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By: Kim Ives
About a week ago, an IPS story reported that Amnesty International called for the release of Ronald Dauphin and described his continued detention as "politically motivated".
In response, Elizabeth Roebling accused IPS of becoming an "outlet for spin" and directed members of the corbett list to a bitter response on Michael Deibert's blog. Deibert is the author of "Notes from the Last Testament," an account of President Aristide's second term, which was cut short by the February 29, 2004 coup.
Normally, I wouldn't bother responding to a mere political difference. But Deibert makes several personal attacks on the IPS piece's authors Wadner Pierre and Jeb Sprague that warrant correction.
Deibert's allegations are irrelevant to the accuracy of the IPS article. Readers can check the facts reported (most importantly, Amnesty's appeal on Dauphin's behalf ). Good journalism, like good scholarship, relies to the greatest extent possible on sources that readers can check.
Deibert wrote that Sprague "...works as a teaching assistant at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Sociology Department, focusing on crime and delinquency, subjects with which his past behavior [sic] no doubt gives him a close familiarity."
This is a baseless ad hominem attack. Sprague's PhD studies are not focused on crime and delinquency, and, if they were, would not justify Deibert's nasty insinuation. Furthermore, teaching assistant duties are not the same thing as a graduate student's area of study, and, much less, evidence of a criminal background.
The two part photo essay about recent arrests and spin by MINUSTAH is now online at Haitianalysis.com As the title of this blog entry suggests, the title of the photo essay is "Brutalized and Abandoned." The photo essay addresses mass arrests, lies about social services in Cité Soleil and the demands of the victims of MINUSTAH.
The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.