Why Oliver North is a Traitor

August 15, 2007

Sidney Falco’s line from Sweet Smell of Success — “You have such contempt for people it makes you stupid!” — certainly applies to traitor and criminal Oliver North, who like most wingers lies about journalists as casually as he lies about patriotism and other cornerstones of American life.

Apparently, it never occurs to North that his lies will come to the attention of people who, unlike him, know the subject he’s lying about and give a damn about seeing the truth come out. Perhaps, being a winger, North simply doesn’t care. After all, in wingerworld, truth boils down to who can shout the loudest and the longest.

However, Lieutenant Colonel Bob Bateman, guest-blogging at Altercation, knows quite a bit about what’s happening in Iraq. So when Ollie started gassing about how the journalists reporting bad news from Iraq are all a bunch of phonies who hide out in the Green Zone and stick their faces on videotape provided by anti-American Arab stringers, Bateman was in a position to call him out:

That is a crock, and it stinks. For starters, absolutely none of the major media outlets have their operations set up inside the Green Zone. None of them. Zero. Zip. Nada. In fact, one of those that comes the closest is Fox News itself, which has a compound not too far outside the Green Zone. (For the sake of all of the reporters there, I will not say exactly where.) All the others — The New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS, Reuters, etc. — all of them live and work from bases outside the Green Zone. For most of them, it used to be a 20-minute drive across some of what has always been the nastiest terrain in Baghdad, just to get to Assassin’s Gate on Haifa Street and into the Green Zone. Now a few of them are a bit closer, though none as close as Fox News, to the safe zone.

As for getting out and about, he is wrong there too. Reporters from NPR, to name just one prominent example, are regularly filing from all over Iraq, and even the hairiest situations within Baghdad. I haven’t seen North file from Sadr City, but I have heard Anne Garrels from NPR do just that. Perhaps if North quit trying “parachute journalism” (popping in and out of Iraq for a few days or a week or so at a time) and instead put his life on the line by living there for months at a time, like the rest of the “mainstream” media, he might actually learn a thing or two.

I wonder if Fox News is willing to put its credentials on the line to back up North. Seeing as how he talks about the “clean water” that is now available to the people of Mesopotamia … perhaps they would be willing to put the Fox News FOB on the Baghdad water supply system for a month?

But on top of that, North completely belittles the sacrifices made by legitimate journalists, both Western and Arabic, in Iraq. So far as I can tell, at least 115 have been killed in Iraq since the invasion of 2003 (92 as of 2006, and 23 more that I know of with any degree of certainty). Rough, back-of-the-envelope calculations here. Let us assume that there are roughly 2,000 journalists (this includes Iraqis) in Iraq. An average of 29 journalists has been killed per year there, which is 1.5 percent per year. To balance that against my own profession, and the one North purports to support, we have lost an average of 923 men per year (over four years) out of an average in-country troop strength of 145,000, or something around one half of one percent. (0.636 percent)

Yes, I think it would be appropriate for North to walk the walk, since he is so willing to “talk the talk.” So what do you say, Ollie — why don’t you go spend a little more time with your “colleagues”? Check out those stories of clean water and abundant power in Iraq, and tell us when the Fox News compound there in Baghdad converts to the Iraqi power grid and water supply system. I, for one, would be interested in your in-depth from the streets reporting from Sadr City, akin to what NPR does. But until then, stop undercutting the Constitution.

North’s sins against the Constitution range far beyond his casual calumnies against brave journalists, but I’ll leave you to follow the link. I don’t always agree with this Bateman guy, but he’s on fire today.


One Response to “Why Oliver North is a Traitor”

  1. Chucky Says:

    Ahhh, Oliver North. He who worked with FEMA on plans for martial law and concentration camps in the U.S.A.

    Don’t think for a moment that the Bushies won’t carry out those plans if they bomb Iran.

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