The NY Times Loves Abu Ghraib... Not So Fond of Tom Fox Torture

Tom Fox Protests the Israeli Barrier in PalestineJames Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's online opinion section,, made this interesting observation in his "Best of The Web Today" column:

Tom Fox, a member of the anti-American Christian Peacekeeper Teams, has been
murdered by terrorists in Iraq who held him hostage for more than three months,
the New York Times reported on Saturday.
On Sunday,
the paper carried a follow-up report that Fox "had apparently been tortured
by his captors before being shot multiple times in the head and dumped on a
trash heap next to a railway line in western Baghdad."

The story of Fox's death ran on page A8; the story of his torture, on page
A10. So what made the Times' front page on Saturday? Yet
another story
about Abu Ghraib.

Even more interesting is the reason why Mr. Fox was in Iraq in the first place. Here is a Times excerpt:

Ms. Rose said that in case he was abducted or killed, he had signed
a "statement of conviction" appearing on his Web log: "We reject
violence to punish anyone. We ask that there be no retaliation."

Fox was in Iraq investigating allegations that American and Iraqi
forces were abusing Iraqi detainees, and was also working for an end to
the occupation, Ms. Rose said. [emphasis mine]

In other words, Mr. Fox was in Iraq to keep an eye on American
forces and to try and document any cases of abuse he could find so that
the information could hopefully be used to force US troops to leave
Iraq altogether. Here is a statement made by Mr. Fox himself, published just a day before his abduction:

"Why are we here?" We are here to root out all aspects of
dehumanization that exists within us. We are here to stand with those
being dehumanized by oppressors and stand firm against that
dehumanization. We are here to stop people, including ourselves, from
dehumanizing any of God's children, no matter how much they dehumanize
their own souls.

Please note the fact that Mr. Fox calls US
troops "oppressors," and accuses them of dehumanizing the people of
Iraq. Never mind the fact that US troops, through the removal of
Saddam, have likely already saved 100 thousand or so Iraqi citizens
from torture, starvation, abuse, and the general mistreatment which was
the stock and trade of Saddam and his followers.

Consider the
fact that, to Saddam, there was no need to dehumanize some Iraqis
because, in his mind, they were never human in the first place. He
likely saw them more as cattle than fellow human beings. If we are
lucky, Saddam will be the next political prisoner to drop dead in jail
while on trial for mass genocide.

But I digress...

Consider the ultimate irony
regarding Mr. Taranto's astute observation, that the NY Times basically
buried the Tom Fox story. If Mr. Fox had somehow been dehumanized by
US troops, he would have become the latest and greatest poster child
for anti-war activists in general and the NY Times in particular.

Unfortunately for Mr. Fox, he was captured, tortured, and
brutally murdered by terrorists who had essentially the same mission as
the CPT members in Iraq, the withdrawal of US forces.
That is not
a very good anti-war message to sell to the American people. That the
very people you were there to help "humanize" abducted you, humiliated
you, tortured you, murdered you, then dumped your body in the street
for the authorities to find. Nope, not a winning lead story for the Times at all.

So, rather than make Mr. Fox's story the lead, the NY Times
buried it, making yet another Abu Ghraib story the lead instead. How

Iraq Media Bias Debate Protesters Middle East New York Times Wall Street Journal Government & Press