American Journalist Roxana Saberi Given Eight Year Sentence in Iran

roxana-saberi-2An American journalist Roxana Saberi, 31, has been convicted of spying and sentenced to eight years in prison after a closed door trial.


Saberi was arrested late January and accused of working without press credentials. It was later kicked up to spying and the trial closed to witnesses. She received a one-day trial in yet another example of arbitrary Iranian justice. Of course, after the Bush Administration, we have little credibility in contesting closed trials or special tribunals in other countries.

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She appeared before an Iranian court behind closed doors on Monday in an unusually swift one-day trial. The Fargo, North Dakota native had been living in Iran for six years and had worked as a freelance reporter for several news organizations including National Public Radio and the British Broadcasting Corp.

“Saberi has been sentenced to eight years in jail. I’ll definitely appeal the verdict,” lawyer Abdolsamad Khorramshahi told The Associated Press. It was not immediately known when she was convicted.

60 thoughts on “American Journalist Roxana Saberi Given Eight Year Sentence in Iran”

  1. mespo & butters,

    I have to say you are both wrong to varying degrees from a foreign policy standpoint.

    One must talk and be prepared for battle.

    It’s not an either/or operation.

    The dictates of diplomacy (seek peaceful resolutions until there are no other options) and the realities of the costs and risks of warfare (lives and materials) make this the only cogent path. It costs almost nothing to talk whereas violence always has an associated cost – usually high. Talking is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of seeking the easiest and most cost effective solution before escalation. Quite simply and in terms even a fascist should understand, it’s good business. If you want to know a true sign of weakness, the perfect example is not kicking the crap out of someone who attacks you openly, e.g. Bush’s ass kissing treatment of Saudi Arabia after it was established where the 9/11 attackers and their financing originated. Bush was weak, bad business (for the country, not for himself and Dick), corrupt and traitorous truth be known. Obama, while it remains to be seen what kind of stones he has in re addressing our actual enemies and not doing Bush Co. Fiasco Clean-up, at least has the sense to approach the problem in the most sensible cost effective manner instead of acting like Dick. Excuse me, there should have been an article and a lower case “d” in that last sentence.

    Obama’s mishandling of the restoration of the Rule of Law and the Constitution are another matter all together, but on the foreign policy front, the tactics so far are sound. I’ll stipulate that it’s possibly futile at this point, but he’s dealing with a situation not of his making. You play the cards you’re dealt. Unfortunately, Obama is somewhat limited on the ready for battle front by the logistical nightmare Bush created in Iraq. He has to rely more heavily on talk for the time being as a practical matter. Our forces are spread too thin to be conventionally aggressive on every front. And no matter how much I’d like to see a SEAL commando’s boot on that obstructionist theocratic fascist pig King Abdullah’s throat, Bush tied up our men and machines protecting his and Unca Dick’s theft and business partners. A theft I have no doubt was encouraged and possibly planned by the House of Saud.

    While we’re at it, let’s be realistic about Iran. They’ve just gotten “uppity” over the last eight years of dealing with morons more intent on making personal blood money than running a country and they are trying to get into the big boys club because of Bush’s weakness not just with them, but the entire region. Their game is brinkmanships because the hard fact is that if they screw up badly enough, we can and likely would wipe them out of existence and they know this. We are the only country to ever use nuclear weapons in war, albeit in a totally different set of circumstances. But our track record is proven. It’s not supposition. I’ve been to Hiroshima. It’s not just like a big conventional bomb when you use a nuke. It’s truly a horror from Hell. The scale is hard to imagine unless you’ve see it in person. It’s sometimes hard to imagine having seen it. Iran is run by bullies and thugs, but I don’t think they are suicidal. They may like us to think so at times as a psychological ploy, but being a bully doesn’t equate to a death wish. And how does one deal with a bully? You try to talk them down and/or outsmart them. If that fails, you knock them down so hard they either don’t want to or can’t get back up depending upon THEIR level of aggression. Proportionate response is critical. The worst Iran could realistically do is nuke a city and they couldn’t use traditional delivery methods (ICBM/long range bombers) to get one here, but they could try to sneak one in or go for a radiological weapon vs. a nuclear weapon. Either way, a national death sentence for Iran. They’d probably have to settle with attacking Israel – also a way to ensure nuclear retaliation if not from us, from them. But the U.S.? We can literally make their entire country vanish into a cloud of ionized gas and gamma rays from border to border many many times over.

