Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Maj. General Lewis Mackenzie on the Globe report

Interesting how the Globe story from this morning seems to have disappeared from their home page. It's still available using the search engine or by clicking on the Afghanistan special report link, but it sure isn't getting top billing anymore.

Could it have anything to do with Maj. General (Ret'd.) Lewis Mackenzie's appearance on MDL this evening, not to mention the PM's dismissal of it this afternoon?

Oops!

What is the responsibility of the press concerning 'anonymous' leads and fact-checking?


* * * *

Update: Reader Greg has advised me that the Globe has updated this morning's story under a different headline. There is some mention of Harper's dismissal of the telephone conversation, but they still seem to be sticking by their 'anonymous' source.


Reality Check: Some of Maj. General Mackenzie's inteview has been posted here, but CTV conveniently omitted the following:

"...the media has got to start treating these phony leaks with a little more journalistic integrity and start checking on the facts..."
"...The phone call never happened. The Chief at the time the phone call was alleged to have happened was into about his third rum and coke on the beach in the Dominican Republic..."

"...How far does this guy (Gen. Rick Hillier) have to go from the centre of Ottawa before people stop issuing these phony trial balloons to try and create some tension between the government and the CDS? I don't get it. I've never seen anything like it before in my life!"

Duffy asks about the detainees - "...Why so much secrecy about what's going on in Afghanistan with the Canadian troops?"

Mackenzie replies:

"...Because I venture to say that back in the Netherlands as an example, the people in the government and the opposition aren't hanging onto every word the commander says. If I was the commander in Kandahar right now, in southern Afghanistan, I'd just tell my people to SHUT UP. Why? Because no matter how the sentence comes out, no matter how it's explained to an embedded journalist or a media representative in Kandahar. . . the entrails are going to be dragged out in Ottawa, every word will be analyzed; it will become a Cause Célèbre in Question Period. Commanders have a lot better things to do than that".

"...There are detainees being taken obviously; they're being detained somewhere - and you don't want to get involved in telling the Taliban where or necessarily how many you picked up in a particular operation because that relates to success or failure and all those evaluations..."
"... So I think commanders are getting somewhat pee'd (?) off about how they're being micromanaged and micro-analyzed, and I have a lot of sympathy for them. So the answer was - Don't say anything."

Now compare all that to the little snippet from the CTV report:

"There are detainees being taken, they are being taken somewhere. I think commanders are getting somewhat teed off about how they're being micromanaged and micro-analyzed.

You see how that paragraph was edited with cut and paste methods that almost alter the tone of what Mackenzie was trying to convey? No ellipses to show missing parts of the conversation. And it wasn't even exactly what he said!

You just can't trust MSM.

Please also see The Torch - Afghan detainee delirium.

Wednesday Update: Hillier 'not furious' with PM.

NATO says it will meet Canada's Afghanistan demands - Globe.

CP - MacKay raised prisoner abuse claims with Kandahar governor.

Ivison - Liberal refight the convention.

Friday update - Kandahar mission impossible without combat: Hillier. CTV

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Joanne , have you posted somwhere the exact words of PMSH in QP today where he clarified thing re: Hillier and himself? The guy is so cool! He didn't run to the press with a denial of the baloney that the media was spreading. Just makes a statement.
Do we wait for a retraction or clarification from G&M?
Maybe I should call my radio station and get them to retract.Ha!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Joanne , have you posted somwhere the exact words of PMSH in QP today where he clarified thing re: Hillier and himself?

Actually, some of it is on the Duffy link. The transcript should be available from Hansard tomorrow. Yeah, he is very cool.

It makes me furious that so many MSM outlets ran with such a flimsy story.

Responsible media refrained from using it, knowing it couldn't be substantiated.

maryT said...

PMSH did give Layton a good smackdown, IMHO, re the globe story. Also like his answer re Layton, I guess that shows Canada makes it's own decisions, or words to that effect. He did say he has not talked to the Gen in weeks, other than to wish him well on a well deserved vacation. Seems the Gen and family are in the Caribbean. Wonder when he went. Before or after the alledged phone call. Remember, calls can be traced.
Noticed Pablo sitting in his seat, no smile, and no questions. Wonder who wrote Coderes.
Seems KS will not appear on Thursday, but Stevie Cameron will be a witness soon, as will the Privy Council Chief under Chretain, re a letter sent to Switzerland.

