YouTube War/Endnotes

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1. “Hezbollah Dot Com: Hezbollah’s Online Campaign,”,
n.p.:n.d), p. 19.
2. For a more detailed discussion of the conditions under which
particular types of attacks will attract coverage, and the amount
of coverage they are likely to attract under which circumstances—
in other words, using the amount of press coverage a particular
attack gains as a metric for its success, see Cori E. Dauber, “The
Terrorist Spectacular and the Ladder of Terrorist Success,” in
James Forest, ed, Influence Warfare: How Terrorists and Governments
Shape Perceptions in a War of Ideas, West Port, CT: Praeger Security
International, 2009, pp. 93-122.
3. Majid Tehranian, “Review of Small Media, Big Revolution:
Communication, Culture, and the Iranian Revolution,”
International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 27, No. 4,
November, 1995, pp. 523-525, available from links.jstor.org/
sici?sici=0020-7438%28199511%2927%3A4%3C523%3AS
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MBRCC%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Y. The reviewer makes clear, however,
that these tapes alone were not sufficient for the revolution to
succeed.
4. See 304th MI Bn OSINT Team, “Al Qaida Like Mobile
Discussions and Potential Creative Uses,” Supplemental to
the 304th MI Bn Periodic Newsletter, October 16, 2008. Although
marked For Official Use Only, the document has been posted
to the web by the Federation of the American Scientists at www.
fas.org/irp/eprint/mobile.pdf. The author points out that there is no
confirmation some of the technologies discussed in the paper are
being used in the ways proposed by Islamists on chat rooms. The
point is that they are aggressively seeking to develop as many
applications as possible, p. 2. There is no question that many of
the applications, even of technologies now quite commonplace,
are as creative as any of the past—for example using cell phone
interfaces as a medium for the dispersal of propaganda, p. 3.
5. Noah Shachtman, “Online Jihadists Plan for ‘Invading
Facebook’,” Wired blog network, Danger Room, December 18, 2008,
available from blog.wired.com/defense/2008/12/online-jihadist.html.
When Facebook was made aware of an Islamist presence on their
site (by a media inquiry), the page was shut down immediately,
which has not been the reaction of every site informed they were
hosting such material. See Joel Mowbray, “Jihadist Group Trying
to ‘Invade’ Facebook Gets Shutdown,” Foxnews.com, December
19, 2008, available from www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,470385,00.
html. The Psychological Operations Officer for the CJSOTF-AP
does report Facebook and other social networking sites being
used by some of the larger insurgent groups in Iraq as a way to
get their message out as of 2009. David Jenkins, Interview with
the Author, Fort Carson, CO, May 19, 2009.
6. 304th MI Bn OSINT Team, “Al Qaida Like Mobile
Discussions and Potential Creative Uses,” Supplemental to
the 304th MI Bn Periodic Newsletter, October 16, 2008. Although
marked For Official Use Only, the document has been posted to
the web by the Federation of the American Scientists at www.fas.
org/irp/eprint/mobile.pdf.
7. Wretchard, “The Blogosphere At War,” The Belmont
Club, December 28, 2006, available from fallbackbelmont.blogspot.
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com/2006/12/blogosphere-at-war.html. The Belmont Club is a very
popular and respected site, receiving thousands of page views a
day.
8. Stuart Elliott, “A CBS Take on the YouTube Madness,” New
York Times, February 28, 2007, nytimes.com, available from www.
nytimes.com/2007/02/28/business/media/28adco.html.
9. Katherine Q. Seeyle, “YouTube Passes Debates to a
New Generation,” New York Times, June 14, 2007, nytimes.com,
available from www.nytimes.com/2007/06/14/us/politics/14youtube.
html?r=1&oref=slogin.
10. Matea Gold, “The Conflict in Iraq: Video of the
Execution; In the Internet Age, TV Faced A Dilemma,” Los
Angeles Times, December 31, 2006, available from Lexis-Nexis
Academic, available from web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/
universe/document?_m=c5854ab292540d8fa0a8248c3aff2870&_
docnum=29&wchp=dGLbVzz-zSkVA&_md5=0bc412d3de16f5a9ec1f7
08993c43e1.
11. In poor countries, where Americans would not assume
the population would necessarily have access to cell phones, they
may actually be using phones far more sophisticated than those
most Americans are used to. The infrastructure of the landline
networks may be so decrepit and backwards that it becomes easier
to simply skip over the landline system and go straight to the most
advanced possible cell network. Where people cannot afford those
phones, they combine resources so that an entire village may be
sharing a single phone, and, although the population may not as
a matter of course have access to computers, the phones become
their link to the Internet. This has a number of profound social
implications, either in reality or in potential. See Garrett Jones,
“The Revolution Will Be Brought to You By Text-Messaging,”
Foreign Policy Research Institute e-notes, March 2008, available from
www.fpri.org/enotes/200803.jones.revolutiontextmessaging.html.
12. “It can now be expected that any new jihadi organizations
looking to make their mark and establish an identity will not only
attempt to film their operations but also create 1-2 hour produced
videos. Existing groups will likely feel pressure to continue to
release new video material or risk being pronounced ‘dead’ and
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‘on the run’ by the media . . .” IntelCenter, “The Evolution of
Jihadi Video, EJV),” v. 1.0, May 11, 2005, p. 4, available from www.
intelcenter.com/EJV-PUB-v1-0.pdf, p. 2.
13. Ibid., p. 1.
14. Ronald Schleifer, “Psychological Operations: A New
Variation on an Age Old Art: Hezbollah versus Israel,” Studies
in Conflict and Terrorism, Vol. 29, 2006, p. 6. Although there is no
evidence it ever happened—or was even a viable idea—the fact
that al-Qaeda sympathizers were discussing the possibility of
strapping a cell phone camera to a missile warhead, to capture
footage all the way in to the target, is evidence of the priority
still placed on acquiring footage. 304th MI Bn OSINT Team, “Al
Qaida Like Mobile Discussions and Potential Creative Uses,”
Supplemental to the 304th MI Bn Periodic Newsletter, October 16,
2008, p. 4. Although marked For Official Use Only, the document
has been posted to the web by the Federation of the American
Scientists, available from www.fas.org/irp/eprint/mobile.pdf.
15. Indeed, analysts have noted that as soon as the Algerian
group Salafist Group for Call and Combat merged with al-Qaeda,
its media efforts and production values immediately began to
improve. See Stephen Black, “Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s
Burgeoning Media Apparatus,” Terrorism Focus, Vol. 4, No. 14,
May 15, 2007, available from www.jamestown.org/terrorism/news/
article.php?articleid=2373396. For a description of the development
of al-Qaeda’s media strategy, see Henry Schuster, “Al-Qaeda’s
Media Strategy,” in Karen J. Greenberg, ed., Al-Qaeda Now:
Understanding Today’s Terrorists, New York: Cambridge University
Press, 2005, pp. 112-124.
16. Colonel Kenneth Tovo, Commander U.S. Special Forces
10th Group and Former Commander Combined Joint Special
Operations Forces Task Force, Arabian Peninsula, Interview with
the Author, September 21, 2006, Ft. Carson, CO.
17. Abdel bari Atwan, The Secret History of al-Qaeda, Berkeley:
University of California Press, 2006, p. 122.
18. Personal correspondence with the Author, June 12, 2007.
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19. Iranian authorities have had great difficulty locating antigovernment
blogs to shut them down. The Guardian reported
that the government took the step, perhaps unprecedented when
compared to the rest of the world, of ordering telecommunications
companies to restrict the speed at which material could be accessed
to 128 kbps—in effect, banning high speed internet—specifically
to make it next to impossible for Iranians to download the kinds
of materials (songs, video clips, television shows) the authorities
view as carriers of negative cultural influences from the West. See
Robert Tait, “Iran Bans Fast Internet to Cut West’s Influence,” The
Guardian, October 18, 2006, available from technology.guardian.
co.uk/news/story/0,1924637,00.html.