    That’s just the reality of the situation.

    Everyone should hope the talking works. The alternatives get real bad real quick. Make no mistake. We can do a lot more damage than they can as a mathematical fact. They may have their faults, but Iran’s leadership cannot be ignorant of that math.

  2. Obama Embarrasses Himself, and Us, Again

    Posted from a blog:

    I thought Barack Obama couldn’t sink lower than he did in his apology tour of Europe. I was wrong.

    Now it’s Latin America, where Obama is attending the Summit of the Americas. While he doesn’t seem to have actually bowed to anyone in Trinidad, he has adopted a submissive posture at every opportunity, telling Latin America’s leaders that he “has a lot to learn.” I’m afraid that’s truer than Obama knows.

    One can only speculate as to what was running through Hugo Chavez’s mind when Obama humiliated himself by posing with Chavez.

    We know, though, how Chavez responded to Obama’s plaintive confession that he “has a lot to learn”–he contributed to Obama’s education by pressing upon him, before the cameras, a book by a Uruguyan leftist named Eduardo Galeano:

    The book’s title translates as The Open Veins of Latin America; the subtitle is Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. Here is how Wikipedia describes it:

    In this book, he analyzes the history of Latin America as a whole from the time period of European contact with the New World to contemporary Latin America arguing against what he views as European and later U.S. economic exploitation and political dominance over the region. … It is a classic among the left of Latin America.

    You can get a sense of Galeano’s mindless anti-Americanism in this interview.

    So, how did Obama react to Chavez’s insult–an insult, we should note, both to Obama himself and to the nation of which he is, for better or worse, President? With his usual cluelessness:

    When a reporter asked Obama what he thought of the book, the president replied: “I thought it was one of Chavez’s books. I was going to give him one of mine.” White House advisers said they didn’t know if Obama would read it or not. [Ed.: Not likely, since it’s in Spanish.]

    When asked what he thought of Obama, Chavez replied:

    “I think it was a good moment,” Chavez said about their initial encounter. “I think President Obama is an intelligent man, compared to the previous U.S. president.”

    Obama soaks up this kind of back-handed “compliment,” which is intended as an insult to the United States and is understood as such by everyone other than, apparently, our President, like a sponge.

    The next Latin American lefty to treat our President like a hey-boy was Danny Ortega. After receiving Obama’s homage, Ortega:

    …delivered a blistering 50-minute speech that denounced capitalism and U.S. imperialism as the root of much hemispheric mischief. The address even recalled the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, though Ortega said the new U.S. president could not be held to account for that.

    Once again, Obama assumed the position:

    “I’m grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old,” Obama said, to laughter and applause from the other leaders.

    Yes, like trying–albeit not hard enough–to liberate Cuba from Communist dictatorship. Does Obama really not understand that hostile foreign leaders are making a fool of him and of the country he purports to lead? Apparently not. I don’t think Barack Obama is a stupid man, but he is in so far over his head that every time he ventures onto the international stage he not only embarrasses himself–and us–he damages, if ever so slightly, our national security.

    PAUL adds: President Obama should feel quite comfortable with the writings of Eduardo Galeano and the ranting of Danny Ortega. He heard this sort of anti-American rubbish from his spiritual mentor Jeremiah Wright for 20 years. It didn’t bother him then and it doesn’t seem to bother him now..

  3. Mespo, honestly? We have a right to make reasonable demands of countries who threaten us. A country bent on regional hegemony that also seeks nukes and funds terrorism needs to be dealt with seriously. If an apologetic tone will get us out of this mess, go for it. But if it doesn’t, are you averse to using force? Why the fuck not, if I may be blunt?

  4. Butters:

    “He’s supplicating to human rights violators and hoping that concessions will somehow shoo away the phobia these dudes have for us. He’s showing weakness.”

    ****************

    Fundamentally our choices are conversation or preparations for war. Which is your pick?

  5. I don’t agree with anyone here. Bush and his disgrace of a Justice Department are at fault for dragging due process through the mud and tarnishing our image abroad. But that doesn’t mean Obama’s foreign policy isn’t oozing naivete. He’s supplicating to human rights violators and hoping that concessions will somehow shoo away the phobia these dudes have for us. He’s showing weakness.

    People are so fucking partisan here they can’t bifurcate issues and engage in an open debate without distortions and specious arguments. Enjoy!

