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Sharp Rise In Jailing of Online Journalists; Iran May Just Kill Them

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the your-ethics-may-vary dept.

Censorship 233

bckspc writes "The Committee to Protect Journalists has published their annual census of journalists in prison. Of the 136 reporters in prison around the world on December 1, 'At least 68 bloggers, Web-based reporters, and online editors are imprisoned, constituting half of all journalists now in jail.' Print was next with 51 cases. Also, 'Freelancers now make up nearly 45 percent of all journalists jailed worldwide, a dramatic recent increase that reflects the evolution of the global news business.' China, Iran, Cuba, Eritrea, and Burma were the top 5 jailers of journalists." rmdstudio writes, too, with word that after the last few days' protest there, largely organized online, the government of Iran is considering the death penalty for bloggers and webmasters whose reports offend it.

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233 comments

Here's a thought (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364764)

One good step towards making imprisonment and mistreatment of journalists a big international no-no would be for all the major countries to openly ban their intelligence agencies (the CIA, MI6, etc.) from using operatives posing as journalists, or hiring journalists for intelligence gathering purposes. One of the arguments a lot of these oppressive governments use when they imprison journalists is that these journalists are actually spies. And in at least some cases, they probably actually ARE spies (particularly with freelancers and bloggers with no connection to reputable news organizations). It would be nice if we could at least have the CIA come out openly and bluntly and say to the world community "We don't do this, under any circumstances" the next time some petty tyrant claims that the journalists he's caught are working for the CIA. As it is, anyone wandering into a foreign country and asking questions, journalist or not, is going to be wearing a big target on their chest that says "Possible intelligence operative." The tyrant wouldn't care if we denied it, but it would do a lot to encourage the world community to go to bat for more journalists if they had some sort of assurance that the sanctions they were imposing were on behalf of actual legitimate journalists, not James Bond wannabes with fake press credentials.

Re:Here's a thought (5, Insightful)

Kugala (1083127) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364780)

But what better cover for a spy than a profession that cannot be used as cover for spies?

Re:Here's a thought (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365752)

Haha, see, you can't "reason" when deception is your business.

There is a WELL RESEARCHED Allegation! (1, Flamebait)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365768)

Gee. I love the sourcing on the link about planned executions.

Maybe the US should just bomb and invade? It has worked so well, elsewhere.

Re:Here's a thought (2, Insightful)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364820)

"We don't do this, under any circumstances"

And we would believe them

Because they said the same thing about spying on Americans.
Or torture.
Shall we go on?

Re:Here's a thought (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365028)

With the CYA attitude of the government, they usually avoid out-and-out lying. The way they generally lie is to put in qualifiers in their statements and play with definitions (i.e. "We don't torture" can be true if you don't define waterboarding and other such practices as torture, and have some helpful Justice Dept. memos to back you up). The CIA, when asked about journalists, usually just says something vague like "Our operatives don't pose as journalists." What is needed is a much more thorough and unequivocal statement that doesn't allow as much wiggle room, i.e. "Our operatives don't pose as journalists. Nor do they pose as anyone claiming to be journalists or reporters. Nor do we hire journalists or reporters--either directly or through third parties. Nor do we encourage or condone allies to engage in any such practices."

Re:Here's a thought (2, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365460)

And even if the CIA said all that, and actually meant it... Iran's government wouldn't believe it, or they'd believe the journalists were spies for someone else (e.g. Israel), or they wouldn't care whether it was true or not because it was just an excuse to kill annoying journalists anyway.

Re:Here's a thought (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366128)

If the CIA came out and made such a strong statement like that, every intelligence agency in the world would hear "Our operatives are working for CNN and are in your country." It would be a bloodbath.

Re:Here's a thought (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364852)

and ditto for (doctors and nurses working for) the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières perhaps?

Re:Here's a thought (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365380)

I don't know about spies, but isn't it a war crime for troops to pose and Red Cross?

Re:Here's a thought (2, Insightful)

Avtuunaaja (1249076) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365918)

Yes, but it doesn't really matter to spies because just being a spy is a war crime. Spies that get caught get executed anyway, so what's a little more?

Re:Here's a thought (2, Insightful)

dnwq (910646) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364926)

You can ban it, but who would believe you? There's no way for the CIA to show that it isn't spying even if it really wasn't.

Allah U Akhbar ! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364986)

Our Allah is great !

And we will kill all those who oppose us, including those anti-Allah journalists !!

Allah U Akhbar !!

Re:Here's a thought (4, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365082)

We’ll do that just as soon as Muslim terrorists stop hiding in hospitals and mosques.

Journalists, or Bloggers? (0, Troll)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365354)

If I'm an Iranian and I make $0.30 a month from Google AdSense on my blog which reviews the latest Xbox games, and I use the release of Assassin's Creed II to launch into a bourbon and chocolate ice cream-fueled rant against everything Persian, and I'm arrested, am I an unjustly incarcerated journalist, or another idiot with too much time on his hands who doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut?

It's one of those fine points, I'm just asking...

Re:Journalists, or Bloggers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30365876)

Iranian Judge: You are a Muslim and you admit to drinking bourbon? -- Execute him!

Re:Here's a thought (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365394)

Not only would they not believe it; but, by some definitions (taking a dictatorial point of view) anyone who makes public information (read as publishes stories) or provides information to foreign governments (read as publishes stories in foreign country), contrary to the official line, or which makes available information which has been suppressed for "security" reasons, is committing espionage.