20. “A World Wide Web of Terror,” The Economist, July
12, 2007, available from www.economist.com/world/displaystory.
cfm?story_id=9472498.
21. Deborah L. Wheeler, “Empowering Publics: Information
Technology and Democratization in the Arab World—Lessons
From Internet Cafes and Beyond,” Research Report No. 11,
Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford Internet Institute, July 2006, pp.
6-7.
22. Ibid., p. 7.
23. Alan Cowell, “Britain Arrests 9 Suspects in Terrorist
Kidnapping Plot,” New York Times, January 31, 2007, available
from nytimes.com, www.nytimes.com/2007/02/01/world/europe/01br
itainhtml?ex=1170997200&en=50c3676a80e47899&ei=5070&emc=
eta1. Interestingly, the group apparently planned to behead the
soldier. What none of the press coverage of the arrests mentioned
was that after a series of hostage beheadings were filmed and that
footage uploaded to the Internet in Iraq, beginning with that of the
American Nicholas Berg (whose example was mentioned in the
coverage), the practice of filming beheadings stopped—although
decapitated bodies continued to turn up regularly in Baghdad.
An intercepted letter from Zawahiri to Zarqawi, although its
authenticity has never been definitively proven, requested the
practice stop because it was so brutal and gruesome that it was
hurting the movement’s image, not helping.
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24. “Protection For Muslim Police in Kidnap Fear,” Daily
Mail, February 2, 2007, available from www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/
live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=433298&in_page_id=1770.
25. “A World Wide Web of Terror,” The Economist, July
12, 2007, available from www.economist.com/world/displaystory.
cfm?story_id=9472498.
26. Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, New York: Columbia
University Press, 2006 Ed. (orig. pub. 1998), p. 206.
27. Gabriel Weimann, Terror on the Internet: The New Arena,
the New Challenges, Washington, DC: United States Institute for
Peace, 2006, pp. 91-92.
28. Ibid., p. 53.
29. Susan B. Glaser and Steve Coll, “The Web as Weapon:
Zarqawi Intertwines Acts on Ground in Iraq with Propaganda
Campaign on the Internet,” The Washington Post, August 9, 2005,
available from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.
lib.unc.edu/universe/document?_m=b9d74f52e88e19e8531bae8bae901
a31&_docnum=1&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkVA&_md5=973034f5f87f54c5
c2f367909c698ccb.
30. Michael R. Gordon, “Deadliest Bomb In Iraq Is Made In
Iran, US Says,” New York Times, February 10, 2007, nytimes.com,
available from www.nytimes.com/2007/02/10worldmiddleeast/10wea
pons.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5094&en=e9a9ae56cb1df98a&hp&ex=1
171170000&partner=homepage.
31. Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Jenkins, Director of Operations
for the Combined Media Processing Center, Qatar, Interview
by phone, December 3, 2007.
32. Ibid. Interestingly, as of December, 2007, no Apple
platforms have been captured in Iraq.
33. Thomas Harding, “Terrorists Use Google Maps to Hit
UK Troops,” January 13, 2007, The Daily Telegraph, telegraph.
co.uk, available from www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/
news/2007/01/13/wgoogle13.xml.
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34. Almost immediately after the attack, a legal case was
brought before India’s high court asking that Google Earth be
banned for aiding terrorism, and that Google be instructed to
“blur” images of “sensitive” sites until the case was decided. Since
any civilian site is a potential terrorist target, it is unclear how
the Court was supposed to determine what specific instructions
to issue Google, or how Google was to interpret an order of this
nature. See “Google Earth Aided Mumbai Attacks,” Perth Now,
December 11, 2008, available from www.news.com.au/perthnow/
story/0,21498,24784014-948,00.html?from=public_rss.
35. Jenkins.
36. Ibid.
37. Donald Bacon, Chief of Plans for Special Operations
and Intelligence working Public Affairs Matters in the Strategic
Communication Department of MNF-I, Interviewed by Phone,
November 10, 2007.
38. Glaser and Coll, “Web as Weapon.”
39. Lieutenant Colonel Terry Guild, Interview with the
Author, MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL, August 15, 2006.
40. Bacon.
41. Ibid.
42. Haviv Rettig, “Iraqi Insurgents Using YouTube to
Distribute Propaganda,” Jerusalem Post, February 22, 2007, jpost.
com, available from www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1171894497
777&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull.
43. When Senator Joseph Lieberman demanded that the most
popular of the video sharing sites, YouTube, then owned by
Google, take down the videos posted by or from Islamic terrorist
groups, the site at first resisted on the grounds that, ““While
we respect and understand his [Lieberman’s] views, YouTube
encourages free speech and defends everyone’s right to express
unpopular points of view.” They quickly reversed themselves,
changing their policy to forbid videos that include an incitement
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to violence, but it is unlikely that will remove all of the videos, first
because that it is a quite subjective standard, but more practically
because there are so many videos on the site—and so many added
each day—that it has always been “self-policing,” meaning that
users must file complaints before particular videos are taken
down, which means someone has to come across a particular video,
find it offensive, and contact site management before anything will
be done. See Peter Whonskey, “YouTube Bans Videos That Incite
Violence,” Washington Post, September 12, 2008, p. D-1, available
from washingtonpost.com, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/
article/2008/09/11/AR2008091103447.html.
44. Michael Scheuer, “Al-Qaeda’s Media Doctrine: Evolution
From Cheerleader to Opinion Shaper,” Terrorism Focus, Vol. 4.
Issue 15, Washington, DC: The Jamestown Foundation, May
22, 2007, available from jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.
php?articleid=2373417.
45. Rhonda Schwartz and Maddy Sauer, “Dead US Solder in
Anti-War Video ‘Alive and Well’,” The Blotter, ABCNews.com,
January 8, 2007, available from blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/01/
dead_us_soldier.html.
46. Lieutenant Colonel Edward Loomis, Division Public
Affairs Officer, 101st Airborne Division, phone interview with the
author, February 9, 2007.
47. Ibid.
48. Ibid.
49. It is not clear that professional journalists are using
editing software any different from what the average citizen
would use. For the combat phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom,
CBS was preparing to use Adobe Premiere for producers and
photojournalists, and the basic free MovieMaker 2 program that
Microsoft includes with its Windows XP operating system. Mike
Wendland, “From ENG to SNG: TV Technology for Covering the
Conflict with Iraq,” Poynteronline, March 6, 2003, available from
www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=23585.
50. There are a variety of sources on the Internet offering
advice to families preparing for a soldier or marine’s deployment,
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and inevitably, particularly if there are young children involved,
“get a webcam if you don’t already have one” always makes
the list. See, for example, Tom Gordon, “When a Soldier Comes
Home,” The Birmingham News, November 10, 2008, available from
blog.al.com/living-news/2008/11/when_a_soldier_comes_home.html.
This is, of course, the high tech way to make sure a very young
child doesn’t forget an absent parent. The low tech solution is “flat
daddy,” a life-size cardboard version of the deployed soldier.
51. Wendland, “From ENG to SNG.”
52. This is based in part on the typology in Ben Venzke, “Jihadi
Master Video Guide, JMVG) v1.1,” May 18, 2006, IntelCenter,
Alexandria, VA, available from www.intelcenter.com/JMVG-V1-1.
pdf.
53. I asked a well-known Professor of Documentary Filmmaking,
himself a documentarian, to watch clips posted by as-
Sahab, al-Qaeda Central’s media operation, on YouTube. These
were relatively sophisticated propaganda pieces, making use of
what were, to the untrained eye, very elaborate special effects. He
commented that,
Yes it is fairly sophisticated in terms of the use of special
effects and editing, but the person making it may
have simply been trained on and used a special effects
program, such as Adobe After Effects to put these layers
together on a AppleMac computer, using information
that came with the program and then edited sequences
together in Apple’s Final Cut Pro. Our students use these
programs and they are readily available in Europe and
elsewhere.
Gorham Kindham, Personal correspondence with the author,
April 7, 2007. He also noted that since the clips were being filmed
for the Internet, and not for screening in theaters, high resolution
cameras would not be necessary—off-the-shelf videocameras
would be more than sufficient. Personal correspondence, April
8, 2007. Both comments were made after viewing “Futur (sic)
Martyrs of Iraq.” So once video clips filmed in Iraq or Afghanistan
are posted to the web, the person putting the final, finished
propaganda video together can be anywhere in the world, a
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point made in Daniel Kimmage and Kathleen Ridolfo, The War
of Images and Ideas: Iraqi Insurgent Media, Washington, DC: Radio
Free Europe/Radio Liberty, June 2007. This means that the lack of
Mac platforms in Iraq does not mean that produced videos about
Iraq were not made using Mac equipment and software. And it
is wrong to assume that because a video appears with what seems to
be “high” production values that a sophisticated lab was necessary. It
might still be the product of a “guy and a laptop” if it is the right
guy with the right laptop.
54. At least in the case of Iraq, it appears that the sub-titles are
added by others outside the country. Videos captured inside the
country have only had English-language sub-titles in two cases as
of December 2007. Pedro Vega Colon, Media Chief for J3 under
Combined Media Processing Center, Qatar, Interview by phone,
December 3, 2007.
55. I am indebted to Mark Robinson for this insight, along
with many others.
56. Jenkins. My thanks to Mark Robinson for his invaluable
assistance with this point.
57. Philip Nelson, Senior Vice President of Strategic
Development, NewTek, quoted in Eliot Van Buskirk, “TV Studio
in a Box Enables Long-Tail Television,” Epicenter, Wired Blog
Network, December 18, 2008, available from blog.wired.com/
business/2008/12/tv-studio-in-a.html.
58. Eliot Van Buskirk, “TV Studio in a Box Enables Long-Tail
Television,” Epicenter, Wired Blog Network, December 18, 2008,
available from blog.wired.com/business/2008/12/tv-studio-in-a.html.
59. Ibid.
60. Jenkins.
61. Glaser and Coll, “Web as Weapon.” See also Weimann,
Terror on the Internet, p. 9.
62. Brian Krebs, “Terrorism’s Hook Into Your Inbox:
UK Case Shows Link Between Online Fraud and Jihadist
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Networks,” Washington Post, washingtonpost.com, available from
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/05/
AR2007070501153.html?referrer=emailarticle July 3, 2007.
63. Global Islamic Media Front: Media Sword Campaign
Defending the State of Islam, available from Lauramansfield.com.
64. Guild.
65. Weimann, Terror on the Internet, p. 66.
66. See for example, “Behind Enemy Lines: Inside the
Insurgency,” ABC News: Nightline, February 14, 2006, available
from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.
edu/universe/document?_m=15e7e48b7027fb21ccd3fe52bf464b48&
_docnum=9&wchp=dGLbVzb-zSkVA&_md5=b7530bbb317816b48fdc
453cb32cf5b2; Glaser and Coll.
67. “Insurgent Video Shows Burning Body of American Pilot,”
NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams, April 5, 2006, available
from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.
edu/universe/document?_m=b64947e1c416ff6c0492b7c1afa67c72&
_docnum=3&wchp=dGLbVzb-zSkVA&_md5=0d79dd40bd6139016cd
7a797f384305d.
68. See “Chopper Down Commercial Aircraft Attacked,”
ABC World News Tonight, April 21, 2005, available from
Lexis Nexis Academic, http://web.lexisnexiscomlibproxy.lib.unc.
edu/universe/document?_m=ca7f7e7a9f83b32bf1f9a820ef6c3c1d&_
docnum=3&wchp=dGLbVzb-zSkVA&_md5=91703314a928adea3dfd1
889d0df326b.
69. Lee Cowan, “Recent Surge of Violence Continues in Iraq,”
CBS Evening News, April 22, 2005, available from Lexis Nexis Academic,
www.lexisnexis.comlibproxylib.unc.edu/us/lnacademic/
results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T543770867
7&format=GNBFI&sort=BOOLEAN&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKe
y=29_T5437708680&cisb=22_T5437708679&treeMax=true&treeWid
th=0&csi=166768&docNo=1.
70. See “Video Released of Downing of Commercial
Helicopter in Iraq,” NBC Nightly News, April 22, 2005, available
103
from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.
edu/universe/document?_m=0998bed156ba807e4567d428594c0b0e&_
docnum=1&wchp=dGLbVzb-zSkVA&_md5=31cacdb320a900ea08d3a
5553290d5f1.
71. Cowan, “Surge of Violence Continues.”
72. Although it went nowhere, one lawmaker, for example,
demanded the Pentagon end the ability of CNN’s reporters to
participate in their program for embedding reporters with military
units in Iraq. See Anne Plummer Flaherty, “Lawmaker Faults
CNN for Sniper Video,” SFGate.com, October 23, 2006, available
from www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/10/23/national/
w161647D63.DTL7.
73. See for example, Ashraf al-Taie, “US Nabs Website
Producer,” MSNBC.com, October 16, 2005, available from msnbc.
msn.com/id/9720497/, accessed July 2, 2006.
74. “Hidden Killers in Iraq?” Anderson Cooper 360, CNN,
October 18, 2006, available from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexisnexis.
com.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/universe/document?_m=d3f40ef6665b6
a4326d3024b652a2274&_docnum=10&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkVA&_md
5=1307c13a5e18c79ce7b7012d2ed5307f. My emphasis. This includes
all subsequent quotations.
75. Ibid.
76. CBS, at least, has several people on its staff responsible for
monitoring the relevant websites for both claims and footage that
are pertinent, although they claim that they have procedures in
place to ensure that additional confirmation is developed before
either makes it onto the air. Lara Logan, phone interview from
Baghdad with the author, January 14, 2007.
77. It is possible, as Dorrance Smith suggests, that at least
some of the time the segments are not accessed by the American
networks but are provided by cooperative arrangements with
al Jazeera. See Dorrance Smith, “The Enemy on Our Airwaves:
What is the Relationship Between al-Jazzera, al-Qaeda and
America’s TV Networks?” OpinionJournal.com, November 4, 2005,
available from www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007498. CBS,
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according to Lara Logan, has individuals specifically tasked with
monitoring the pertinent websites, so that network, at least, is
taking the material directly from the terrorists and insurgents, not
using any intermediary. Interestingly, that process is located in
London. Lara Logan, Interview with the author by phone from
Baghdad, January 14, 2007.
78. An additional problem is that too often footage shown
with some form of identification one time often has the identifying
material edited out in subsequent airings, particularly when the
footage is used as file footage in later stories. Because even when
the source of the footage is clearly identified in the reporter’s
narration in the original story, (which I would argue is still
insufficient cuing) it never is in subsequent uses of the footage. If
the original material were marked with a chyron, there would be
no mistaking the source, important when the Arabic writing alone
will not serve as sufficient visual cue to an American audience
that this is not normal news footage.
79. The music is often based on MP3 options left on websites
made for that purpose. See Kimmage and Ridolfo, The War of
Images and Ideas, pp. 31-33.
80. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Dirty Politics, Deception, Distraction,
and Democracy, New York: Oxford University Press, 1992, p.
147.
81. Campaign Reform: Insights and Evidence,” Report of the
Task Force on Campaign Reform, Pew Charitable Trusts, Princeton,
NJ: Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs, Princeton
University, 1998.
82. All quotes are from Susan Walsh, President White House
News Photographers Association, Letter to Members, www.whnpa.
org/join/walshletter111605.pdf.
83. It is well known that the White House press corps was very
upset to have been excluded (except for several print reporters
representing the regular pool) when President Obama retook the
oath of office. In that case, however, the event was of genuine
historical significance—and indeed, because they were excluded,
we lack footage of the event, but have only stills and an audio
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recording (and only have that because one reporter had a digital
tape recorder with them).
84. Ben Venzke, “Jihadi Master Video Guide, JMVG) v1.1,”
May 18, 2006, IntelCenter, Alexandria, VA, available from www.
intelcenter.com/JMVG-V1-1.pdf.
85. Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, p. 202.
86. The source for these figures is the data base, “Iraq
Coalition Casualty Count,” generally considered to be accurate
and trustworthy. “Fatalities by Cause of Death Detail,” available
from icasualties.org/oif/stats.aspx.
87. Lara Logan, Interview with the author by phone from
Baghdad, January 14, 2007.
88. John Yang, “Seven Die in Helicopter Crash,” NBC Nightly
News, February 7, 2007, available from video.msn.com/v/us/v.
htm?g=3795a63b-b721-40ac-8025-79d121277490&f=34&fg=rss, via
The Tyndall Report, tyndallreport.com.
89. Martha Raddatz, “Helicopter Fatalities in Iraq,” ABC World
News Tonight with Charles Gibson, February 7, 2007, available from
abcnews.go.com/Video/videoEmbed?id=2858030&challenge=&authe
nticated=true&start=Y2RhdWJlckBlbWFpbC51bmMuZWR1A&end
=bGF1ZHB1cw%3D%3D&save=ON&save=OFF, via The Tyndall
Report, tyndallreport.com.
90. Lara Logan, “Enemies in Iraq Know US Military Relies
on Helicopters,” CBS Evening News, February 7, 2007, available
from Lexis/Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.
edu/universe/document?_m=7ff9daae1cb2147a26b08a0f9f531a62&
_docnum=1&wchp=dGLzVlz-zSkVb&_md5=32a5571b4afbc2de94bbc
1151a58eaf5.
91. Pedro Vega Colon, Media Chief for J3 under Combined
Media Processing Center, Qatar, Interview by phone, December
3, 2007.
92. See the discussion in, for example, Jurgen Trimborn and
Edna McCown, Leni Riefenstahl: A Life, London, UK: Faber and
Faber, January 2008.
106
93. Schleifer, “Psychological Operations,” p. 6.
94. A number of bloggers claimed that footage used in Logan’s
report on Haifa street that CBS shunted to their website rather
than air, came from an al-Qaeda website and that she did not—
and should have—note that in the report. CBS responded that
even if the footage also appeared on the al-Qaeda site, that was
not Logan’s source. See Brian Montopoli, “Questions Surround
Haifa Street Video,” Public Eye, January 30, 2007, available from
www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2007/01/30/publiceye/entry2414754.shtml.
95. NBC and CBS had footage that could not possibly have been
of a particular attack under discussion—and they knew it—yet
aired the footage anyway, even though they explained the footage
didn’t match the attack being described. For further discussion,
see Cori E. Dauber, “The Truth Is Out There: Responding to
Insurgent Deception and Disinformation Operations,” Military
Review, Vol. 89, January-February 2009, pp. 13-24.
96. Interview with the author, Pamela Hess, then the Pentagoncorrespondent
for UPI, March 9, 2007, Washington, DC.
97. For an example of particularly well done analysis of visual
images taken from news coverage, see David D. Perlmutter,
Photojournalism and Foreign Policy: Icons of Outrage in International
Crises, Greenwood, CT: Praeger, 1998.
98. Anderson Cooper 360, CNN, October 18, 2006.
99. Anderson Cooper 360, CNN, October 18, 2006.
100. Anderson Cooper 360, CNN, October 18, 2006.
101. Sally Buzbee, “Zarqawi said to be sidelined by new
‘coalition of insurgents’,” The Age, Australia, April 5, 2006, p.
13, available from Lexis-Nexis Academic. They have also taken
civilian hostages. See Stephen Farrell and Charles Bremner, The
Times, London, September 1, 2004, p. 1, available from Lexis-Nexis
Academic.
107
102. Although that is not the only way and it is, to be sure, not
a guarantee. See Dauber, “The Terrorist Spectacular.”
103. For a discussion of the criteria that will determine
whether a particular bombing will make the news, and, if so,
how much attention it is likely to receive, see Dauber, “Terrorist
Spectacular.”
104. In point of fact, the Islamic Army of Iraq was at the time
one of the most important Sunni insurgent groups.
105. For the year 2007, for example, the Tyndall Report, which
monitors the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) notes
that:
The War in Iraq was Story of the Year by a wide margin.
The networks monitored the progress of Commander
in Chief George Bush’s troop build-up—the so-called
surge—in Iraq and the simultaneous debate on Capitol
Hill about bringing troops home. That storyline effectively
ended in September when Gen David Petraeus testified
to Congress that violence in Iraq was moderating and
the President ordered the extra troops home. Before that
testimony, the Iraq War averaged 30 minutes of coverage
each week; in the year’s final 15 weeks the average was a
scant four minutes. Non-war coverage of Iraq continues
its steady decline.
Notice, however, that those totals combine coverage of the war
itself with the debate in Washington. Tyndall calculates that
actual combat coverage over the course of the year was only
61 percent of the total. See tyndallreport.com/yearinreview2007/.
The networks’ ability to report much more than casualty
reports is now deeply compromised, as their regular bureau
operations have all but shut down. See Brian Stelter, “TV
News Winds Down Operations On Iraq War,” New York
Times, December 28, 2008, nytimes.com, available from www.
nytimes.com/2008/12/29/business/media/29bureaus.html?partner
=permalink&exprod=permalink. The press outlets constantly repeat
the refrain that the American people are tired of the war and
will not sit for continued war news, but produce no evidence in
support of the claim. What is clear is that they have little interest
108
in continuing to foot the growing bill for covering the war, when
reduced violence reduces the number of easy-to-cover-stories, in
the sense that they can be produced via a well-worn, time honored
template, rinse, lather, repeat, but instead require some degree
of creativity. By 2 weeks before the 2008 election, coverage of
Iraq had plummeted to a mere 1 percent of all stories, across not
only broadcast TV, but also cable, newspapers, radio, and online
news sources. See Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in
Journalism, PEJ News Coverage Index, October 6-12, 2008, available
from journalism.org, www.journalism.org/node/13204.
106. Dan Harris, “News Headlines,” ABC World News Tonight
Sunday, April 17, 2005, available from Lexis-Nexis Academic,
www.lexisnexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/us/lnacademic/results/
docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T5381421803&format
=GNBFI&sort=RELEVANCE&startDocNo=376&resultsUrlKey=29_
T5381421806&cisb=22_T5381421805&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&
csi=8277&docNo=400.
