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Bush Speaks With Forked Tongue Concerning War . . Torture

By James Donahue

All of the television media stations carried the story. On Oct. 5 we saw a blinking President George W. Bush, leaning back in his chair and assuring America that "this government does not torture people."

There was something about those blinking eyes . . . eyes that found it hard to look directly into the lenses of the cameras recording his message . . . that caused us to wonder if Mr. Bush was being straight with us. Did he know something he wasn't talking about?

Indeed, a gang of our soldiers in Afghanistan was involved in some serious torture of an innocent Iranian media reporter even as Bush was assuring us that our troops don't resort to such tactics.

The American media didn't mention it, but the Iranian press has been carrying major stories all week about Fayez Khurshid, a Press TV correspondent working in Afghanistan, who was seized by U.S. troops while returning from an assignment and tortured before he was released some 18 hours later.

Khurshid said the officers slammed him with a taser until he was unconscious, then took him to a US base where he was interrogated. He said he was forced to watch his own television news reports while being shocked on an electric chair and he was being beaten on the head.

The reporter said he was warned that if he continued to work for Press TV his family would also be seized and tortured.

The incident has sparked a storm of protests all across the Iranian nation where sentiment has been running high after months of bombing threats by the Bush Administration. Last week Bush and then Congress approved legislation designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a sanctioned wing of the Iranian military, as a "foreign terrorist organization." Some fear the action has given Bush the green light to bomb Iran and launch yet a third war in that region.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini said what happened to Khurshid was "an inhuman act."

He said that "contradictory to its claims, the US does not believe in freedom of information and coverage of facts. Through their investments, the US has tried to distort news to pursue its illegitimate goals. Consequently the reporters who work for independent media are viewed as a major challenge to the US media policies."

Press TV's Newsroom Director Saeed Tahami condemned the incident accusing the US military of attempting to control the news reports coming out of the Middle East wars.

"The US cannot stand the broadcasting of honest news and real stories about Iraq and Afghanistan, therefore, it mistreats independent journalists," Tahami said.

Indeed, Tahami's story, from the pen of a man who makes his living reporting the world as he observes it, paints President Bush as a bald-faced liar. That he couldn't stop blinking during his Friday interview may have given him away.

Even more troublesome is that Mr. Bush also said at about this same time that reports of a plan to launch an aerial bombing campaign against Iran sometime in January or February are false rumors. He said he has no plans to attack Iran, although he added that old and ominous phrase used just before he sent forces into Iraq: "all options are on the table."