Agencia EFE (Spanish news agency)

Agencia EFE is the Spanish national news agency that was involved in this 2006 smear, one that they later retracted.

Last modified Jun 15, 2009
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Central American countries to present own immigration "reform" plan to U.S.; praise for Gutierrez scheme - 12/22/09

According to EFE (univision.com/contentroot/wirefeeds/inmi/8105754.shtml), next year a group of Central American countries will be presenting their own comprehensive immigration reform plan to the U.S.; the group is trying to get the Mexican government involved too.

Harry Reid says there are enough Senate votes for immigration "reform"; offers deportation false choice - 06/15/09

Maria Pena of EFE - the Spanish news agency behind a 2006 smear - offers "Senate Leader Says Immigration Reform Possible This Year" [1]:

He added that although (comprehensive immigration reform) does not have the backing of all Democrats, the bill will overcome the obstacles that stymied the failed 2007 reform.

The majority leader said he has "no doubt" he could find as many as a dozen Republicans who support the measure to make up for defections in Democratic ranks.

"We can't deport 11 million undocumented people, we can't do it physically and financially, as some would want," Reid said. "Immigration is the strength of our country, we bring waves of people to our country who excel in education and the workforce, and that's good."

"We should bring them out of the shadows so that when someone goes to buy milk for their child they're not subject to arrest. Let's clean the slate, let's have a new immigration program that protects our northern and southern borders, a program that brings (these) people out of shadows and makes them more productive," the senator said.

He said people with criminal records would be excluded and that undocumented migrants benefiting from the initiative would have to pay fines, learn English and be up to date in their tax payments.

It's important to note that he might just be thinking "politically": he realizes how difficult amnesty would be, he just wants some Republicans to alienate their base at the same time as, after failing to get all the votes he needs, he's able to alienate the Republican Party from Hispanics who support amnesty.

And, for a discussion of how he's being misleading, see the "comprehensive" link above as well as secure the border and deportations false choice.

[1] hispanicbusiness.com/politics/2009/6/11/

EFE admits Goldwater "concentration camps" smear - 06/28/06

Spanish news agency EFE has apologized for its smear of Arizona gubanatorial candidate Don Goldwater. It said he wanted to hold illegal aliens in "concentration camps". Now they say:
EFE Executive Vice President Emillio Sanchez said a freelance writer for the news agency inaccurately described Goldwater's plan.

"Upon further reflection, our investigation has determined that your plan to house illegal prisoners in a tent city is consistent with accepted practices for nonviolent American prisoners in your area," Sanchez said in the letter released Tuesday by Goldwater's campaign.

The letter also acknowledged that the freelance reporter never interviewed Goldwater or any of his staff for the story.
Of course, on June 23 I pointed out that that claim was simply a smear and that the characterization of the camps was coming from the reporter and not from Goldwater.

To help the reader with determining who's credible and who's not, let's take a look at who helped promulgate the smear.

* EFE, of course

* the AP rewrote the EFE story. Much more weight was given to the reporter's characterization than to the note that it was simply a characterization and not a quote. And, considering the weight of the charge, that was not enough.

* Unfortunately, Br'er Drudge posted the smear in red type, without bothering to do a little bit of research.

* All the various papers that printed the AP article, some of which have control over which AP articles they print.

* Jim Kolbe and John McCain, who tripped over themselves to condemn Goldwater

Now, we get to the small-time smearers:

* Dave Weigel at Reason Magazine with "In Your Heart, You Know He's Batshit Insane": How much of this has been hyped by the "Mexican news service"? Apparently not much; Goldwater has said the same thing before. (reason.com/hitandrun/2006/06/in_your_heart_y_1.shtml)

* "Joe in DC" at AmericaBlog: "GOPer proposes forced labor camps for illegal immigrants": Those right wingers...they're thinking has really evolved, hasn't it? Always looking for the solution. (americablog.blogspot.com/2006/06/ goper-proposes-forced-labor-camps-for.html)

* An unnamed contributor to TruthDig hedges a bit, but doesn't bother digging for the truth. (truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/ 20060624_goldwater_jr_calls_for_forced_immigrant_labor_camps)

* AZCongressWatch reprints the article but provides little hedging or analysis. Based on its past entries the reason why is clear.