107. In fairness, the press is often limited by the information
provided by the military, which is intentionally kept to the bare
minimum to deny the enemy what could be its only means of
battle damage assessment. While the desire to keep critical
information out of enemy hands is certainly understandable, in
a war where information is itself so often a key battleground, the
military needs to reevaluate how this is done. In earlier conflicts
there were no opportunity costs—nothing to balance against the
benefit of withholding information. Today there is. The benefits
of releasing information on casualties may not be enough to
outweigh the risks, but the calculation needs to be made, and
it may be the case that more information ought to be released
earlier, or that mechanisms to release information without doing
harm can be explored. I discuss these trade-offs at greater length
in Cori E. Dauber, “Winning the Battle But Losing the War: the
Relationship Between the Media Coverage of Iraq and Public
Support,” May, 2005, Chapel Hill, NC, unpublished ms.
108. It should be noted, however, that reports of American
combat casualties per se is not what reduces public support for a
given military operation, even though that is widely assumed to
be the case, particularly by the press. Support will hold so long as
the public continues to believe there is hope for the success of the
109
mission; in other words, if the public continues to be optimistic.
It is only when the public loses faith in the mission, begins to
believe that there is no hope—in other words, that American lives
are being lost for no reason—that continued casualties will erode
support in a substantial way. In other words, to erode the will to
fight, these groups need both types of stories, and both types of
images, stories about continued (and continuing) American combat
casualties, and stories that suggest the mission is not and will not
in the future be successful. For an elaboration of the argument on
the relationship between optimism and public support in the face
of combat casualties (along with substantial empirical data), see
Christopher Gelpi, Peter D. Feaver, and Jason Reifler, “Success
Matters: Casualty Sensitivity and the War in Iraq,” International
Security, Vol. 30, Winter 2005/2006, pp. 7-46, available from www.
duke.edu/~gelpi/success.matters.pdf.
109. Anderson Cooper 360, CNN, October 18, 2006.
110. The military, it should be said, made a tremendous
mistake in refusing to respond to CNN’s story. While it was
understandable that they did not want to discuss the sniper threat
per se for operational reasons, they needed to at least try to get
someone on camera making the case that the fact that these were
propaganda tapes made a difference in the weight people gave
them and how people looked at them.
111. In fact, enemy sniper teams are far more at risk from our
own than they are capable of doing damage, an argument, to be
fair, addressed by CNN in their story. Reporting on one unit, 1st
Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, but a
unit stationed at Ramadi when it was the heart of the insurgency
and therefore in heavy contact, Michael Fumento notes that,
“Meanwhile enemy snipers, though generally the most skilled of
the enemy fighters and armed primarily with good 7.62 millimeter
Soviet Dragunov sniper rifles, have killed 1 member of the
battalion. The battalion plus its support units have lost a total of
8 men while killing about 600—a stunning ratio of 75:1.” “Return
to Ramadi,” Weekly Standard, November 27, 2006, available from
weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/985qugel.
asp.
112. Anderson Cooper 360, CNN, October 18, 2006.
110
113. David Doss, “Why We Aired the Sniper Video,” October
19, 2006, Anderson Cooper 360 Blog, available from www.cnn.com/
CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/archives/2006_10_15_
ac360_archive.html.
114. Anderson Cooper 360, CNN, October 19, 2006. available
from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.
edu/universe/document?_m=e9a3bcff5e517bfe5db27a0a2d94c26f&_
docnum=9&wchp=dGLbVzW-zSkVA&_md5=dbe566989b798d2b486
1aaffd2b8fc1f.
115. Those outlets that did less cropping of the photograph
of the mutilated bodies of the contractors in Fallujah received
a very strong negative reaction from their audiences, for
example. See the oddly mistitled Paul Nussbaum, “Reaction
to Graphic Images Somewhat Subdued,” Philadelphia Inquirer,
April 2, 2004, p. A-6, available from Lexis-Nexis Academic,
www.lexisnexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/us/lnacademic/results/
docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T5437716499&form
at=GNBFI&sort=BOOLEAN&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_
T5437717602&cisb=22_T5437717601&treeMax=true&treeWidth
=0&csi=144577&docNo=1. This may be in part a function of the
shock value of seeing bodies of American soldiers, when the press
so rarely makes those images available. The Los Angeles Times
surveyed 6 months of coverage, running from September 1, 2004,
through February 28, 2005, a period that included the marine
assault on Fallujah. During that period, “readers of the Atlanta
Journal-Constitution, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, St. Louis
Post-Dispatch, and Washington Post did not see a single picture of
a dead serviceman. The Seattle Times ran a photo 3 days before
Christmas of the covered body of a soldier killed in [a] mess
hall bombing. Neither Time nor Newsweek . . . showed any U.S.
battlefield dead during that time.” American publications were
more willing (and this is not unusual) to show non-American
dead, the New York Times, for example, printing 55 photos of dead
or wounded Iraqis over the same time period. That said, the LA
Times also provided polling data indicating the public as a whole
is supportive of such photos being published (which will continue
to be irrelevant, since outlets respond to the number of complaints
they receive, not the number of readers or audience members who
do not respond directly). The article includes a breakout of the
number of images of dead, wounded, and grieving by outlet for
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the period, which is quite interesting. See James Rainey, “Unseen
Pictures, Untold Stories,” Los Angeles Times, May 21, 2005, available
from latimes.com, www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-nairaqphoto21may21,1,5119073.
story.
116. One would have thought that after ABC anchor Bob
Woodruff and his cameraman were hurt in an IED explosion,
the networks—at least ABC—would have had to confront the
fact that whatever these images may look like, they are, in fact,
pictures of someone’s loved one being killed or hurt. Not only did
this practice not change, but all three networks used such footage
in their coverage of Woodruff’s being injured—and ABC’s piece
on the nature of the roadside bomb as a weapon, which ran as
part of their coverage that night, may have been the one that used
the most individual segments of this type that night, I counted
six as it aired: 5 explosions, and one of a bomb being assembled.
See David Wright, “Roadside Bombs, Greatest Cause of Injury,
Death,” ABC World News Tonight, January 29, 2006, available
from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.
edu/universe/document?_m=43a1e91c51ce240f0f40e3967fd8d51b&_
docnum=1&wchp=dGLbVzz-zSkVA&_md5=6b0b937dbe48b1ab14499
1efbce0a289. (This story aired several months before the Tyndall
Report began cataloguing reports.)
117. See Sean Aday, “The Real War Will Never Get On
Television: An Analysis of Casualty Imagery in American
Television Coverage of the Iraq War,” Paper presented at the
International Studies Association, March 18-20, 2004, Montreal,
Canada, available from ics.leeds.ac.uk/papers/pmt/exhibits/1537/
Aday.pdf.
118. A reporter surveyed metro dailies and found that the
photograph of the corpse (he does not specify which of the series)
ran on the front page of only 11 out of 34, including the New York
Times and USA Today. Fifteen put the photograph inside the front
section, while another eight, including the Baltimore Sun and the
Dallas Morning News, declined to use the image at all. Lou Gelfand,
“If You Ran the Newspaper,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, October
19, 1993, available from Lexis/Nexis.
119. This became the subject of a small controversy on the web
when an email circulated from Ms. Logan asking people to reach
112
out to CBS and ask that the piece be aired on the news, rather than
the less visible outlet of the Internet venue. See www.mediachannel.
org/wordpress/2007/01/24/helping-lara-logan/#logan-letter, accessed
October 28, 2007. As was probably inevitable, given heated
feelings about the war and the way feelings about the way the
war was being covered became a proxy for those feelings, this
rapidly became a target people could use to fight through larger
issues.
120. “Pixellation” is the high-tech blurring used by television
networks when they break an image down to the “pixels” that are
used to create it, reversing the process in such a way as to make it
impossible to tell what it is supposed to be.
121. For a list of which newspapers presented the photograph
in what way, see David D. Perlmutter and Lisa Hatley Major,
“Images of Horror From Fallujah,” Nieman Reports, Vol. 58,
Summer 2004, p. 73.
