian for the tip, and also for noticing the Torch Carriers' righteous indignation over the Canadian news media's weird silence about the work Canadians are doing with the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team:

Why don't ordinary Canadians know much about this intensely valuable and important work? Well, partly because the government has done a lacklustre job telling the public about it, as the MND recently admitted. Luckily, they're now working to correct that course of action. But you can't put it all on the government, either. Here's a stat that might surprise you as well: since January 16th of this year, 175 journalists from 37 different media outlets have embedded with the CF in Afghanistan. How many stories have you seen about the KPRT - other than from the BBC?


Blogger kurt said...

Thanks for the links to Walrus and Torch stories, much appreciated. I heard the Mitrovica interview on CBC last weekend, and wholeheartedly support his indignant anger against the journos who lied about Arar.

12:13 PM  
Blogger waterdragon52 said...

Wasn't Mitrovica himself involved in a rather dreadful pissing match with another journalist some years ago that resulted in his departure from the Globe & Mail?

No, I'm not trying to excuse journalists who knowingly and falsely painted Arar as a supporter of terrorism. Just pointing out that the business seems to have its share of interesting personalities.

Just as repellant as the liars in this case are, are those who have, for years, concealed what's going on in some of the mosques and masjids in this country. Years ago, I read an item in Frank about a Toronto Star reporter who wanted to write about the bile and spleen being spewed against Jews, etc, -- long before the Khadr family found fame and glory -- but it got spiked.

6:51 AM  

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