* Buffalo Pundit offers a report subtitled "El Trabajo Libera" (translation of Arbeit macht frei).

* alabamian.net uses the same phrase.

* Badattitudes' hedging falls a little short: "True, Goldwater is claiming he was quoted out of context, that he was talking about work programs for convicted felons. But he's apparently expressed such sentiments more than once... ...How does this talk of the US melting pot being polluted by immigrants differ from the ideas of the Nazis?"

* And, Man Eegee printed both the original smear and the retraction, but is unapologetic.

You can find various other blogs discussing this - before and after - with this search.

And, note that Goldwater's claim that illegal aliens are "polluting" the "Arizona desert" are based on things like this. Even the Los Angeles Times has noticed:
At Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, 2 1/2 million pounds of garbage [left by illegal border crossers] is scattered through broad valleys and desert arroyos every year
UPDATE: Showing his true sleazy, no-class nature, John McCain is refusing to back down:
"It is critically important that we improve the security of our borders and that we treat people humanely in the process, which I don't believe Mr. Goldwater's proposal, however he characterizes it, does," McCain said in a statement.

Goldwater, the nephew of former Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, advocates detaining illegal border-crossers in tent-style jails and using them to help build a wall along the state's border with Mexico. The labor would be voluntary, he said, and modeled after work programs and tent-city jails run by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

"This is not an idea that's new," Goldwater said Tuesday. "All we're doing is taking a page out of Sheriff Arpaio's book."
McCain might be supporting EFE's false charge because of a true charge made against him:
In April, Goldwater penned a letter that appeared in The Arizona Republic in which he was critical of the path of immigration reform in Washington, D.C. He asked voters to "send a strong message to President Bush, McCain and Congressmen Jeff Flake and Rick Renzi that we are not going to accept their selling (out) of America."

Days later, Goldwater issued a clarification in which he took back the "selling out" remark, especially with reference to Renzi.
Jim Kolbe is also refusing to back down.

Don Goldwater's "concentration camps": a setup by illegal immigration supporters - 06/23/06

Arizona gubanatorial candidate Don Goldwater has received well-deserved condemnation of his calls for "concentration camps" for illegal aliens from such stalwart Americans as John McCain (R-AZ) and Jim Kolbe (R-AZ).

However, there's just one problem: Goldwater didn't call for "concentration camps"; that phrase came from the state-run Spanish news agency EFE when reporting on his comments.

The original article is at efe.es/includesasp/noticias.asp?opcion=4&id=1225615. Their report reads like something from a tabloid TV show that engages in highly selective editing:

Proponen campos de concentracion para inmigrantes indocumentados
Phoenix (Arizona), 21 jun (EFE).- El aspirante republicano a la gobernacion de Arizona, Don Goldwater, propuso el establecimiento de campos de concentracion para inmigrantes indocumentados cerca de la frontera, a quienes se les obligaría a construir el muro fronterizo.
Goldwater afirmo recientemente que su intencion es detener a los indocumentados en campos de concentracion para usarlos "como mano de obra en la construccion de un muro y limpiar las areas del desierto de Arizona que ensucian a su paso..."

There isn't much more to it. Specifically, there are no damning quotes such as one might expect to find from an article that leads with the "concentration camps" claim.

In fact, the sharp-eyed reader of the AP write-up is given a bit of a clue:

The article described Goldwater's plan as a "concentration camp" for migrants.

If I describe the AP as a Communist organization, does that make it true?

This appears to be a case of EFE playing fast and loose with their journalistic credibility, and supporters of illegal immigration such as the AP, McCain, Kolbe, and the WaPo are eager to jump on board.