25 September 2005

Catching reporters before they terrorize the president

Taken by themselves, the Shrub plutocracy's abuses of executive power might seem like nothing more than the usual shenanigans we've come to expect from corrupt politicians. But taken together, they add up to a mountain of evidence that Shrub and other administration lowlifes will take even the most drastic measures to quash public debate that is in any way critical of the president. A week or two ago, we had the bizarre case of Scott Parkin, an American, being arrested and deported while in Australia apparently at the administration's bequest, for the crime of daring to speak out against Halliburton. And now we have the bizarre case of Robert Fisk being barred from entering the U.S. where he was sceduled to speak. This is the same administration that was sending visa's out to dead terrorists after these same terrorists had committed the 9/11 attacks and yet somehow or another these same bureaucrats are suddenly functioning with lightning-fast efficiency when someone comes to the U.S. to criticize the Shrub administration!
Thanks to Direland for pointing this story out to us. I've taken the liberty to quote the post in full. As a way to collectively give this administration the finger, I suggest that we all link to Fisk's talk and get the word out about this.

U.S. BARS ROBERT FISK FROM ENTERING COUNTRY


The internationally renowned correspodent for The Independent -- the great British journalist Robert Fisk (right) -- has been banned from entering the United States. Fisk has been covering war zones for decades, but is above all known for his incisive reporting from the Middle East for more than 20 years. His critical coverage of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, and the continuing occupation that has followed it, has repeatedly exposed U.S. and British government disinformation campaigns. He also has exposed how the bulk of the press reports from Iraq have been "hotel journalism" -- a phrase Fisk coined.

The daily New Mexican reports that "U.S. immigration officials refused Tuesday to allow Robert Fisk, longtime Middle East correspondent for the London newspaper, The Independent, to board a plane from Toronto to Denver. Fisk was on his way to Santa Fe for a sold-out appearance in the Lannan Foundation ’s readings-and-conversations series Wednesday night. According to Christie Mazuera Davis, a Lannan program officer, Fisk was told that his papers were not in order. Davis made last-minute arrangements Wednesday for Amy Goodman, host of Pacifica Radio’s daily news show, Democracy Now!, to interview Fisk via satellite from a television station in Toronto..." A recording of this satellite interview will soon be available on the Lannan Foundation's website. If Fisk has been barred from entry, it's very hard not to believe it has something to do with dispaches of his like this one from September 15.


I have long admired Fisk's unbeatably first-rate journalism, his intrepid insistence on sticking his nose where the authorities -- of whatever country he's in -- don't want him to go. He constantly shows up the sluggish cowardice and indolent hand-out journalism practiced by so many U.S. foreign correspondents from the safety of their hotel bars. That the U.S. won't allow this great journalist into this country to tell what he has seen and what he knows is a scandal.
If you're not familiar with Fisk's reporting, there is an entire website devoted to it -- read Fisk's latest, and find an archive of his articles (plus audio-visual materials) by clicking here. You can also order Fisk's books, like Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon, and The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East.

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