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Derek McMillan

Metanews

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There are hundreds of unquestionably valid photos of Iraqis being abused. There is new evidence pouring out of specific instructions from on high for soldiers to torture prisoners and of the abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Last night the news media led on the story of Piers Morgan getting the chop as Mirror editor.

We will never know if the photos were genuine If they were fake was the purpose to distract attention from the real issue by elevating Piers Morgan (who has never tortured anyone or ordered them tortured) into the villain of the piece?

The media is more and more an incestuous business (metaphor!) in which papers spend their time talking about each other. When they are not talking about each other they are talking about celebrities ... usually photogenic ones. In fact a lot of tabloid coverage seems to be a continual rediscovery of the remarkable fact that people have sex. As the story of Iraq torture (or accidental mistreatment by a rogue element as Republicans are beginning to call it!) was unfolding, newspapers including the Mirror were leading on a sex scandal involving a footballer and a singer.

Perhaps the explanation of the extraordinary behaviour of torturers capturing their crimes on film is that it would only seem real to them when they saw it on TV or in the papers.

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We will never know if the photos were genuine If they were fake was the purpose to distract attention from the real issue by elevating Piers Morgan (who has never tortured anyone or ordered them tortured) into the villain of the piece?

I think there is a good chance that Piers Morgan was set-up with this hoax pictures. It is no coincidence that he is then forced to resign as a result of American investors in the company that own the Daily Mirror. However, one has to question Morgan’s judgement in all this. He obviously was unaware of how the CIA and MI5 have operated over the last 50 years.

As you say, this has been an attempt to direct the focus about from the government ministers who clearly lied in the House of Commons last week. Instead of them resigning, it is once again their critics in the media who end up losing their jobs.

The fact remains that photographs do exist of British soldiers torturing Iraqi civilians. They were given to the police when a soldier tried to get them developed in a local chemist in Staffordshire. No doubt the British government will do what they can to cover this up and when it eventually comes out they will deny they ever knew anything about it. British troops have tortured local civilians in all its colonial wars. Only last week a woman explained in detail how British soldiers had used the same tactics as being used by the American on Iraqis on her and other Irish Republican in the 1970s. Unfortunately, it would seem that the vast majority of British people are unconcerned by this as long as it is being done to people perceived as the enemy.

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Although they have ditched Piers Morgan the Mirror has continued to publish evidence from British soldiers including today a TA medic who served in Iraq.

As John said colonial powers have always behaved like this. I do not think the British public like it but by and large feel powerless to do anything about it.

As well as discussing the media coverage it seems to me a legitimate part of citizenship education to ask pupils: if they wanted to do something about this what could they do?

"It's a free country."

Derek McMillan

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