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Today I totally agree. I watched the Panorama clip after reading this posting and the BBC report and this is absolutely distorting the facts.

This should be brought to the panel that supervises the state media. I'm not paying fees for this crap.

i watched that report, too. and yes, it did enrage me. but as is so often the case, the german main stream media obviously got it wrong again. no wonder many germans who dont visit sites like these feel the way they do about america. they get indoctrinated with reports like these from all media outlets, tv stations, newspapers, books...
i doubt that the election will change any of that, even if the "conservatives" win.

Sometimes I hope that we would see some of the German anti-Americanism in our Media.The backlash would be enormeous.
Of course I know that Germany is now a relatively small player on the international scene and more important things are playing out all over the world.
Some day, this relentless onslaught against the US will cost the German country a lot. Of course there will be more blame by their media.

Hmmm this is really strange - the point I dont get is: why are they reporting it this way?

The ARD is - as mentioned - funded by all TV Viewers and does not have to worry about viewer ratings at all. They dont need to fight for more viewers by presenting stories in a very emotional way and tweak the "facts" to achieve better ratings.

Maybe someone has a creative idea?

Herr Goebells is looking far up and smiling. Good thing the Germans are impotent militarily.

Please forget the stuff I wrote about the girls at Bagram. I hadn't seen the video when I wrote these lines. Next time I'll wait with comments until I've seen everything. Lesson learnt.

@ David J.

I've taken those lines out now that you've seen the video. I think that Bill over at Dawson's Danube was right on on that part of the report. Check our most recent posting.

The Panorama segment's title mentions "Freisprüche" (acquittals). Thus they give the impression that Maynulet was acquitted, while in fact he was convicted of manslaughter.

Hey, I got an idea: Let's call that program: "Propagandarama"

It's really not hard to understand these propaganda extravaganzas when you think about it. On the one hand we have persistent unemployment. One the other, we have thousands of former boot-licking STASI stool pigeons who can no longer get a living wage for informing on their neighbors, and hosts of aging '68ers who have never been good for anything but standing around holding signs and writing propaganda. Just think of it as another small step by the German regime on the march to full employment.

What's striking is the obvious profound indifference of the German media to the actual problem. If you think their propaganda is intended to be part of the solution, you're dreaming. On the contrary, it's a big part of the problem. Why would the German media want to help solve the problem? They'd like nothing better than for it to continue. After all, they have a collective anti-American orgasm every time an incident like this comes up. Think they're really worried about the deaths of innocents? Have you seen any similar propaganda hits on the Palestinian suicide bombers who deliberately murder their victims, or the Iraqi car bombers who go out of their way to target children, or the Darfur butchers, or...the list goes on and on. No, they single out an American soldier. You'll recall they routinely describe American soldiers as mind-numbed robots who've been brainwashed by the state, and their families as indigent and oppressed proletarians. Suddenly, as soon as it is convenient, these robots magically become criminally culpable, the embodiment of all evil. Forget about the tender suggestions of rehabilitation we hear whenever some vile criminal in Germany shoots a few people during a bank robbery, or rapes a nine year old. There can be no rehabilitation here. This young soldier is a minion of the devil, sin incarnate, and his family is the spawn of Satan.

Think they really want to solve the problem? Just look at how much people like them have "helped" so far. After the torture in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere was exposed, there was a wave of revulsion among both conservatives and liberals in the US. See, for example, Andrew Sullivan's excellent blog, and the many links he posted about the issue. Now they have no chance of making themselves heard. The over-the-top rhetoric and propaganda from the left was so obviously one-sided and slanted that it provoked a predictable backlash. Those who recognized the real problem and might have catalyzed an attempt to solve it were shouted down and marginalized. The jingoists prevailed. Now, if any criticism of Gitmo, the Iraqi prisons, or CIA questioning methods in Afghanistan is heard, it is simply shrugged off as another attempt by the hate-America left to spread their usual smears.