Re:Here's a thought (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365478)

And in at least some cases, they probably actually ARE spies (particularly with freelancers and bloggers with no connection to reputable news organizations).

Spies are supposed to be inconspicuous and do their best not to draw attention to themselves. If your job is to rile up the public against the government, you might risk being a blogger. If your job is to, well, spy, you'd stay as far away from publicity as you can.

Re:Here's a thought (1)

Avtuunaaja (1249076) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365960)

Actually, there's a time-honored tradition of spies posing as journalists. Because it gives them an excuse to be snoopy, and at least in Western Europe and the USA it's considered bad form to execute journalists even when they stumble upon something they shouldn't have.

Re:Here's a thought (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365864)

The CIA cannot legally use as a cover that of an American journalist. Oh, and you think an operative is just gonna walk into a country and start asking questions? Most CIA operatives work in Official Cover positions, primarily embassy staff. That assistant press attache that couldnt even hold down a job in a 1-horse town newspaper? Yeah, he works for the CIA. Now, there are of course Non-official cover operatives, and at this point, most of them either work with the military, or doing other missions such as black arms purchases for study and evaluation. Most espionage activities are undertaken by OC operatives and their recruited agents within their country of station. Not to mention the fact that most "CIA operatives/agents" that these tyrants always claim to have, they're just doing that for propaganda.

Re:Here's a thought (1)

wtbname (926051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366044)

If the international community wanted to get tough on Iran and China for jailing "journalists", they would. They wouldn't need some flimsy 3 hoop excuse relating or not relating these journalists to intelligence agencies. The connection, real or not, is of no meaning to international politics.

The international community is not as tough as some people may want about jailing these journalists because they don't care.

Re:Here's a thought (1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366176)

The CIA has shown pretty conclusively over the last ten years or so that their intelligence presence on the ground in the Middle East is virtually nil. The facts that we didn't know conclusively about the WMDs in Iraq, don't know anything conclusive about a WMD program in Iran, haven't killed Osama bin Ladin, and most of the time have only a vague idea where he is all comes together to paint a pretty bleak picture from the CIA's point of view. Not only do they apparently not have journalists posing as spies, they don't appear to have spies at all. This hasn't stopped Iran worrying about it, though.

Pile it on (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364802)

Are we being prepared for an American invasion of Iran? Last time I saw this much propoganda was just prior to the invasion of Iraq.

Re:Pile it on (0, Flamebait)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364864)

If McCain / Palin had won the election, I might agree with you. But I don't think the Democrats are going to go to war on a third front. Two is bad enough.

"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts." -- London Mollari.

Re:Pile it on (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365074)

If McCain / Palin had won the election, I might agree with you.

I don't even think that McCain would have gone into Iran. You'll note that Bush didn't. Iran can't win a war against the United States but they can make it sufficiently expensive to deter us from undertaking such a venture unless our back is truly against the wall. They can creditably threaten to close the Strait of Hormuz. Could they keep it closed indefinitely against the US Navy? Not likely. But closing it for even a few days would send the global price of oil through the roof and bring enormous diplomatic pressure down on the United States.

I don't think you have to worry about an American->Iranian war anytime soon. I'd worry more about what the Israeli's will do if they feel that the world is allowing Iran to obtain a nuclear bomb. They have much less to lose from a preemptive strike and very good motivation to ensure that Iran doesn't become a nuclear power.

Re:Pile it on (1, Interesting)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365384)

"I don't even think that McCain would have gone into Iran."

Did you not see him singing "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" on Sunday morning TV?
He seemed positively eager at the thought.

Re:Pile it on (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365484)

Well if you want to take things out of context and hold them up as something meaningful, I'm pretty sure I heard Obama talking about "spreading the wealth around" and how an entire class of people "cling" to their guns and religion.

I didn't like McCain 2.0 very much but if you think he's "eager" for any sort of war then I don't think you understand him very well.

Re:Pile it on (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365556)

How is it out of context?
He said on multiple occasions that he hoped the US acted against Iran.

e.g. (06/15/09 on Fox News, obviously) "I hope that we will act" http://www.youtube.com/v/aDeJKl4h3Sg [youtube.com]

Re:Pile it on (1)

DigitalPasture (1545473) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365194)

Nice quote from Babylon 5 there.

Re:Pile it on (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365246)

Except the character's name wasn't Landon -- it was Londo Mollari.

Re:Pile it on (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365572)

Third front? We'd need a first front first. We aren't at war and haven't been since WWII. We've had lots of police actions since then, but no wars.

Re:Pile it on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30365648)

Wow, great, this has turned to into a semantics war?

68k troops in afghanistan alone isn't a police action anymore, you blubbering cretin!

Re:Pile it on (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366226)

Go tell that to Congress.

They've let the Executive branch send that many troops to foreign soil without a declaration of war. Obviously they don't believe that the current number of troops means it is a war.

Vietnam saw almost a half million troops deployed at one point and that wasn't enough to be a war.

Would be shame... (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364804)

Got that, slashdot "editors"? It would be shame for yous to get tangled up with the laws, capiche? Just saying.

Per Capita? (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364818)

Who does the most journalist jailing in proportion to the total population? Or to the total number of journalists in the country?

