Did Rumsfeld ban picture phones in Iraqi prisons?

Looks like a hoax to me.

This item is, perhaps, too good to be true:

Washington, DC, May. 23 (UPI) — U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has banned cellphones equipped with cameras throughout the military, an Australian newspaper reported Sunday.

The Business newspaper said a Pentagon source said the Defense Department believes some of the photographs taken within the Abu Ghraib prison of abuses were taken with cameraphones.

For now digital cameras, camcorders and cellphones with cameras have been prohibited in military compounds throughout Iraq but a complete ban throughout the military is in the works, the report said.

As Andrew Leyden, commenting at SmartMobs, notes, the story is virtually identical to something that ran two days ago in The Daily Farce.

Now I wouldn’t put it past Don Rumsfeld to do something in real life stupid enough to have been a satirist’s fantasy. Much of my morning newspaper seems to be taken from The Onion. (C’mon, you don’t think that Chalabi stuff actually happened, do you?)

On the other hand, I never heard of a newspaper called The Business and can’t find any reference to it on line. The UPI story above (carried in the Washington Times) identifies The Business as an Australian newspaper. But the AFP story in the Sydney Morning Herald thinks The Business is British. And somehow no one has a link to the original story reported in The Business. [Update: A reader points out that there’s a Scottish daily called Business AM with a Sunday edition called Sunday Business, neither of which has a website.]

Personally, I think a very sharp hoaxer has given the world’s wire services and newspapers The Business.

I’d be laughing harder if I weren’t so frustrated by my inability to figure out what happened at the famous “wedding party” (unless it was a smugglers’ meeting, or perhaps the wedding of a smuggler’s daughter) on the Iraqi-Syrian border. With an Administration devoted to lying, and a mass media incapable of telling truth from bullsh!t, we’re sort of flying blind here.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

One thought on “Did Rumsfeld ban picture phones in Iraqi prisons?”

Comments are closed.