On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly called prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib “pathetic,” “awful,” and said "[n]o one should justify that, ever," then added, “But nobody died.” In fact, at least one detainee reportedly died at Abu Ghraib during an interrogation by CIA personnel.
On the July 24 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, after stating that prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib was “pathetic,” “awful,” and "[n]o one should justify that, ever," O'Reilly falsely claimed, “But nobody died.” In fact, as Media Matters for America has previously noted, at least one detainee reportedly died at Abu Ghraib during an interrogation by CIA personnel on November 4, 2003. The Pentagon labeled Manadel al-Jamadi's death a “homicide,” indicating that it was not the result of natural causes.
The death of Jamadi at Abu Ghraib received widespread attention in the U.S. media following the publication of photographs depicting U.S. personnel at the facility posing and giving a thumbs-up over Jamadi's corpse. For instance, The New York Times reported on October 23, 2005, that “Mr. Jamadi's death was among the most notorious of the incidents at Abu Ghraib that became public in the spring of 2004, in part because his body was photographed wrapped in plastic and packed in ice. He died after being beaten by commandos of the Navy Seals who struck him in the head with rifle butts and then turned him over to C.I.A. interrogators at Abu Ghraib.”
Following O'Reilly's incorrect assertion that nobody died at Abu Ghraib, he stated: “So the coverage was way out of proportion to what happened there. But of course, the left-wing media, this is what they're gonna do.”
From the July 24 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: Now, in every theater in World War II, Americans slapped around the enemy and did even worse to the enemy, OK? For a variety of reasons -- some was revenge, some was information. And -- and look, if you don't believe that in every single war in history things have happened that weren't right, then you're crazy. You don't know anything. But what the media's done here in the United States in the war on terror is every single mistake the United States has made has been amplified, like Abu Ghraib, into an enormous story.
Now, Abu Ghraib was pathetic. It was awful. No one should justify that, ever. But nobody died. OK? So the coverage was way out of proportion to what happened there. But of course, the left-wing media, this is what they're gonna do. But again, the folks aren't buying it. You know the folks are not buying it. Dave Letterman's buying it, but the folks are not.