Greg said...

Could it have anything to do with Maj. General Lewis Mackenzie's appearance on MDL this evening, not to mention the PM's dismissal of it this afternoon?

Nope, actually they have melded this morning's story with the one written later this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Mackenzie was awesome. The G&M is quickly becoming the CBC of the print media sect....closely followed by the Toronto Star.

Must think their readers and watchers are idiots.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Nope, actually they have melded this morning's story with the one written later this afternoon.

Thanks, Greg. They changed the headline and tempered their story somewhat with what the PM said regarding the non-existent phone call, but still seem to be relying heavily on their 'anonymous' source.

Boy, I could tell a fellow blogger something on the condition of anonymity that would be totally off the wall, and if that blogger told the story would he be considered 'credible'? I doubt it.

hunter said...

The opposition have egg all over their faces. And, yes "the guy is cool"! He appears to be the only adult in the place.

paulsstuff said...

I wonder if their anonymous source is Dan Rather.

Or maybe Krista Erikson:0)

Ruth said...

General Lewis MacKenzie was great as always. He says it like it is and we need the truth. Good on Duffy for having him on.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Good on Duffy for having him on.

That's true. Did you catch his little slip a the beginning of the clip though when he referred to 'Former' Prime Minister Stephen Harper?

Yesterday, Duffy introduced Karen Redman as the Chief Government Whip, and that wasn't the first time he's done that.

Anonymous said...

Peter McKay was really good in QP also I thought...really quick and good on his feet like Harper..maybe the provcial conservative front bench and JT should take note? Fighting back might have helped in October?

maryT said...

Imagine our troops being infiltrated and being fed misinformation. This misinformation must be where the media gets all their misinformation and runs with it.
Speaking of misinformation, does anyone remember the WW11 ruse re Winston Churchill and an actor. They made a movie about it, but it did happen. What about the British breaking a code, and keeping that secret. Yes, some died but many were saved as a result.
Truth and misinformation are part of war. Too bad our media prefer to tell our enemy all our secrets. Maybe all future deaths of troops should be placed at the medias feet, and the oppositions.

liberal supporter said...

Speaking of misinformation, does anyone remember the WW11 ruse re Winston Churchill and an actor. They made a movie about it, but it did happen. What about the British breaking a code, and keeping that secret. Yes, some died but many were saved as a result.

You are referring to the Coventry blitz.

However, they did not in fact know it was a target, since the name "Coventry" did not come out of the decoder. It was referred to as "Corn" and they didn't figure it out in time.

From the article:
"A common myth surrounding the bombing is that Coventry (due in part to such books as Winterbotham's The Ultra Secret) was deliberately undefended in order to prevent the Germans realizing that Enigma cipher machine traffic (information from which was termed Ultra) were being read by British cryptanalysts at Bletchley Park. This claim is untrue — Winston Churchill was aware that a major bombing raid was to take place, but no one knew beforehand where the raid was meant to strike [7][8]."



Truth and misinformation are part of war.
True. Usually the quote is "the first casualty is the truth".

Too bad our media prefer to tell our enemy all our secrets.
Baloney. They are doing their jobs. You just said they spread the disinformation being put forth.

Maybe all future deaths of troops should be placed at the medias feet, and the oppositions.
You'd love that. That's what this is really all about isn't it? Using the troops and their deaths to try and score cheap partisan points and crow about looking cool and smackdowns. When will you ever learn?

Fay said...

Speaking of media, check out Black Rod research on Pablogate. Bourque newswatch has it up and is very interesting!!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Fay. I'm just checking into that now.

Alberta Girl said...

L.S. - Wow!!! Your blinders must be really on tight - you can't even see the hypocrasy of what you wrote

"You'd love that. That's what this is really all about isn't it? Using the troops and their deaths to try and score cheap partisan points and crow about looking cool and smackdowns. When will you ever learn?"