Re:Per Capita? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365428)

Who does the most journalist jailing in proportion to the total population?

That would probably be Eritrea, 19 journalists in jail, and just over 4 million population.

Then Cuba, Iran, Burma, China, in descending order.

Re:Per Capita? (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366358)

Cuba has a bump because a lot of US reporters go there to annoy them. As well they are less likely to 'disappear' journalists than China/Iran/Burma. Not saying it is right at all. Just saying they have more opportunity to jail journalists. (You don't see so many people running off to Iran to report vs Cuba)...

Iran can't take much more of this (5, Insightful)

Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364972)

There's going to be a large, violent revolution soon.

Re:Iran can't take much more of this (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365094)

And yet our President wants to extend a hand to this regime. What's wrong with that picture?

Re:Iran can't take much more of this (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30365256)

And yet our President wants to extend a hand to this regime. What's wrong with that picture?

Nothing, this neutralize Iran leaders best weapon: Blame internal troubles on Western powers to squash any protest.

For once we are smarter then the bad guys and not playing their game.

Re:Iran can't take much more of this (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365526)

Nothing, this neutralize Iran leaders best weapon: Blame internal troubles on Western powers to squash any protest.

Except they are still doing that. Don't you know that all of the current troubles are the fault of the British and Americans?

Re:Iran can't take much more of this (2, Interesting)

spiralpath (1114695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365934)

The point he was making is that our current outreach to the government weakens that line of propaganda. The Iranian people are becoming aware of this and see their own government's constant anti-Western rhetoric as more and more ridiculous. If they keep doing it they will continue to alienate their population.

Re:Iran can't take much more of this (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366018)

Maybe, but now Iran's problem is the rest of the world knows better.

Re:Iran can't take much more of this (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365434)

There are two ways to affect change in this case: The stick and the carrot. The stick hasn't worked in 25 years. He's chosen to give the carrot a try.

Re:Iran can't take much more of this (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365490)

There are two ways to affect change in this case: The stick and the carrot. The stick hasn't worked in 25 years. He's chosen to give the carrot a try.

Based on the reaction of Iran's government to the "carrot", it's not going to work either. "What? You're going to be nice to us? Great, thanks, we'll start enriching more uranium now"

Note, by the way, that saying bad things about Iran isn't quite the same thing as using "the stick" on them. The "stick" is usually delivered from a Buff...

Re:Iran can't take much more of this (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365596)

I'm not saying that I agree with it. The (attempt at) the stick used was economic and trade sanctions. That didn't work. It's clear the Iranian government will do what ever it wants to do in either case.

There are many delivery methods for "the stick". A Buff is just one of them.

Re:Iran can't take much more of this (1)

ojustgiveitup (869923) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365564)

Nothing. What do *you* think is wrong with communicating with one's enemies?

Re:Iran can't take much more of this (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365638)

Communicating != extending a hand to.

Obama is naive enough to think that a regime that sponsors terrorist organizations is one that can be negotiated with in good faith. He stood mute while they violently crushed their own people a few months ago. The worst part of it all is that he has absolutely nothing to show for his efforts. Iran continues to march towards nuclear capability. They've taken his measure and found him lacking.

Re:Iran can't take much more of this (4, Insightful)

ojustgiveitup (869923) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365992)

Ha! That's for the last part where you implied that Iran has shown a hottinanny of interest *who* is in the White House. Actually I guess that goes for the whole thing. The idea that Iran's current political direction has anything to do with the less-than-a-year-old presidency is disingenuously revisionist at best.

Can we both admit that "communicating" and "extending a hand to" are both woefully simplistic reductions of a complicated diplomatic process, and neither of them really mean anything? Yes, I would have liked Obama to publicly denounce the post-election crack-down, but I also think the administration's assessment that it would be detrimental to the movement was correct. The main propaganda tool used by Iran during that time was that they were putting down violent protests instigated by western powers intent on putting them out of business. That propaganda is more obviously a lie if we stay out of the fray - that may not have mattered to the protesters back then, but it does matter for every protest afterward (like the ones right now). How would speaking up have helped the protesters at that point anyhow? Unless we were willing to back up the words militarily, they would have only been detrimental to the movement. We were not then and are not now prepared to face off with the government Iran in a fight that is, at the end of the day, basically the people of Iran's problem.

Re:Iran can't take much more of this (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366052)

He stood mute while they violently crushed their own people a few months ago.

I'm thinking you're just out to bash Obama, but at the time I recall most people agreeing that the correct course of action was inaction. I still believe it was. Have you already forgotten what happens when the US throws its support behind any group in Iran? The Iranians are obviously a deeply divided people and that's something that they need to work out without outside interference on any side. Once a solution looks imminent, then that's the time to give support. Giving support to the students now will invalidate their claims in the eyes of many Iranians.

The US offering support will not help the students in Iran. What will help the students is if all of the companies selling technology to the Iranian government stop, and that has nothing to do with the US president.

Re:Iran can't take much more of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30366140)

Communicating != extending a hand to.

Obama is naive enough to think that a regime that sponsors terrorist organizations is one that can be negotiated with in good faith. He stood mute while they violently crushed their own people a few months ago. The worst part of it all is that he has absolutely nothing to show for his efforts. Iran continues to march towards nuclear capability. They've taken his measure and found him lacking.