122. This attitude towards the display of the dead body in
news images is very much an American one. While it is shared to
a lesser degree by the Canadian media, and an even lesser degree
by the British, most countries’ news outlets, print and broadcast,
would display as a matter of course extremely graphic images
that would never be seen in the United States.
123. One of the most powerful and memorable photographs
taken that day has been called simply “the Jumper” or sometimes
“the Falling Man,” and although it is taken from a great enough
distance that the man’s identity cannot be determined (a number
of reporters have subsequently tried), what is striking about it is
the impression that the man is in a casual, even graceful pose as he
falls. Yet the photo has essentially gone down the memory hole,
appearing in none of the collections of images that appeared in
the aftermath of the attacks, probably because when it did appear
there were tremendous numbers of complaints. The photographer
who took the shot also took shots of Robert F. Kennedy moments
after the assassination, photographs far more graphic, yet they
were published without controversy, and continue to be reprinted
to this day. He suspects that the reason for the different reaction
is that we did not and do not identify with Kennedy. Not being
presidential candidates, we do not look at the photographs of him
113
lying bleeding on a kitchen floor and think, “that could have been
me.” We have a different emotional response to a picture of an
unidentified office worker, killed without warning while sitting
at his desk (we assume). See Richard Drew, “The Horror of 9/11
That’s All Too Familiar,” The Los Angeles Times, September 10,
2003, p. B-13, available from latimes.com, articles.latimes.com/2003/
sep/10/opinion/oe-drew10.
124. ABC was the first to announce this policy (ostensibly
based on the comments of a psychiatrist during a special about
the effects of the tragedy on children), and the others followed
within days. Howard Kurtz, “ABC Stops Endless Replay of
Tragedy,” September 19, 2001, Washington Post, p. C-01, available
from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.
edu/universe/document?_m=e7dd5273408013d9c390ed352968b494&
_docnum=1&wchp=dGLzVzz-zSkVb&_md5=b7cdaa1314e01c74d3c15
4a9376fd7e9.
125. “Herald Editor Apologizes for Publishing Shooting
Photos,” Boston Herald, October 23, 2004, p. 002, available from
Lexis-Nexis Academic, www.lexisnexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/us/
lnacademic/search/homesubmitForm.do.
126. Joan Deppa et al., The Media and Disasters: Pan Am 103,
Washington Square: New York University Press, 1994, p. 91.
127. When a California paper published a photograph of a
sheep that had been badly burned in a wildlife fire, it received
complaints precisely paralleling those that papers receive when
they publish graphic war images, and their public editor wrote
a column describing the decision to publish the image that
precisely paralleled the columns that are published when papers
are criticized for publishing combat images readers find to be too
graphic. See Armando Acuna, “Bee Went Too Far with Burned-
Sheep Photo, Some Say,” Sacramento Bee, October 1, 2003, p. E-3,
available from Lexis-Nexis Academic.
128. Weimann and Winn’s research suggests that the more
sanitized coverage is, the more audiences’ opinions of terrorists
had changed after viewing it, becoming more positive. Gabriel
Weimann and Conrad Winn, Theater of Terror: Mass Media and
International Terrorism, New York: Longman, 1994, pp. 166-167.
114
129. Lee Cowan, “Al-Qaeda Linked Group Claims Three
US Soldiers Were Killed in Revenge for Rape and Murder of
Iraq Girl,” CBS Morning News, July 11, 2006, available from
Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/
universe/document?_m=f0e49596a9d35393413517cf0ca21088&_
docnum=1&wchp=dGLbVtz-zSkVA&_md5=c093139c0bda2fad3c248e
604cd05f9a.
130. Mike Boettcher, “Al-Qaeda Linked Group Claiming it
Killed Three US Soldiers For Revenge for Rape and Murder of
Young Iraqi Woman,” NBC News Today Show, July 11, 2006,
available from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.
lib.unc.edu/universe/document?_m=36c6b0551396f88db14e3b87440cd
0bf&_docnum=1&wchp=dGLbVtz-zSkVA&_md5=89a12813e52f0379
4ec4732b390b35a3.
131. I believe there is evidence that such a rhetorical appeal
would have been successful after the appearance of the famous
photographs from Mogadishu. See Cori E. Dauber, “The Shot
Seen ‘Round the World: The Impact of the Images of Mogadishu
on American Military Operations,” Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Vol.
4, No. 4, 2001, pp. 667-671. I believe since then there has been a shift
in public discourse so that “support the troops” really means, in
many cases, “protect the troops,” so that there is a theme running
through much of public argumentation suggesting that it is not
so much their job to protect us, as it is our job to protect them—for
example, by supporting candidates and legislation that will get
them out of harm’s way. Perhaps that would have made it easier
to use a story like this to rally support for removing forces from
Iraq, but it may also have made it easier to support an effort, if it
were well enough resourced, to go after those who so grievously
harmed those we were supposed to protect—yet failed to.
132. Daniel Pearl, reporter for the Wall Street Journal, was
lured to an interview in Pakistan, kidnapped and decapitated.
There was essentially no serious discussion or consideration
given to the idea that any images would be shown from the
video by mainstream media outlets, and only CBS did so. The
most controversial choice at that point was one made by a single,
alternative weekly, which provided its readers with a hyperlink
to the video. See “Freedom to Choose: Why We Linked to the
115
Video Released by Daniel Pearl’s Murderers,” The Boston Phoenix,
June 6-13, 2002, thephoenix,com, available from www.bostonphoenix.
com/boston/news_features/editorial/documents/02299081.htm.
133. Osama bin Laden’s number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri,
wrote Zarqawi a letter in which he suggested the beheadings
were hurting the cause. He suggested hostages be shot instead.
See Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Kyle Dabruzzi, “The Next
Generation of Jihad,” The Weekly Standard, June 28, 2007,
weeklystandard.com, available from weeklystandard.com/Content/
Public/Articles/000/000/013/805fbvze.asp.
134. Peter Johnson, “A Death Caught on Tape: Should It
Run or Not?” USA Today, May 12, 2004, p. 4-D, available from
Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/
universe/document?_m=de45ce18111dbc86cb3c50934f5f4ba8&_
docnum=17&wchp=dGLbVlb-zSkVA&_md5=26e9ec69bab8723707eb
d2b670132c49.
135. Barry Peterson, “Al-Jazeera Airing Video of Two
Americans and a British Man Taken Hostage in Baghdad,”
September 18, 2007, CBS News, The Saturday Early Show, available
from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.
edu/universe/document?_m=e7e67f79005c9342621b4655d1384ef2&_
docnum=12&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkVA&_md5=c0440b37b05326bfe31fb
02a8a193404.
136. Obviously this is not always true, but in those cases
when tapes have been made of Iraqis being killed, the point
being made has centered on the number of Iraqis being killed,
and quite frequently also on some relationship of the victims to
the government (thus implicitly highlighting the weakness of
the government, their inability to protect their own, and thus
the danger in cooperating with—or perhaps even supporting—
the government.) See “Iraqi Group Posts ‘Execution Video’,” Al
Jazeera.net, March 4, 2007, available from english.aljazeera.net/news/
middleeast/2007/03/2008525125854381924.html.
137. Paul Eedle, CNN, “Live From . . .” 13:00, May 13, 2004,
available from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.
lib.unc.edu/universe/document?_m=35ff7c18e0230d82e00f3c45c32061
b8&_docnum=26&wchp=dGLbVtz-zSkVA&_md5=f80c8917a602713e
56124be3b3d1255a.
