Last week, Fox News reported a jaw-dropping story about how our War on Terror has now become a war on ourselves. In September, a team of Navy SEALs captured terrorist Ahmed Hashim Abed, a man known to the U.S. military as "Objective Amber," the architect of the vicious and deadly attack on four American contractors in the summer of 2004. These poor men were shot, burned, and then their bodies were desecrated, hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River.
But instead of hailing the SEALs as heroes for bringing this vicious murderer to justice, three of them have been brought up on charges.
When Abed was captured, he was brought to Camp Baharia, a U.S. base two miles outside Fallujah. According to one attorney, Abed was turned over to the Iraqis by mistake and was later returned to U.S. custody. There are differing reports that he was punched in the gut and given a bloody lip.
The SEALs were faced with two options. One, choose an administrative hearing, facing no possibility of jail time or dishonorable discharge, but having their reputations forever tarnished. Two, choose a court-martial, which could exonerate them completely or, if convicted, land them behind bars and end their military careers.
They have chosen the latter. So now, they must stand trial, to defend themselves. The terrorists must be laughing in disbelief at us, especially when it's a well-known fact that they inflict injury on themselves (or each other) while in captivity so as to accuse their captors of abuse. If true in this case, the ruse has worked beyond their wildest dreams.
But let us conclude the SEALs punched this man in the act of capturing him. Take a poll and ask how upset the American public would be and that's when you'd hear the outrage -- at the way the SEALs are being treated.
But you won't hear that outrage because the American people don't know about this story because, believe it or not, our national media won't report it.
There is no one except Fox emerging in a Nexis search of TV news transcripts. No ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC or CNN. How can this merit nothing? There is no sign of a story in major newspapers like The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, even the Associated Press and other wire services. (One exception: Gannett News Service ran an article from the Navy Times, even if it didn't make USA Today, Gannett's largest property.)
Time and Newsweek couldn't find space for it. Time did cover the saga of one Navy SEAL -- suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. But instead of allegedly punching a terrorist, SEAL commander Mark Waddell was in danger of attacking a cartoon character at Disneyland: "The noise of the careening rides, the shrieking kids -- everything roused Waddell to a state of hypervigilance typical of his worst days in combat. When an actor dressed as Goofy stuck his long, doggy muzzle into his face, Waddell recalls, 'I wanted to grab Goofy by the throat.'"
Waddell's counselor hit Time's sweet spot: "We get all excited when Johnny goes marching off to war, and then we forget about him a few days later when our favorite football team loses a game."
Time only forgets about our fighting men when they're dragged into court for capturing a terrorist.
It's not like the Abed story is unconfirmed. Kate Wiltrout had the story for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot last week: "The military confirmed Wednesday that Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe, 24, was charged last month with assaulting a detainee, dereliction of duty for failing to protect a detainee and making a false statement. Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe are accused of failing to protect the man, whose identity is classified, said Lt. Col. Holly Silkman, a spokeswoman for the military's special operations command."
The New York Post wasn't shy about this outrage. "And so the SEALs will be arraigned on Dec. 7 -- another reason for the date to live in infamy," it stated. "Ironically, if the three had treated Abed like Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq has routinely treated American soldiers it captures, his bloody, mutilated corpse would've turned up floating in a river. (For the record, the number of US combat troops captured in Iraq and Afghanistan who have been recovered alive is approximately zero.)"
The national media don't want to touch this story, such is their hostility to the United States military, no matter how much they profess to the contrary. You've heard the Obama White House insist that Fox News is not a "legitimate news organization." This story demonstrates, yet again, that Fox often is just about the only legitimate news organization.
It's high time the American people started getting very vocal in their outrage.