And having "though" words in front of the press will make Iran get a measure of how he is though? I would only please "hawkish american establishment".

Iran march toward nuclear capability is worrisome (although Pakistan worries me more), but unless you are fully committed to sacrifice 1000's of american lives and 10,000's innocent (and yes most are innocent oppressed citizens) Iranian lives, 100's billions of $ and go for a full scale invasion of Iran with all the possible repercussions, including ones on the very fragile regime in Pakistan, don't engage in a stupid pissing contest with the Iranian leaders.

Much like with hand guns, don't draw your weapon if you are not committed to use it.

did you ever notice the irony (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365782)

that since bush pointed out his axis of evil of iraq, iran, and north korea, that one of the three (iraq) was invaded ostensibly because of nuclear research... and none was found. meanwhile, har har, the two that were not invaded have since accelerated their pursuit of nuclear weapons thousandfolds? hey, genius: if bush was more subtle in his approach, maybe the nuclear status of those two vile regimes wouldn't be so far along, did you consider that?

but i don't think subtly is your strong point. heavy handed arrogance appears to be the only american international attitude you appear ready to support. wow, you're such a credit to the country, thanks

mindlessly declaring your animosity to clearly vile regimes might make your chest thumping feel good, but it actually doesn't help. it in fact makes things far worse. because this atavistic animosity actually HELPS the regimes in north korea and iran: it gives them reason to crack down further yet on their long suffering populations in the name of fear of american intentions, and it actually increases their support in feelings of nationalism in the people living there. all they have to do is point at the actual words bush spoke, rather making up their own fearmongering, and everyone circles the wagons

so our current president, meanwhile, takes the INTELLIGENT and SUBTLE approach to defeating these vile regimes

but not good enough for you. he has to be criticized by idiots like yourself, who don't understand that obama's approach SERVES YOUR SAFETY AND YOUR COUNTRY BETTER

Re:did you ever notice the irony (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365898)

that since bush pointed out his axis of evil of iraq, iran, and north korea

I love how I say absolutely nothing about Bush yet you immediately resort to bringing him up as though it represents sort of meaningful counterpoint. Let me clue you into something: Disagreeing with Barack H. Obama != supporting George W. Bush. I happen to think that Bush did our country a great deal of damage but that's rather irrelevant to the point of whether or not Obama is making wise decisions.

but i don't think subtly is your strong point. heavy handed arrogance appears to be the only american international attitude you appear ready to support.

Actually no, the international attitude that I would support would be a return to non-interventionism and a withdrawal from most alliances and international agreements. For better or worse though that isn't in the cards.

he has to be criticized by idiots like yourself, who don't understand that obama's approach SERVES YOUR SAFETY AND YOUR COUNTRY BETTER

Imagine that, I have the audacity to criticize the leader of my country. Something tells me you wouldn't be whining about that if I had done it two years ago. I guess dissent is only patriotic when Republicans are in charge, huh?

you can criticize obama all you want (1, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366212)

but if your criticism is fucking stupid, i will criticize you for being fucking stupid

which is just as much my right of criticism as yours, right?

furthermore, bringing up bush is perfectly reasonable in this context. because it is a direct demonstration of the alternative approach to the one obama is taking that you are criticizing. it doesn't mean you support bush. it means: "what you are asking for is what bush did already, and it easily to demonstrate how fucking stupid it was"

and furthermore, if you were alive during the bush administration, why didn't you perceive that the approach bush took was so flawed? and if you could have made this observation, which really should be obvious to anyone by now, how can you find the rationale to criticize obama's approach?

bush's approach was stupid, correct? do you agree or disagree?

based on that, how can you criticize the alternative approach by obama?

and please don't bring up the abject stupidity of isolationism. if you think this is the way the usa should proceed in this world, oh man, just go study your history. it is beneath me the remedial historical lessons you should already know about why this approach is so flawed and frankly impossible for ANY country in this world to take

Sorry, but they have been successful for many (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365248)

years at this. I doubt all the angst here in the states or Europe amount to a hill of beans. I see that our current Administrations new stance was accepted with glee by the leaders of Iran who more than likely feel they can now act with impunity since we have a real wimp in the White House.

Note to the current Administration, Bush didn't create the bad guys by labeling them, they were bad, he just gave us a sign.

Any successful revolution in that country is not going to come off without outside assistance. Considering that no one wants to do anything to stop them from creating a bomb who in the hell do you think is going to help their people? What? A bunch of geeks insuring their message gets out? WOW, ask me how well that helped the Chinese concerning that little incident with tanks in a certain square, ask me how well that works now when we have a new Administration that told the Chinese that human rights were not their pressing concern. We have an Administration in the US which indirectly encourages these dictatorships.

Re:Sorry, but they have been successful for many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30365528)

years at this. I doubt all the angst here in the states or Europe amount to a hill of beans. I see that our current Administrations new stance was accepted with glee by the leaders of Iran who more than likely feel they can now act with impunity since we have a real wimp in the White House.

Note to the current Administration, Bush didn't create the bad guys by labeling them, they were bad, he just gave us a sign.

Any successful revolution in that country is not going to come off without outside assistance. Considering that no one wants to do anything to stop them from creating a bomb who in the hell do you think is going to help their people? What? A bunch of geeks insuring their message gets out? WOW, ask me how well that helped the Chinese concerning that little incident with tanks in a certain square, ask me how well that works now when we have a new Administration that told the Chinese that human rights were not their pressing concern. We have an Administration in the US which indirectly encourages these dictatorships.