116
138. Matthew B. Stannard, “Beheading Video Seen as
War Tactic; Experts Say Terrorists Employing Grisly Form of
Propaganda,” San Francisco Chronicle, May 13, 2004, p. A-1,
available from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.
lib.unc.edu/universe/document?_m=bd51d2965428d7c5bff6c453ce996
571&_docnum=1&wchp=dGLbVzz-zSkVb&_md5=2f27cf28e00b1403
016ea2a30f80cddf.
139. Brian Rooney, “Pleading for Mercy, Ken Bigley Video
Addresses Tony Blair,” ABC News, World News Tonight with Peter
Jennings, September 24, 2004, available from Lexis-Nexis Academic,
web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/universe/document?_m=c7
9a5f7f20e985d1adce6ba425588672&_docnum=1&wchp=dGLbVtbzSkVA&_
md5=3b3832cdba3f6d268337f6f2e4e90b23. NBC mentioned
the video’s release, but did not show a clip or quote from it. Tom
Brokaw, “New Video Today of British Hostage in Iraq,” NBC
Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, September 29, 2004, available
from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.
edu/universe/document?_m=1a3349971e33283505b7358851e75bc9&_
docnum=1&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkVA&_md5=b327ba196d2624fbd8000
4061abc60c9.
140. In the wake of the Nick Berg beheading, the Dallas
Morning News published one shot frame grabbed from the end of
the video, showing the terrorists holding the severed head aloft,
however, they printed it on the editorial page, not on the front
page, and the head itself was hidden, covered by a black rectangle,
“out of respect for the dead man’s family and the sensitivities of
our readers.” They received 87 letters, every one in support of
publication, many demanding more such images be shown. The
editorial and photo are no longer cached, but the editor’s comments
are available at Rod Dreher, “DMN Publishes Berg Pic,” NRO’s
The Corner, May 12, 2004, available from www.nationalreview.com/
thecorner/04_05_09_corner-archive.asp#031706. A full discussion of
the debate over the Berg images can be found at Jay Rosen, “News
Judgment Old and News Judgment New: American Nicholas Berg
Beheaded,” Press Think, May 16, 2004, available from journalism.
nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2004/05/16/berg_video.html.
141. Matt Zoller Seitz, “What TV Doesn’t Show and
Why,” Newark Star-Ledger,” May 14, 2004, p. 63, available from
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Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/
universe/document?_m=92941542167782bc2a052390060d5580&
_docnum=10&wchp=dGLbVlb-zSkVA&_md5=8f04cde6e9836941d93
695439c31c5a6.
142. Stannard, “Beheading Video Seen as War Tactic.”
143. See Mary Bosworth and Jeanne Flavin, Race, Gender,
and Punishment: From Colonialism to the War on Terrorism, New
Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2007, p. 207. They refer to
the picture as showing the detainees as “kneeling in submission”
and note that the goggles “brought allegations of torture,” citing
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
144. “Donald Rumsfeld Holds Defense Department Briefing,”
January 22, 2002, FDCH Political Briefings, available from
Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/
universe/document?_m=cbee207ae9d7a6d282ccc92919330798&_
docnum=5&wchp=dGLbVtz-zSkVA&_md5=124020ab09c4fee6c44075
a000573e4a.
145. I am indebted to Carol K. Winkler of Georgia State
University for this insight.
146. Elizabeth Palmer, “S. Korean Hostage is Killed by Iraqi
Militants,” CBS Evening News, June 22, 2004, available from Lexis-
Nexis Academic, accessed June 24, 2007.
147. Dexter Filkins, “Iraq Tape Shows Decapitation of
American,” New York Times, May 12, 2004, p. A-1, available
from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.
edu/universe/document?_m=0da114b31a377521c8debf8d3b0a3a8e&_
docnum=2&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkVA&_md5=62d7af944b12f7b39b631
3cbfdf3fd5b .
148. Stannard, “Beheading Video Seen as War Tactic.”
149. See, for example, Leonard Pitts, “Because America Should
Know Better,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 15, 2004, p. 17A,
available from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.
lib.unc.edu/universe/document?_m=f14719a71233a8638da7dce03bda
fc8e&_docnum=8&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkVA&_md5=7a3af61693a7b50
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ae2bad00d8fbe23c4. USA Today simply accepted the link between
the two events, covering the release of the videotape as “a bloody
scene that appears to mark the first violent response to U.S. abuse
of Iraqi captives at Baghdad’s Abu (sic) Ghraib prison.” Bill
Nichols, “Video Shows Beheading of American Captive,” USA
Today, May 11, 2004, available from usatoday.com, www.usatoday.
com/news/world/iraq/2004-05-11-iraq-beheading_x.htm.
150. Barry Peterson, “American Civilian Beheaded in
Baghdad,” CBS Morning News, September 21, 2004, available
from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis- nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.
edu/universe/document?_m=be341fb253ab40b1855876329a7ec114&
_docnum=1&wchp=dGLbVtz-zSkVA&_md5=31b04d97d94f03902602
4e6c5db81b5e.
151. Unfortunately, in the superb updating of Hoffman’s
book, much of the case study of the media coverage of TWA 847
has fallen away, presumably because the media environment is
so different today. (After all, that hijacking took place in a world
dominated by three broadcast networks, no cable, no Internet.) All
the same, it is worth tracking down the 1998 edition of the book
for the chapter, “Terrorism, the Media, and Public Opinion,”, pp.
131-155, for a great deal of it remains relevant.
152. Barry Peterson, “Iraqi Kidnappers Allow British
Hostage Kenneth Bigley to Make Videotaped Plea for His
Life,” CBS News, The Early Show, September 23, 2004, available
from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.
unc.eduuniverse/document?_m=e7e67f79005c9342621b4655d1384e
f2&_docnum=8&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkVA&_md5=48487373802ed27c
d06c96545af96487.
153. Ned Colt, “Another American Hostage Beheaded By
Insurgents in Iraq,” NBC Nightly News, September 21, 2004,
available from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.
lib.unc.edu/universe/document?_m=1a3349971e33283505b7358851e7
5bc9&_docnum=5&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkVA&_md5=cea0f35531309ae
b51bc8a0e394f0b8.
154. Dan Rather, “Al-Jazeera Airs Video of Kidnapped Briton
Kenneth Bigley,” CBS Evening News, September 29, 2004, available
from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.
119
edu/universe/document?_m=a5b1f47c49f1f8f028cb06eb8cf01605&
_docnum=3&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkVA&_md5=1347aa597e239de94590
3741113f9a15.
155. Preston Mendenhall, “New Video Emerges of Four
Hostages Held in Iraq,” NBC Nightly News, January 28, 2006,
available from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.
lib.unc.edu/universe/document?_m=f12e1daba2d050b42d51da31893f3
ca6&_docnum=3&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkVA&_md5=a6c448335d154cf9
22d59ea0109a2f2c.
156. Lara Logan, “Kidnapped American Peace Activist Found
Dead in Baghdad,” CBS Evening News, March 11, 2006, available
from Lexis-Nexis Academic, web.lexis-nexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.
edu/universe/document?_m=80c6cb3eb138dd62e8b0a70d80fc836c&_
docnum=2&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkVA&_md5=1921b8660c7a1c681e95a
1a01577a222.
157. It is also important to consider the possibility that there
will be a revisioning of older forms of hostage taking for the
purpose of gaining media attention given the amount of coverage
given the attacks on the Mumbai hotels. See Cori E. Dauber,
“Mumbai Memo,” unpublished manuscript, Carlisle, PA,
November 28, 2008.
158. One of the last Westerners taken hostage, for example,
was Jill Carroll, a freelance reporter for the Christian Science
Monitor when she was kidnapped on January 7, 2006, and held
for 82 days before being released.
