Friday, September 16, 2005

The Committee to Protect Journalists says the U.S. military kills journalists and doesn’t do much about finding out why it does so.

Read the Reuters report here:

The military, according to the group, has killed 13 journalists since the whole nefarious Bush-inspired affair began in March 2003.

In case you glossed over that date, the war is two-and-one-half years old now folks, with no end in sight.

the scribe was talking about this back in March when highwayscribery was first launched. The concern here was over the death of Spanish Journalist Jose Couzo who, by all accounts (and the people doing the accounting were other reporters), was victim of an intentional tank-firing into a hotel the army knew was filled with journalists ("A Dangerous Place" March 22).

Anyway, the Committee to Protect Journalists Executive Director Ann Cooper says, "the military has conducted full investigations into only a handful of incidents and made public its reports on just two of them."

That’s not a big surprise.

One of the few advantages to getting older is that one can remember things an increasingly larger portion of the population cannot. It’s worth the oh-so-ageless scribe to date himself just a bit to note that he remembers when people on the right, and the military in particular, blamed the loss of Vietnam on "the media."

Much the same way they are blaming Bush’s sinking presidency on the fourth estate.

The "enemy" in Iraq, and other places, has no use for the media and there’s no reason to suspect our military feels any differently. The only thing to prevent them from taking aim and firing at reporters and cameramen is our nation’s long-held belief in the value of these same people to protect the integrity of our mission as a nation: freedom.

But the Bush administration doesn’t believe that and if they don’t want to bring the military to heel, who the hell can? ("A Watchdog, Not a Lapdog," Aug. 30)

"Oh scribe, spare us your hippy mumbo-jumbo will you?"

Sure, as soon as the scribe finishes up by reporting on the plight of CBS cameraman

Abdu Amier Younes Hussein, who is definitely sporting the wrong name in the wrong times.

You can read about it by clicking this link:

But here are the particulars.

Hussein went to check out a car bombing in Mosul (first mistake, since such things diverge from the administration’s happy-face approach to what’s going on in Iraq) and got shot for his troubles.

The military said it was very sorry for shooting Hussein and then detained him for "alleged insurgent activity."

That would be fine if we did not know the narrow guidelines by which the Bush administration applies the terms "insurgent" or "enemy combatant."

Apply the Ann Coulter standard that anybody who pipes up against what we’re doing over there is merely providing aid and succor to the enemy, and the scribe, who posts regular ripostes against this miserable government, could easily be labeled the same.

"Oh, c’mon scribe. That’s your looney-lefty paranoia."

Sure it is.

What happened next is that having been lumped in with "the evil doers" who "hate freedom," Hussein has not been able to meet his lawyer or family.

That’s THE WAR ON TERROR and the Patriot Act at play. Those two things, one phone call home and the rights to chat with an attorney and get a judge to immediately explain what the hell it is you’re doing in jail, make us what we think we are: a free country.

Eliminate them and you’re no better than the Taliban, Baby Doc Duvalier, Fidel Castro, Francisco Franco, Augusto Pinochet...

If the scribe gets picked up, unnecessarily labeled an "enemy combatant," how does he clear his good name if he can’t ask the judge what a totally cool guy like him is doing in jail, or get Mrs. Scribe to go through his papers which would, undoubtedly, establish him as a pedigreed democrat in both principle and heart?

CBS, which is no small-fry, can’t get this guy out despite having spent tens of thousands of dollars to do so. And if they can’t get him out, who the hell can?

We’re fair and balanced here at highwayscribery.

You decide.

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