Bush gave us a sign about what? Where our oil comes from. You want to talk about "Bad Men", take a look at the genocides in Africa. Then get back to me about how human rights had anything to do with why Bush did something in Iraq. Fact of the matter is, the only reason why Bush gave a flying fig about the Iraq or Iran, was because of their connections to oil. It just so happened he could slap a "Bad Men" label on them, to justify his weak reasonings otherwise.

I wasn't aware Slashdotters were so bloodthirsty, and considered diplomacy to be "wimpy".

Not to mention, what would you propose against Iran? Another war? Thats not "wimpy" I guess. Yes, because those other two we're fighting are going *so well*, we can handle a *3rd* campaign. Thank God you're not upper military.

Re:Sorry, but they have been successful for many (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365926)

If Bush went their for oil, where is my 25 cents a gallon oil then? Why is all the oil in Iraq not piped directly to the United States?

There are many stupid reasons for going to Iraq. Try, Bush W wanted to finish the job that his father started there. Bush wanted to 'win' something in history's eye. Maybe W never liked Saddam and wanted him gone. Maybe Bush wanted to punish Saddam for failing to following the UN resolutions all those years. Getting Iraq's oil is not one of them.

Re:Sorry, but they have been successful for many (1)

tarp (95957) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366380)

Why would YOU get 25 cent per gallon oil? Bush's corporate friends at Exxon, Chevron, etc. would much rather pocket the profits, and continue charging you $2.50 a gallon.

Re:Iran can't take much more of this (1)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365436)

I predict something large and violent, but I don't think it will be a revolution. Maybe an Iran style Tiananmen Square.

Cuba is good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364980)

But boycotting is bad. But Israel is bad. Boycotting is good! Boycotting hurts people. People are good! Boycotting is bad. Israel is bad. People are bad. Cuba is good! People are good!

Eritrea? (2, Funny)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365044)

OK I get the others, but who the hell are "Eritrea"? They must do a REALLY good job of arresting reporters as I have never heard of this country before!

Re:Eritrea? (0, Troll)

QX-Mat (460729) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365100)

lol american.

Re:Eritrea? (0, Offtopic)

bazorg (911295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365218)

They have nice food though.

www.london-eating.co.uk/2904.htm

Re:Eritrea? (2, Informative)

bk2204 (310841) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365224)

It's a country on the northeastern edge of Africa, bordering the Red Sea. It gained independence from Ethiopia in the 1990s.

Re:Eritrea? (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365492)

That's probably because you don't pay much attention to the world. If you had, you may have heard of this African country called Sudan, and a particularly a region in it called Darfur, a place where mass genocide has been going on- in fact, where as many as half a million civilians may have been slaughtered so far. Eritrea is one of the nations that has been accused of supporting the Darfur rebels fighting against the Sudanese government, but has since moved into a mediating position over the crisis.

To be fair though, part the reason you probably hadn't heard about it is because the world's media was mostly too busy covering middle east stuff like Israel's war with Lebanon. Apparently Israel killing 1000 odd Lebanese, many of which were Hezbollah militans and Hezbollah killing 130 Israelis, many of which were soldiers is somehow so much bigger a tragedy than the 10s of thousands of African civilians that were brutally raped, mutilated and murdered around the same time. For some reason, the tragedy in Darfur and the hundreds of thousands of dead, the hundreds of thousands raped and mutilated and the millions displaced just don't get the attention of the media like a good old fashioned suicide bombing in downtown Baghdad or a verbal spat between the US and Iran.

So yeah, Eritrea is an African nation with some quite close ties to the Darfur conflict. In it's short existence as a sovereign nation (since 1993 iirc) it's also managed to get itself in fights with Ethiopia, Yemen and possibly even Somalia I believe. It's relatively pro-Western, but not blindly so as there was some fuss about them allowing some militant in that the US claimed had Al Qaeda ties. It borders the red sea towards the North Eastern end of Africa.

Re:Eritrea? (2, Insightful)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365786)

As long as there isn't a mainstream movie about it, people won't know/care.

Re:Eritrea? (1)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366078)

From what I've seen, people talk about Darfur quite a bit anymore. It's one of those sad cases where our humanitarian interests do not align with national interests. It reminds me of Rwanda. You might be right, in 10 years someone will make a movie and we can all cry and say if I had only known. In reality if we went in to fight a war like Afghanistan, there would be even less public support( if you can imagine that) in the long run once the bodies started coming home.

Dont start a post by being a dick. (3, Insightful)

Petersko (564140) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366106)

"That's probably because you don't pay much attention to the world. If you had, you may have heard of this African country called Sudan, and a particularly a region in it called Darfur..."

I've been glued to world news for most of the last five years and I had to look up Eritrea. I've also never heard of it before.

You might have made an excellent point after this phrase, or provided some details, but when I read the first line I thought to myself, "Condescending dick." So I never read the rest of your post.

Re:Eritrea? (1)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365500)

Eritrea [lmgtfy.com]

Re:Eritrea? (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365796)

Eritrea [lmgtfy.com]

Anybody who responds with a LMGTFY link comes across as a smug douche. How about you just provide some relevant links on the nation instead?

Re:Eritrea? (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365952)

In the land of irritated vaginas, the one nozzled-douche is king?

Re:Eritrea? (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366108)

There's nothing smug about it, if you want relevant links then type Eritrea into Google and you'll find the Wikipedia and CIA Factbook pages (which, by the way, are the first two results).

You don't need to wait for others to do this for you, this is something you can do yourself. That's the point of LMGTFY.

maybe because eritrea is a new country (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365630)

like east timor

both countries are recent breakway provinces. eritrea used to be in ethiopia until 1993. east timor used to be in indonesia until 2000. eritrea was a largely muslim area in a largely christian ethiopia. east timor was a largely catholic region in a largely muslim indonesia

its a shame that religious strife holds the basis for so much grief and fragmentation in this world

but but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30365070)

But I remember reading a story here just a few days ago where nearly everyone was going on about how great the world would be without journalists. Why the sudden change of heart?

Good thing that the US would never ... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30365180)

Iraq (in U.S. custody): 1
Ibrahim Jassam, freelance

Imprisoned: September 2, 2008

Jassam, a freelance photographer working for Reuters, was detained by U.S. and Iraqi forces during a raid on his home in Mahmoodiya, south of Baghdad, Reuters reported. At the time of the arrest, a U.S. military spokesman told CPJ that the journalist was deemed “a threat to the security of Iraq and coalition forces.”

In November 2008, the Iraqi Central Criminal Court ruled that there was no evidence to hold Jassam and ordered the U.S. military to release him, Reuters reported. U.S. military authorities rejected the court order, saying that he “continued to pose a serious threat to the security and stability of Iraq.”

The military has disclosed no evidence against Jassam, and he has never been charged with a crime.

U.S. troops have detained dozens of journalists—mostly Iraqis—since the war in Iraq began in March 2003, CPJ research found. In at least 12 cases, journalists were held for prolonged periods without charge or due process. In all other cases, the journalists were freed without charges ever being substantiated.

Re:Good thing that the US would never ... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30366214)

How is it that these innocent journalists have videos of a beheading, but don't fear for their lives?
How is it that these innocent journalists are so lucky in having their camera set up in the right place, the right direction, and the right time to record a random roadside bombing?

Just wondering.

Here's an idea (1, Troll)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365198)

How about detaining all Iranian diplomats until all jounalists are freed.

I know that technically this is not allowed, but then again, jailing innocent people is not a generally accepted practice either.

Re:Here's an idea (3, Informative)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365462)

They don't do it because both the US and the UK (the only states who'd have the balls to consider something like that) have (largely) cut bilateral diplomatic relationships with Iran, and neither operate an embassy in said dictatorship, and Iran does not operate embassies in the US or the UK.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365508)

That is essentially an act of war. So, if your aim is to start one, this might do it.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365532)

The difference is that the journalists are breaking local laws.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365534)

Jailing diplomats is especially not allowed. It would be a profoundly stupid thing to do, and would basically stop any kind of diplomatic contact between the two countries for decades,

Bad Idea: Don't do it, even if the others do (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365546)

(Lybia has playing such a game against Switzerland, BTW)

Ok, if you start the "let's do it too in retaliation" game, then what differences will be between you and the "eeevil bad guys" your are fighting against ? I mean appart some basic schoolyard excuse as "They started first ?".
If you lower your standards, you aren't distinguishable any more from the guys you're fighting against. If one day you win, it'll be simply a case of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss".

Re:Here's an idea (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30365552)

How about detaining all Iranian diplomats until all jounalists are freed.

The politician's syllogism! [wikipedia.org] "Something must be done! This is something! Therefore, this must be done!"

Re:Here's an idea (3, Insightful)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366010)

Yeah, jail the diplomats.

Then we need to get in contact with Tehran. Hmmm... How to do that?

You know, what we should do is ask Tehran to send people over who speak our language and understand our culture. It'd be such a nice gesture that we should probably give them a place to stay. Maybe they can be put up in the former Iranian embassy. They have lots of tea and a mosque there. Heaps of Persian literature and discount phones to Tehran too.

We can negotiate with the people in this embassy for the release of the dipolmats. They can call Tehran and set up meetings and stuff.

Perfect solution.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366148)

How about detaining all Iranian diplomats until all jounalists are freed.

All Iranian diplomats huh? Since there aren't any in the US (except occasionally at the UN, and I don't think the UN would approve), should we fly over to Switzerland and kidnap the diplomats working there? Where else should we kidnap people from? Surely this will get our point across.

Re:Here's an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30366248)

How exactly did you come to the assumption that they are innocent ? Because the country they are accussed to SPY FOR said that ? Really ?

So, now, lets do a mental experiment. Lets say the country is US and the spies are accused to spy for Russia. Russia and China both say the people are innocent journalist oppressed because of defending their worldview (lets say communism).

Do you propose that the rightfull response from China and Russia would be to jail US citizens on sight ?

Big deal (-1, Flamebait)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365300)

There is a crusty conservative faction in Iran that would like to punish lots of things with the death penalty - blogging against the man, looking askance at the man, sticking out the tongue at the man without a permit, and parking meter violations. This is nothing new.

They actually have a lot in common with certain conservative religious groups here in the US. Bob forbid those retards ever get their hands on the levers of power. We'd have bloggers on death row within the year.

Re:Big deal (1, Offtopic)

MindSlap (640263) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365574)

=======
They actually have a lot in common with certain conservative religious groups here in the US. Bob forbid those retards ever get their hands on the levers of power. We'd have bloggers on death row within the year.
=======

Please cite?
Errr..didnt think so...

Nice try.
Can you say PROJECTION?

Come to think of it... Seems the liberal side is all about that

Democrats trying to criminalize citizen journalism
By: Mark Hemingway
Commentary Staff Writer
12/03/09 5:10 PM EST

An amendment to a bill currently being considered by the Senate would deny ordinary citizens doing vital investigations in the public interest the same legal protections as professional journalists. If it were to become law, the change could significantly stifle important citizen journalism efforts similar to the recent ACORN expose.

The Senate is currently considering a new press shield law sponsored by Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa. The bill would "maintain the free flow of information to the public by providing conditions for the federally compelled disclosure of information by certain persons connected with the news media." Except that Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Cal., and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., want to ensure that any new journalistic protections would only apply to professional journalists and not regular citizens. An amendment filed by Durbin and Feinstein would modify the legislation to define journalists thusly:

AMENDMENTS intended to be proposed by Mrs. FEINSTEIN (for herself and Mr. DURBIN)

Viz:

In section 10(2)(A), strike clause (iii) and insert the following:

(iii) obtains the information sought while working as a salaried employee of, or independent contractor for, an entity--

(I) that disseminates information by print, broadcast, cable, satellite, mechanical, photographic, electronic, 1or other means; and

(II) that--

(aa) publishes a newspaper, book, magazine, or other periodical;

(bb) operates a radio or television broadcast station, network, cable system, or satellite carrier, or a channel or programming service for any such station, network, system, or carrier;

(cc) operates a programming service; or

(dd) operates a news agency or wire service;

In section 10(2)(B), strike ''and'' at the end.

In section 10(2)(C), strike the period at the end and insert ''; and''.

In section 10(2), add at the end the following:

(D) does not include an individual who gathers or disseminates the protected information sought to be compelled anonymously or under a pseudonym.

While the ACORN story has stung congressional Democrats and pointed out the deficiencies of the mainstream media, there's no basis for Durbin and Feinstein's amendment that seems anything other than vindictive or an attempt to protect the powerful. It's telling that bloggers on both the left and the right are in total agreement this is very bad law.

Reality is a bitch huh?
And we can't have THAT when sadly attempting to bash conservatives now can we?
MOD ME DOWN!!!!

Re:Big deal (1)

MindSlap (640263) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366300)

Yup...it got modded down...
As 'off topic' no less.. Nevermind that it has to do with a potential US law on journalists.

No surprise there...

The QOTD's should include:
A reality check on liberals has no place on slashdot.

Re:Big deal (2, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366392)

======= They actually have a lot in common with certain conservative religious groups here in the US. Bob forbid those retards ever get their hands on the levers of power. We'd have bloggers on death row within the year. =======

Please cite?
Errr..didnt think so...

Nice try.
Can you say PROJECTION?

Come to think of it... Seems the liberal side is all about that

Democrats trying to criminalize citizen journalism
By: Mark Hemingway
Commentary Staff Writer
12/03/09 5:10 PM EST

An amendment to a bill currently being considered by the Senate would deny ordinary citizens doing vital investigations in the public interest the same legal protections as professional journalists. If it were to become law, the change could significantly stifle important citizen journalism efforts similar to the recent ACORN expose.

The Senate is currently considering a new press shield law sponsored by Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa. The bill would "maintain the free flow of information to the public by providing conditions for the federally compelled disclosure of information by certain persons connected with the news media." Except that Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Cal., and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., want to ensure that any new journalistic protections would only apply to professional journalists and not regular citizens. An amendment filed by Durbin and Feinstein would modify the legislation to define journalists thusly:

AMENDMENTS intended to be proposed by Mrs. FEINSTEIN (for herself and Mr. DURBIN)

Viz:

In section 10(2)(A), strike clause (iii) and insert the following:

(iii) obtains the information sought while working as a salaried employee of, or independent contractor for, an entity--

(I) that disseminates information by print, broadcast, cable, satellite, mechanical, photographic, electronic, 1or other means; and

(II) that--

(aa) publishes a newspaper, book, magazine, or other periodical;

(bb) operates a radio or television broadcast station, network, cable system, or satellite carrier, or a channel or programming service for any such station, network, system, or carrier;

(cc) operates a programming service; or

(dd) operates a news agency or wire service;

In section 10(2)(B), strike ''and'' at the end.

In section 10(2)(C), strike the period at the end and insert ''; and''.

In section 10(2), add at the end the following:

(D) does not include an individual who gathers or disseminates the protected information sought to be compelled anonymously or under a pseudonym.

While the ACORN story has stung congressional Democrats and pointed out the deficiencies of the mainstream media, there's no basis for Durbin and Feinstein's amendment that seems anything other than vindictive or an attempt to protect the powerful. It's telling that bloggers on both the left and the right are in total agreement this is very bad law.

Reality is a bitch huh?
And we can't have THAT when sadly attempting to bash conservatives now can we?

Yay, free press!

MOD ME DOWN!!!!