Those whose interest is not in solving the problem but in exploiting it collaborate in the crime. Those who feel not the slightest sympathy for the victims, but exult in their hearts whenever they hear of some new incident they can exploit to peddle their propaganda collaborate in the crime. In a word, those who create this propaganda have the blood of the victims on their hands, just as surely as the people pulling the trigger.

I have just written a lengthy response to Panorama's poor attempt of a justification in their forum.

(http://www.ndrtv.de/panorama/forum/index.phtml?forum=&thread=8216&id=8303)

It has not been posted, though, that's freedom of speech for you.

More interesting is Panoramas answer, though:
http://www.ndrtv.de/panorama/forum/index.phtml?forum=&thread=8216&id=8307

unfortunately there is no English version (I know of)

My personal judgement of their answer:
They approve that this report was judgemental about the penalty, but they claim that they stuck to the facts and that this is mainly uncontested. The omission of the phrase "mercy killing" has the following basic reason: there is no "mercy killing" in law of humanistic societies, the court called it "voluntary manslaughter". If you call it "mercy killing" or not is a question of estimation and not a question of facts.

Translation of Panorama's response (my own, sorry for the sloppiness, but it is pretty accurate):

"From my point of view, at the centre of all the criticism here and in some detailed emails to us, there is one thing: The messenger of unwelcome news is oftentimes unpopular. There is hardly any substantial contradiction as to the facts, as reported by "PANORAMA" (cf below) - little suprising because they are true. Instead of well-founded criticism, some people hope to create the illusion of substantiality by reproaching us with anti-americanism. Not very successfully, though, the exorbitance is a giveaway. Panorama is cited in connection with "Goebbels", some writers have openly threatend us. Eg: "Sometimes I hope that we would see some of the German anti-Americanism in our Media.The backlash would be enormeous. (...) Some day, this relentless onslaught against the US will cost the German country a lot." Another quote: "In my garage there are 3 german cars right now. if some idiots like you continue to rail against America (truthful reports are ok), there won't be another one in my garage.
At the end of the day a very doubtful understanding of democracy and freedom of speech. As to the only point specifically critized [in the report]: The word "mercy killing" had been omitted in the case of Maynulet. Why ? In the case of Maynulet we have reported 100% of all the facts, among others that he [the victim] had been "gravely injured" before the mortal shot. The motiv: mercy killing ? That is what friends of Maynulet contend. Maynulet himself has [according to media reports] expressed that he had had other priorities (than saving the life of an Iraqi). Merci-killing or not: that is a matter of evaluation, not a factual one. Much more disconcerting than the extent to that the criticism is undifferentiated is its understanding of law: At the basis of humanistic democracies there is the right to live. Merci-killing or not is of ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE according to a rational understanding of law. Killing is a crime both legally and ethically, there can be no doubt about it. Which is, as a matter of fact, the US-court martial's view, too: "voluntary manslaughter".

Panorama has not criticized the verdict but the sentence: among others not a single day of imprisonment. this sentence has been called "almost incomprehensible" (not "unbelievable as we have been wronly quoted by the author of a letter). This has been an openly labelled evaluation. Every viewer is free to evaluate it differently."

Why don't we just start getting our (Government controlled Media, as the Germans love to label it) to start anti-German "reporting"?
This would enable us to simply declare Germany a hostile country within a short period of time. allow us to get our assets out of there Civilian and Military and let Russia, China and Germany continue their love fest.
After a few yars, Germany can then stab their new friends in the back, even though the human rights record of their new friends is the envy of the world. (Sarcasm)
While I don't like isolationism, when it comes to (Most) of Europe, it seems about time to sever the ties.

@ Toby:

Thanks. I did my own translation and a new piece on this based on Panorama's response. Check it out.

Toby:
Since you chose to use some of my sentences out of context, I beg to question: Where did I ever threaten "you"?
You writing this garbage is of course not threatening, when I respond it is called that?
Just a simple question, why this preoccupation with the US? When are you going to tell the truth about your friends, the Russians and the Chinese. I know they are pure as the driven snow and would never stoop to atrocities like those American Barbarians?
By the way, I personally believe that there are too many of "Goebbels gesellen" in the German media. He indeed would be proud of you?