159. Carroll’s family appeared when they had a prepared
statement they wished to read—and when they did so, they were
essentially given the air time they wanted, and briefly asked
questions that directly fed the family’s goals; for example, of
using CNN as a platform for sending a message directly to the
kidnappers. See “An Interview with Jill Carroll’s Mother,” CNN
American Morning, January 19, 2006, available from Lexis-Nexis
Academic, www.lexisnexis.com.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/us/lnacademic/
results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T545767876
1&format=GNBFI&sort=BOOLEAN&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKe
y=29_T5457678764&cisb=22_T5457678763&treeMax=true&treeW
idth=0&csi=271063&docNo=10. Some aspects of the media were
120
absent; for example, no satellite trucks were camped out on their
lawn. The distinction in the way they were treated, compared
to the way the families of random kidnap victims (be they truck
drivers, soldiers, or civilian contractors) were treated, was so stark
as to be unavoidable.
160. When Carroll was kidnapped, her identity was
effectively “embargoed,” kept out of press reports, for 48 hours,
at the request of the Monitor. This seems entirely reasonable. (By
the same token, when two Fox News personnel were kidnapped
in Gaza, the story was downplayed at the request of Fox News,
on the theory—apparently correct—that if less was made of the
story, the kidnappers would conclude they had taken men of little
value and eventually release them.) The question is how prepared
the press is to participate in such embargoes when the victims
are not reporters. See Jack Shafer, “The Carroll Kidnapping: What
Information Should Reporters Suppress?” Slate.com, January 10,
2006, available from www.slate.com/id/2134093/.
161. John Dillin, “NBC News President Defends, But Revises,
Terrorism Coverage, Christian Science Monitor, August 5, 1985,
p. 3; Eleanor Randolph, “Networks Turn Eye on Themselves:
In Crisis, Restraint Viewed as Important but Dismissed as
Impossible,” Washington Post, June 30, 1985, p. A-25; America’s
Ordeal by Television: With the Beirut Hostages Free, Videoland
Forgets Oh So Quickly,” Washington Post, July 2, 1985, p. C1. On
a related instance, NBC’s interview of the lead Achille Lauro
hijacker, which they secured on the grounds that they keep his
location secret, see Philip Geyelin, “How to Protect a Terrorist,”
Washington Post, May 19, 1986, p. A-15.
162. Again, in the updating of Hoffman’s book, much of the
case study of TWA 847 has fallen away. But it is worth tracking
down the 1998 edition of the book for the chapter, “Terrorism,
the Media, and Public Opinion,” pp. 131-155, for so much of it
remains relevant.
163. Brigitte L. Nacos, Terrorism and the Media: From the Iran
Hostage Crisis to the Oklahoma City Bombing, New York: Columbia
University Press, 1994 ed., p. 50. She also quotes CBS’s Tom Fenton
as reporting that during the embassy siege in Tehran, reporters
were offered unpublished classified documents from the embassy
in return for 5 minutes of unedited air time.
121
164. Raphael Cohen-Almagor, “Media Acts of Terrorism:
Troubling Episodes and Suggested Guidelines,” Canadian Journal
of Communication, Vol. 30, 2005, pp. 400.
165. It was reported during this time period that the soldiers’
IDs were found. “ID Cards of Missing Soldiers Found,” CNN.
com, June 4, 2007, available from www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/
meast/06/04/missing.soldiers/index.html. I was told about the
discovery of the video by a reporter from a major national media
outlet who covered Iraq extensively and is in a position to have
this information.
166. Hassan M. Fattah, “Militia Rebuked by Some Arab
Countries,” New York Times, July 17, 2006, nytimes.com, available from
www.nytimes.com/2006/07/17/world/middleeast/17arab.html?fta=y.
167. The report was released in the United States (in sections)
by the American Jewish Congress. See Reuven Erlich et al.,
“Hezbollah’s Use of Lebanese Civilian’s as Human Shields:
the Extensive Military Infrastructure Positioned and Hidden
in Populated Areas,” n.p.: Gelilot, Israel: The Intelligence and
Terrorism Center at the Center for Special Studies, November
2006, section 1, available from www.ajcongress.org/site/DocServer/
part1.pdf?docID=701.
168. Greg Myre, “Offering Video, Israel Answers Critics On
War,” New York Times, December 5, 2008, nytimes.com, available
from www.nytimes.com/2006/12/05/world/middleast/05
mideast.html?ex=1322974800&en=b8b25a9e380122ff&ei=5088&p
artner=rssnyt&emc=rss.
169. Go to www.youtube.com/user/idfnadesk, accessed January
2, 2009. Apparently YouTube has removed some of the uploaded
videos, which—given their response to complaints about Islamist
videos, noted above—some commentators are calling a double
standard. See Noah Pollack, “What YouTube Doesn’t Want You to
See,” Contentions.com, posted December 30, 2008, available from
www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/pollak/48462.
170. Noam Cohen, “The Toughest Q’s Answered in the
Briefest Tweets,” New York Times, January 3, 2009, nytimes.com,
122
available from www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/weekinreview/04cohen.
html?ref=weekinreview.
171. More combat footage, however, seems to be posted to the
site Liveleak.com. I have done no numerical analysis, that is simply
this author’s impression.
172. Compare virtually anything posted by American
personnel to Liveleak to, for example, “Ruins of Nineveh in
Mosul,” posted to the MNF-I channel on December 15, 2008, which
doesn’t even have a narration. Available from www.youtube.com/
watch?v=JTforK9Jc1k.
173. Jim Krane, AP, “US Forces Storm Fallujah,” Washington
Times, November 8, 2004, available from www.washingtontimes.
com/world/20041108-125353-3217r.htm.
174. Jim Miklaszewski explicitly reported on November 8,
“At the same time, the US military will be fighting a propaganda
war. As their first target last night, US and Iraqi troops seized
Fallujah’s general hospital to keep the insurgents from inflating
the numbers of civilians killed or wounded.” NBC Nightly News
with Tom Brokaw, NBC News, Lexis Nexis Academic. Interestingly,
there was no suggestion in the report that there might have been a
reason the marines would consider such a possibility, for example,
that prior numbers might have been inflated and erroneously
reported.
175. The ways in which the press suggested that what had
been accomplished in Fallujah was not that important shifted
over the course of the operation. The bottom line was that, since
terrorist attacks continued in other parts of the country, even
appeared to increase in the short term, and since the need to
telegraph the operation to permit civilians to get out of the way
also permitted terrorist leaders to leave, the operation (if not an
out and out failure) was not portrayed as being a complete success,
either. Thus Jamie McIntyre of CNN on November 10: “Mosques,
used by insurgents as command posts, have come under heavy
attack. But with most of Falluja resembling a ghost town, it is now
growing more apparent that along with much of the population,
many of the insurgents fled in advance of the assault. What is
left appears to be a small number of desperate and disorganized
remnants.” Wolf Blitzer Reports, CNN, Lexis Nexis Academic.
123
176. In response to the question, “Do you think the US should
keep military troops in Iraq until a stable government is established
there, or do you think the US should bring its troops home as
soon as possible?” In a Pew Research Center Poll on November
3, 58 percent of the respondents said “keep troops there” and 39
percent said “bring troops home.” However, on the next polling
period beginning on December 19, 63 percent said “keep troops
there,” and only 32 percent said “bring them home” Reprinted in
Pollingreport.com, available from www.pollingreport.com/iraq4.htm.
177. Sean Edwards, Complex Environments: Battle of Fallujah I,
April 2004 (Classified), Charlottesville, VA: U.S. Army National
Ground Intelligence Center, March 31, 2006, pp. 13-14. I quote
only paragraphs marked U, or Unclassified.
178. Edwards, Complex Environments, p. 14.
179. Bacon.
180. Ibid.
181. Ibid.