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Name: Antony Loewenstein
Home: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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Monday, October 17, 2005

Beware the big headline

The world's media recently reported this "fact":

"Iran's military have been accused of involvement in the killing of British troops in Iraq. According to defence sources, Iraqi insurgents are currently being trained in bomb-making by Iran's Revolutionary Guard. More rebels are said to be receiving help in terror camps set up in Lebanon and Syria.

"Up to eight British soldiers have been killed in recent months by roadside bombs, triggered by infra-red technology alleged to have been developed in Iran."

Unfortunately for the Iran-bashers, those "defence sources" may have lied:

"Sophisticated bomb technology employed by the Irish Republican Army has been used to kill British soldiers in southern Iraq, a London newspaper reported yesterday.

"The Independent on Sunday said that eight soldiers died in five roadside blasts after being attacked with bombs triggered by infra-red beams.

"The bombs and the firing devices used to kill the soldiers, as well as two private security guards, were initially created by British security services as part of a counter-terrorism strategy at the height of the Troubles in the early 1990s, the paper said. But the technology fell into IRA hands during a botched "sting" operation about 15 years ago."

The mainstream press needs to treat all anonymous sources with deep suspicion and stop publishing outrageous claims as fact. The reasons behind these British claims are blatantly transparent and the media should refuse to play a part in such overt propaganda and disinformation.

Furthermore, the original claims were given prominence in the Australian media, while the latest story is relegated to few brief paragraphs, if mentioned at all.

3 Comments:

Blogger Shabadoo said...

Yeah! Tell 'em, Anty! Hey, here's a scoop: I heard News Ltd. has an internal document laying out issues in marginal constituencies...STOP THE PRESSES!

Monday, October 17, 2005 12:13:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

There is no way to independently verify these claims, though Irani denials should be ignored.

Didn't I just read those words?

Monday, October 17, 2005 12:53:00 pm  
Blogger J F said...

The mainstream press needs to treat all anonymous sources with deep suspicion and stop publishing outrageous claims as fact. The reasons behind these British claims are blatantly transparent and the media should refuse to play a part in such overt propaganda and disinformation.

Uh, Mr Loewenstein, the Independent article is based on anonymous sources. The reasons for the Independent's claims are blatantly obvious.

Monday, October 17, 2005 6:15:00 pm  

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