They did. I don't see how you're that off-topic though. They must have accidentally clicked "-1 offtopic" when trying to select "-1 inconvenient truth"

wow all that capiatlism is really freeing China up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30365324)

oh wait... looks like they are just giant dictatorship that oppresses workers, a fact that we capitalists love to take advantage of.

think of it! no unions, no free press, no environmental regulation! we could take things back to the good old days, like they were in the 1850s!

fuck 'modern progress'.

Sounds like a Fox noise story (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30365340)

No facts, just opinion.

in a previous iran discussion (1, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365372)

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1468788&cid=30347904 [slashdot.org]

i doubted the suggestion, modded insightful, that media control in iran is just like in the usa. a further insightful reply to my trollmodded comment started discussing the idea of "manufacturing consent." which i actually don't have a problem with as a description of a real negative issue with the media in the usa. however: as if such a concept is remotely like anything what they do with the media in iran

why do people not understand that no matter how much you dislike the usa or big media in the west, or how many real and genuine problems you can find with the media and civil rights enforcement in the west, that what iran is doing is far, far more vile, according to the widest range of subjective and objective measurements, and not even remotely comparable?

what iran does to its citizens and how it handles rights internally can't possibly compare to the status quo in the west if you claim the slightest amount of intellectual honesty. iran is off the charts. there is no equivalency, period

no matter how much you hate the usa or how large your grievance is with the FOREIGN policies of western governments, when you try to equate what happens in the west DOMESTICALLY with what iran does with its citizens, you only cheapen and disqualify the moral and logical basis for your opposition to the west. you make a fool of yourself, because you do not appear to be someone who is truly speaking from moral principles, you only appear to be geopolitically posturing. you're not concerned with making the world a better place. you're concerned with vendettas. you do not demonstrate a mental ability to appreciate concepts like scale, perspective, and context when formulate an equivalence between domestic rights and media manipulation in the west and iran. do you really understand what iran freely engages in in the suppression of its citizens? do you honestly want to compare that to anything the west does to its citizens?

you need to demonstrate an actual well-defined set of moral principles. if you do that, you will find a need on your own part to criticize iran for what it does to its citizens. or at the very least, if criticism of the west is your only concern, you need to stop trying to steer a discussion of the horrid crimes iran commits internally into a discussion of the far smaller set of domestic crimes committed in the west. the west is NOT innocent. however, the crimes the west commits domestically isn't even remotely as vile as what iran commits domestically. really

in regard to the subject matter of abuse of citizens and media manipulation, if in your mind you cannot help but to confuse iran and the usa's domestic policies, you only demonstrate an irrational bias on your part, not any real moral principles or logical backbone

please, by all means, be my guest, continue to criticize the west. as someone who truly and genuinely holds free expression of opinion as a bedrock principle, i support your right to speak your mind, even if i disagree with it. but one wonders how you handle the cognitive dissonance of pointing out anthills while the mountain looms in the discussion

Re:in a previous iran discussion (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30365726)

... what iran is doing is far, far more vile, according to the widest range of subjective and objective measurements ...

Are there any objective measurements? All I see is rhetorical blogs implicitly claiming fake things, a regular dosage of "Iran is evil" stories. Where exactly are objective reports?

gee, i dunno (0, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30366034)

http://news.google.com/news?q=iran%20crackdown [google.com]

http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/iran [amnesty.org]

etc

maybe you don't see the evidence because you're not making the slightest effort to see the obvious?

oh, this is where you disqualify all these observations because they are "western media". nevermind the fact you can find this news from all over the world, right? and as for blog posts: they couldn't possibly be from real iranians, its all cia propaganda, right?

all we need is a proper objective fact finding mission of actual abuse by the iranian regime on its own citizens, right? ok genius: lets go and form that fact finding mission. i think we will find the iranian government quite helpful in that regard

the iranian government distorts all media from iran... but you will not find reason to criticize the regime... until you find media that is undistorted from iran. chicken and egg, no?

or put it this way: if you find the evidence to be undependable, an assertion that all is milk and honey in iran is just as dubious as the assertion that all is not right, correct? in which case, you need to apply your mind, and look at the smoke and figure out if there is a fire

look at the amazing effort the cia is making in formulating youtube posts of abuse, of making up blogs and tweets, of all iranian observers of any ideological attitude united in their depictions of what is going on in iran, including expat iranians. and then conclude what? that the cia is really good at making shit up? pffffffft

iraq was a travesty of bad info. because of that, don't conclude ALL info you receive about american enemies is made up. or YOU compound the damage the iraq fiasco was

A parallel sharp rise (3, Insightful)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365614)

I see a sharp rise in "country X is evil" stories.

Cuba? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30365624)

But they have FREE health care!

Those jailed "journalists" must be enemies of the Revolution and are attempting to take away the FREE health care from all the little brown peoples!

I wish we could put Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck in jail, but NO, some stupid Constitution keeps getting in our way!

Signed,

A "Progressive" Democrat.

Edited out of the report at the last minute... (2, Funny)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365770)

"But regardless of the results, the US is still the world's worst place to be for freedom of the press. Or for anything, really."

An indicator of human foolishness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30365828)

Number of journalists arrested in Iran: less than 5 Number of anti-Iran stories in US media: more than 100

So? (0, Troll)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 4 years ago | (#30365984)

If I just call myself a Journalist, and print up some business cards, and then murder someone-- Will I add to this statistic? If so, it's meaningless, and only demonstrates that in 2009 it's easier to call yourself a journalist without actually being one.
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