Published on Monday, May 11, 2009 by CommonDreams.org
60 Minutes Bombs on Drone Story
Peace Action Claims Military Bias in 60 Minutes Predator Story
I usually enjoy 60 Minutes and expect some decently produced segments. Who doesn't love Andy Rooney? "America's New Air Force " is the worst story by 60 Minutes that I have every seen. It's more military propaganda and a commercial for the contractors of the Predator drone, than investigative journalism. How did 60 Minutes get so hoodwinked?
How do you do 13-minute story interviewing the Pentagon, without interviewing one critic? What about talking with NGOs on the ground in
Instead, there is zero facts on civilian deaths and suffering . There are dozens of facts, and figures about the technical and cost specifications, but not one figure about how many lives cost or saved from these missions. Lara Logan doesn't seem to realize that she is no longer an "embedded journalist." While I'm sure it is exciting to get special access to secret technology, that does not make an investigative journalist. Anyone can report statistics fed to him or her by the military or military contractors. Isn't it the job of 60 Minutes to rise above and think about the larger meta issues?
The military uses the secrecy frame to entice reporters to get the inside scoop. Real reporting is questioning why are air strikes and Predator strikes classified in the first place. Why do only a limited handful of members of congress and staff get briefed? Where are the non-classified reports on the efficacy of air and drone strikes? Why hasn't the Government Accountability Office looked into these missions?
A counterinsurgency expert and former advisor to Gen. David Petraeus, Dr. David Kilcullen, claimed
If we want to strengthen our friends and weaken our enemies in
Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson, a retired United States Army Colonel and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell went further by saying the U.S. should halt all Air and Predator drone strikes. Of course,
I'm no journalist, but I can think of some interesting and important questions:
Why do you believe these tactics are worth the civilian deaths, trauma and loss of the hearts and minds of Afghans? Are we really getting rid of more terrorists than we are creating? What are the metrics that show the success of these missions and that they are making Americans safer? What are the precautions the
60 Minutes needs to provide balance with another 13-minute story partly ‘embedded' with NGOs on the ground in Afghanistan, partly talking to some critical experts and partly finding out why congress is not playing it's role of a check and balance to the Pentagon.
Please take a moment to call, write and post a comment to 60 Minutes and ask for better journalism.
60 Minutes - CBS News Network
Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for the
You can watch and comment  about the 60 Minutes segment here: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5004882n
You can sign a petition for better Afghanistan policy here .
Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action’s (formerly SANE/Freeze) political director, works with their 100,000 paid members and 100 chapters to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights, and support nonmilitary solutions to the conflicts with Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. http://www.Peace-Action.org
Donations can be sent to the
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs