A ‘Day’ of Intel

One of my duties at Antiwar.com is to find news links for our readers. As you can imagine, it can get pretty tedious reading the same basic story across the different news agencies, but occasionally I am rewarded with a real gem for my troubles. Yesterday, tucked away deep inside an article in The Jerusalem Post was a tiny mention that an estimated one-third of the dead in yesterday’s IAF air strikes were civilians.

Although I imagined there had to be great “collateral damage” during the assault, there were two things that struck me about the mention. First, it was in an article lauding the “year of intel” that went into the operation. Second, it was in The Jerusalem Post. Here was an article — in an Israeli newspaper — admitting there were great civilian losses during an operation that took a year to plan! I couldn’t believe the juxtaposition.

I made mention of it to a couple of co-workers and then changed our link headline to stress that information. It was so odd that I thought it must have just snuck past an editor during yesterday’s chaotic reporting. So on a whim this morning I decide to see if an editor had gotten around to “fixing” it. Sure enough, now the civilian casualties are down to only “15” deaths in the article. Thankfully, The Mercury News saw fit to quote Palestinian Health Ministry official, Moaiya Hassanain, on that same estimate and hasn’t “fixed” their article. At least, not yet.