MANILA, Philippines -- My Fox News producers and I have just returned from documenting an atrocity. While we were at the scene of the crime interviewing eyewitnesses, a copy of this week's Time magazine was placed in my hotel room.
Our day was devoted to detailing the horrific treatment meted out to more than 75,000 Allied prisoners of war in the Philippines between 1942 and 1945. The day ended with an American "news" magazine's "sometimes shocking" classified account of how captured terrorists are treated at Guantanamo. A day that began with the Bataan Death March ended with a death wish.
Since we have been in Manila, 14 Filipinos have died at the hands of Abu Sayyaf Islamic terrorists. The murders hardly made the news in the United States. In that same timeframe, five American soldiers and more than two dozen civilians were killed by terrorists in Iraq.
In much of our media, the Iraqi butchery was offered as further proof that bringing democracy to Baghdad is a futile endeavor. Absent from U.S. reporting about the atrocities in Iraq and the Philippines is the fact that the architects of the attacks cared neither about how many non-combatants were killed, nor whether the perpetrators themselves survived. Yet, according to "experts" interviewed by Time magazine, the techniques used by the U.S. military to interrogate terrorists detained at Guantanamo are an "outrage on personal dignity."
The real outrage isn't the affront to the "dignity" of suicide terrorists being interrogated and kept alive against their will by our military at Guantanamo; the greater offense is our mainstream media's lack of context for what transpires there -- and the apparent disregard for the consequences of such revelations during a time of war.
The right of the American media to publish classified military information -- such as that in Time magazine's "exclusive" account from Guantanamo -- is well established. During World War II, the Chicago Tribune divulged that the Battle of Midway had been won thanks to the code-breakers at Station Hypo in Hawaii. Though Americans fighting for their lives in the Pacific theater died because the Japanese immediately changed their JN-25 naval code, no one was ever prosecuted for revealing the secret.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.