Saturday, October 28, 2006

Reporters Without Borders Publishes a Fraud. 
Reporters Sans Frontieres has published its fifth annual Worldwide Press Freedom index.

Here's what the RSF has to say about the United States:

The United States (53rd) has fallen nine places since last year, after being in 17th position in the first year of the Index, in 2002. Relations between the media and the Bush administration sharply deteriorated after the president used the pretext of “national security” to regard as suspicious any journalist who questioned his “war on terrorism.” The zeal of federal courts which, unlike those in 33 US states, refuse to recognise the media’s right not to reveal its sources, even threatens journalists whose investigations have no connection at all with terrorism.

Freelance journalist and blogger Josh Wolf was imprisoned when he refused to hand over his video archives. Sudanese cameraman Sami al-Haj, who works for the pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera, has been held without trial since June 2002 at the US military base at Guantanamo, and Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein has been held by US authorities in Iraq since April this year.

This survey is frigging stupid. The people who put it together are a bunch of intellectually dishonest dupes.

Ranking Tonga alongside the United States is patently absurd. There is no freedom of the Press in Tonga. None. Not by statute, not by constitution, not by case law, and not in fact. Indeed, the government of Tonga has repeatedly seized the largest Tonga newspaper. The ranking is false on its face.

Secondly the idiots specifically mention Bilal Hussein - who was captured at an Al Qaeda safehouse, hanging out with an Al Qaeda leader, and personally tested positive for explosives. They also specifically mentioned Josh Wolf, who is in prison not for anything he's published, but for covering up a federal crime (a self-professed anarchist, he taped people sliding a burning mattress under a police car. He is under a court order to produce the tape in order to assist with the investigation. He refused. The government isn't censoring him. HE'S censoring his content, in order to protect criminals.)

Next, the RSF claims that relations between the press and the White House "sharply deteriorated after the president used the pretext of “national security” to regard as suspicious any journalist who questioned his “war on terrorism.”" That could be. But RSF produces not a single instance to bolster its case. Furthermore, somehow, Helen Thomas still gets a front row seat at White House press conferences. No journalist has a right to be above suspicion - and even if the RSF could demonstrate its asinine assertion, that still wouldn't do anything to demonstrate a lack of press freedom. Unless, of course, American reporters are a bunch of idiots and cowards. That I might stipulate to, come to think of it.

[quote]The zeal of federal courts which, unlike those in 33 US states, refuse to recognise the media’s right not to reveal its sources[/quote]

RSF is as ignorant as they are stupid. There is no such right for the courts to recognize, under Federal law. The courts must uphold the law as written. They cannot invent freedoms just because it makes RSF happy. There is a statutory protection in 33 states. State judges must recognize the protection. Federal judges, by law, cannot, unless Congress passes a law creating that protection.

In the meantime, the public has a right to public safety, and part of that means the right to enable their prosecutors arrest people who slide burning mattresses under police cars, committing the crime of arson, and depending on the circumstances, attempted homicide. Even in first amendment cases, courts have frequently limited freedom of expression in light of a compelling public interest. RSF, of course, has the legal sophistication and reasoning ability of an 8th grader. There's a reason newspapers are written at that level, anyway.

RSF mentions Sami Al Haj by name, saying that he was a reporter for Al Jazeera, which was true at the time of his most recent arrest.

Funny. RSF fails to mention that Al Haj also had a career prior to working for Al Qaeda, and Al Haj had been detained on numerous other occasions:

# The detainee worked as an executive secretary for Abdul Al-Latif Al-Imran, general manager for the Union Beverage Company (UBC). The Union Beverage Company has been associated with Bosnian/Chechen mujahid.
# The detainee traveled to Azerbaijan at least eight times to courier money to the Al-Haramayn non-governmental organization (NGO) on behalf of his boss, Abd Al-Latif Omran.
# Al-Haramayn has been designated under Executive Order 13224 as an organization that has provided support to terrorist organizations.
# During the winter of 1997, the detainee delivered $7,000 USD to Al-Haramayn.
# During the winter of 1998, the detainee visited Al-Haramayn’s summer camp, and delivered $13,000 USD to Al-Haramayn.
# During November 1999, the detainee delivered $12,000 USD to Munir Al-Barguoni for a new factory in Azerbaijan; he also delivered $100,000 USD to Jamal, the Director of Al-Haramayn.
# The detainee wwas detained in Azerbaijan for the transport of $220,000 USD. The money was destined for Chechen rebels and not for humanitarian support as the detainee was told.
# After serving as the Al-Haramayn Director in Baku, Azerbaijan from 1997 to January 2000, Jiman Mohammed Alawi Al Muraai, aka Abu Wafa, took a job operating the Wafa offices in Karachi, Pakistan.
# Al Wafa has been designated under Executive Order 13224 as an organization that has provided support to terrorist organizations.
# While working at the Union Beverage Company, the detainee met Mamdouh Mahmoud Salem. Mamdouh Mahmoud Salem Abu Hajir was arrested in Germany in September 1998 and extradited to the United States. He was a senior al Qaeda lieutenant and Bin Laden’s deputy in Sudan.
# The detainee founded a company on 20 May 1999 in Azerbaijan named “SAMICO Services.”
# SAMICO documents were found during a raid of locations occupied by suspected extremists affiliated with Muhammad Rabi’a Abdul Halim Sha’ib (an Egyptian extremist).
# To register a company in Azerbaijan, authorities required that a registree have a registered business in another country. Because the detainee did not have a registered company elsewhere, he used falsified documents to register his company.
# According to the detainee, the falsified documents showed him as a co-owner of Rumat International.
# According to a Foreign Government Service, the detainee and Mamduh Muhammad Salim Ahmad, aka Abu Mu’izz, are both affiliated with Rumat International.
# Ahmed was subsequently arrested on suspicion of participating in the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
# While in Azerbaijan, the detainee came into contact with Ashraf, who ran the juice distribution business for the Union Beverage Company in Azerbaijan.
# Between 1994-1998, Ashraf Abdulrahim Ayub worked for the Kuwaiti Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), a non-governmental organization.
# The Revival of Islamic Heritage Society has been identified under Executive Order 13224 as a terrorist affiliated organization.
# As of late March 2003, a foreign government was investigating Ashraf for possible ties to terrorism.
# On 4 January 2000, the detainee attempted to reenter Azerbaijan, but was detained and then deported from the country.
# The deportation was due to his alleged activities supporting Chechen rebels.
# In March or April 2000, the detainee left the Union Beverage Company and went to work for Al-Jazeera in Doha, Qatar.

The credulous losers at RSF don't want you to know that, though. They leave it out.

It's hard to imagine what that has to do with press freedom, at any rate. He was detained not for being a reporter, but for being a terrorist mule and financier. The fact that he was an Al Jazeera employee is incidental. The RSF conceals his lengthy backround and extensive terrorist ties from its readers.

Funny, that.

No, this "study" doesn't stand up to a moment's examination, and even a few minutes worth of research has the whole lie collapsing like a house of cards.

But then again, some people will believe anything as long as the U.S. looks bad.

Watch for the self-congratulatory idiots in the MSM breathlessly report the survey as though the RSF were a credible organization, without even the cursory research I was able to muster here in a few minutes.

Splash, out


Reporters Without Borders, meet Reporters Without Ethical Standards. They're just over there, in that mirror.
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