Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman did an excellent interview last week with David Barstow, a New York Times reporter who recently won the Pulitzer prize for his April, 2008 story about Rumfeld’s “Force Multiplying” generals sent on combat missions to America TV news studios to lie us into war (and all the giant piles of cash money they made selling military hardware). In the interview Barstow discusses his story, the recently repudiated Pentagon Inspector General report which denied his claims and the TV networks’ continued blackout on his story.
Two senior British judges accused the U.S. of threatening to stop sharing intelligence with Britain if the British Government released details of the extraordinary rendition of British citizen, Binyam Mohamed.
Perhaps this explains it:
So, while a few die hard “24” fans — and Alberto Gonzales, and Michael Mukasey — might still claim confusion about waterboarding being torture, nearly everyone else would agree that having your penis sliced with razors once a month IS torture.
According to the close-the-barn-door-late theory, should official confirmation of this behavior escape the U.S. establishment cone of silence, it would be a PR disaster. That, not the perennial whine of “National Security,” is the source of the pressure the British Judges felt.
There is a lot of smoke around the L.A. Times article suggesting Barak Obama’s Executive Order ending extraordinary renditions was bogus.
But even if Mr. Obama did end the extraordinary brand of renditions, according to a Democracy Now! interview with Michael Rattner of The Center for Constitutional Rights, there is still a hole big enough to drive tour busses full of victims into the Gulag.
Will this be another big disappointment like Mr. Obama’s plans to double the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan — and his authorization of Predator drone strikes on the tribal people of Pakistan? And will we meet other Binyam Mohameds in the future, this time created by the Obama Administration?
Fellow Brooklynite Javed Iqbal, 45, today plead guilty to broadcasting Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV programming to US customers. The charge is “providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.”
Eric brought this news item to my attention and asked if I wanted to blog about it.
“Not really. What should I add?”
“Add your outrage.”
I paused and thought about it. “But I’m not outraged right now.”
And that got me to thinking — why AREN’T I outraged? Is it that I am so used to this Administration jailing people for absurd and frivolous reasons? Am I now merely bored by the thought of the government spying on American citizens on the basis of nebulous and unlikely threats of terror? Has it become so “whatever” to hear of someone denied an explicit constitutional right because it might help the propaganda arm of an organization our government has declared a terrorist organization but which is not by all legitimate and objective standards a terrorist organization?
The last time I checked, the only time Hezbollah lifted a finger to physically harm Americans was when the latter were occupying Lebanon — and even then, it’s not proven. Israel might consider Hezbollah to be terrorists for daring to challenge the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, but as I live in the United States, I don’t care much to live by the warped standards of Israeli justice.
This was not shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Al-Manar may broadcast distasteful programs, but it doesn’t incite its viewers to commit violence. This case IS an outrage and should outrage anyone who prefers liberty over security — not that anyone is more secure by Iqbal’s certain conviction.
Broadcasting Al-Manar should not be considered a crime in the United States, where the law of the land explicitly declares that it is the exact opposite: the protected activity of expression.