@ Toby
After reading your post again, I may have been out of line reflecting my criticism at you. Sorry for that, I do apologize sincerely.

Talk about naive. Panorama is giving us the old "objective criticism" schtick again. These hate peddlars must think we're still in the mid-90's, and no one can see through their charade if they really expect us to buy that lame canard. It's just a "coincidence" their propaganda tirades are directed almost exclusively at America. It's just a "coincidence" they don't cry the same big crocodile tears when Israeli civilians are maimed and butchered by suicide bombers. It's just a "coincidence" that they don't wring their hands with their usual mock anguish when car bombers target children in Iraq. It's just a "coincidence" they report just the negative side of every story about America, leaving out any extenuating circumstances. It's just a "coincidence" that they made a little "mistake" translating "we will abide by the law" as "Wir finden das gut!" (The Panorama editors must only speak Swahili. That's the only way you could plausibly make a "mistake" like that.) We're "blaming the messenger" are we? Well, here's a message for you, you pathetic little hate peddling propaganda spinners. You don't want to stop murder. You don't want to stop torture. You love it, you revel in it, you exploit it. It's grist for your anti-American hate mill. In your black little hearts, filled as they are with impotent hatred and loathing of anything that's strong and self-confident, you love to hear of any incident of abuse perpetrated by Americans. Far from feeling sadness or sympathy for the victims, you feel an orgasmic joy. Aha! Another chance to bash the Americans.

It's too bad, you know. The US at the moment is uniquely capable of setting a standard for good or evil. We could take a giant step towards ending these abuses, which are hardly unique to America. More than 200 years ago Voltaire's Dr. Pangloss advised the victims of similar abuse not to complain because, after all, "it's a mere matter of tradition." What is the best way of putting a stop once and for all to this "mere matter of tradition?" Panorama wants us to swallow their lame rationalization that we can do it by smearing the US, exploiting every incident as a propaganda club. They lie, and they know they lie. They know their latest propaganda smear wasn't motivated by any desire to put a stop to the abuses, but a desire to exploit them. They are not part of the solution, they are part of the problem. The blood of the victims is on the hands of these hypocrites. Their intellectual soul mates in the US have silenced and marginalized the many voices of those who want America to set a higher standard for the world, not because they hate and loath her, but because they love her. The chattering chorus of the hate peddlars has knocked the intellectual weapons from their hands.

americanbychoice:

no offense taken. it was only a quick translation of panorama's response. ray's is a lot better. anyway, so it was you who wrote to them ? they certainly seemed to think you threatened them. what a load of bullsh***, after all you just referred to potential effects of their outlashes on the american public.

what kills me is that they actually call the possible "merci shooting" motive an matter of "evalutation" rather than fact. that is legal nonsense under both German and American law: a suspect's subjective thoughts, ideas and motives only make the difference between first degree murder (lifetime or death sentence) and manslaughter (few years of jail, under certain circumstances none at all).

and as they critize not the verdict but the sentence: how can they omit the "merci shooting" theory ? it may have been precisely the reason why the court ddd not send maynulet to jail. of course, panorama need not have believed the testimonies of his "friends" (they are referring to his comrades) but it would have been up to them to prove the theory wrong - that's what journalism is all about. to leave it all out is nothing short of falsification.

besides: the "don't kill the messenger" defense is so lame that it's not even worth laughing.

@ Toby
This is really funny. I did not write to them, wouldn't waste my time.
They referenced what I wrote in # 3 above.
Apparently those guys do read Davids Medienkritik. LOL

That a German news program uses distortet fact in a biased report is disturbing.

What is more important is that the US continues to do everything to make sure that these news don't stand out. No thinking person still believes that the Bush administration gives a damn about the rights of prisoners. You whining panseys should start worrying about what's going on in America, not in the, as americanbychoice correctly points out, internationally rather unimportant German media.

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