Um - sweetie - using the troops and their deaths to score cheap partisan points is EXACTLY what is happening right now! And it isn't bloggers and the Tories doing it.

Take a look in the mirror, sweetie, you and your ilk are the ones doing the pointing.

Kudos to General L.M. for smacking down the media in this country = too bad they won't learn.

Anonymous said...

Hillier has denied the 'angry phone call'.PMSH has denied the 'angry phone call'. The G&M are still claiming the 'anonymous sources' story.
Tell us again the G&M doesn't have an agenda?
And so much for the theory that 'if' the PM would meet with the PPG 'then' they would not be so anti-Harper.Yesterday's media circus is evidence that no matter what PMSH does the media will come out attacking...buy how desperate do they have to be to use anonymous sources, and give media time to not one but 3 Liberal puffins!

Anonymous said...

LS...maybe you don't want to visit SDA (truth is hard to swallow) but if Joanne links to the Black Rod maybe you could venture out of you box and read why we cannot trust the media.
CBC news cannot be trusted. The other media are choosing to put the blinders on...just like you LS.
If they cannot be trusted with the Mulroney-Shreiber non-story (I don't care about the $300,000...it was not tax payers money) then they sure cannot be trusted on the 'detainee' story. They obviously have an agenda.

OMMAG said...

The G&M is is all part and parcel of
CTVGlobeMedia

The political animosity that the producers, publishers, editors and staff at this company hold for ANY conservative viewpoint is well documented.

This is old school big L LIberal establishment territory and they never let up of give an inch.

Stop buying their products.

liberal supporter said...

Um - sweetie - using the troops and their deaths to score cheap partisan points is EXACTLY what is happening right now!
Yes. We agree, "sweetie".

And it isn't bloggers and the Tories doing it.
I disagree. They are.

Take a look in the mirror, sweetie, you and your ilk are the ones doing the pointing.

Hey "sweetie", I was responding to the comment from maryt Maybe all future deaths of troops should be placed at the medias feet, and the oppositions.

I consider that over the top rhetoric, don't you? Somehow, the opposition, who followed their undertaking not to discuss the detainee policy change, are now again committing treason?

In the Ezra case, we hear that if the case had substance there should be charges under existing hate crime laws. And in fact he would be charged, if he had committed such a crime.

Why then, if the media or opposition are actually giving actionable intelligence and military secrets to the enemy, are they not being charged with treason? If they are not doing this, how can soldier deaths be laid at their feet?

The problem is that they are not committing treason. They are committing freedom. Your "ilk" just don't like anyone disagreeing with your party leaders. But that's too bad. What we are doing is showing the Afghans what freedom and democracy are like. They don't see our opposition leaders being murdered or disappeared, do they? They see a lot of rhetoric, which they understand. They see us debating how best to help them.

liberal supporter said...

LS...maybe you don't want to visit SDA (truth is hard to swallow)
I wouldn't know if there is truth there or not, let alone whether it is "hard to swallow". The problem is not the content, it is the operator. I do not trust that person at all.

but if Joanne links to the Black Rod maybe you could venture out of you box and read why we cannot trust the media.
Joanne hasn't linked blackrod. Being a blogspot blog, I will view it if she does.

I do trust blogger, owned by google. Even the government of communist China can't get google to let them access identifying information from blogger. So I don't need to trust the operator of a blogspot blog.

maryT said...

I am referring to the plot to kill Winston, and an actor took his place and was killed. Supposedly Winston and other leaders were in a top secret meeting someplace.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Blackrod post here.

Having a few technical difficulties this morning but I hope to have some relevant links up soon. This is a good one.

liberal supporter said...

I am referring to the plot to kill Winston, and an actor took his place and was killed. Supposedly Winston and other leaders were in a top secret meeting someplace.
Haven't heard of that one. How was that related to codebreaking?

The Enigma story and the myth of allowing Coventry to be bombed to protect the fact the code had been broken was also made into a movie.

Either way, they would likely have done so. Unlike now, their backs really were against the wall and Hitler had a very real chance of conquering the world.

Kingston said...

MaryT, I think you remember a novel by Jack Higgins, called The eagle has landed. It was a very good book but it is fiction to the best of my knowledge