  6. Brom98:

    “Their stated goal is the destruction of the US and Israel…. …When confronted with irrational men, force is not only warranted it is necessary. They are immune to logic and rationality, they are truly willing to die for their cause because of their belief in paradise. You cannot deal with people like this.”

    *************

    If we’ve learned anything over the past eight years of the Bush-ocracy, it’s that punishment and wars are premised on actions not mere words nor things we think might happen.

  7. If she confessed of being a spy…well that is serious..but if they were made her to do so .. poor her… i think she will left alone there ..

  8. Buddha,

    Heard this the other day. Better to give a resentment than have one. I guess this goes hand in hand.

    BTW, I got scolded by FFLEO for being mean to LeAnn. But the again, her name could be Eileen and work at IHOP.

    Oh well.

  9. Jill,

    I have to disagree vis a vis unilateral action by Israel. They’d prefer our backing, most certainly, but I don’t think they’d hesitate to go it alone either with their current administration if they felt it was in their best interests. If they felt it was a strong enough interest and we said “no”, I don’t think we could stop them until it was too late. They seem to follow the maxim “It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.”

  10. Yet, the deepest truths are best read between the lines, and, for the most part, refuse to be written. Amos Bronson Alcott – Concord Days. June. Goethe.

    there is alot more to this story then pointing fingers at bush or obama

    liberateroxanasaberi.blogspot.com

  11. David stated:

    “It’s just that, as a nation, we’ve lost the moral authority to condemn such a show trial. Yet another example of collateral damage of GWB’s War on Terror.”

    “Maybe, when Obama condemns this conviction and sentence today, he’ll regret that his authority has been compromised, remembering the footnote to the memo Steven Bradbury (then head of the OLC) wrote in May of 2005:”
    ________________

    That is the crux of the problem, isn’t it? Mr. Obama could change all of that simply by reversing his stance on the war crimes issue.

  12. john galt,

    I appreciate your post. I guess I get a little sensitive when in all sincerity we, whether conservative, liberal or whatever have to go through diabolic diatribes then I take offense.

    I did not vote for Obama nor McCain. If John Edwards had been running I would have voted for him regardless of his running mate. I almost voted for McCain until he picked the neophyte Palin.

    I have said before that I vote for Ralph Nader. I do support Obama now that he is the Commander in Chief. He has a lot of relations to improve upon. So what if he has attempted to make peace with Chavez. They historically account for more than 22.5 percent of the oil imports.

    At the time the gas prices were rising dramatically Bush was causing conflict with Chavez. You tell me the justification for that? We became more dependent upon Saudi oil again to whose gain? Cheney. You tell me was Cheneys stock really in a blind trust? KBR, you tell me.

    I am personally aware that Johnson had the same issue during Vietnam. Plus stick in Mattel, which by the way made the stock for the M-16. Another stock held in Blind Trust. Hum.

    I will state that since Obama has a job ahead of him to correct all of the wrongs created by the war mongering Cheney I have to support him. I think Cheney still equates war with Profit. Or because he has made so much money since he was Cheney in Chief he presumes that he is the new Profit.

  13. Bron,

    A country, like an individual, must first try to talk in any potential confrontation or in cases of conflict from vast cultural differences. If talks fail, then you can state factually that you tried all of the honorable methods at your disposal to avoid problems. If you did not try, then you will forever be second-guessing your actions to retaliate when diplomacy might have spared many lives and infrastructure on all sides. The Iraq War is the greatest and latest example to which I could reference.

    If talks fail, a country or individual is first stricken, and without provocation, then the aggrieved county or individual must end their enemies’ transgressions decisively, swiftly, and definitively while ensuring the annihilation of the correct foe.

  14. Leann,
    I share some of your views and would urge you to take heart. There seems to be some sort of hazing that conservatives must go through before they are treated civilly on the blog.

  15. A secret trial tainted by political bias with religious overtones: Why does that sound familiar?

    Oh, yeah, it’s a political and legal situation like the one the Bush administration wanted for the United States (including the treatment of foreign journalists, such as Sami al-Hajj). And of course Bush did so much to promote good relations with Iran.

    But I also believe that Saberi will end up as a political hostage for which the U.S. will be asked to pay a price. Yes, I remember Gary Powers and Jimmy Carter/Ted Koppel. But I also remember Ronald Reagan, Iran-Contra and “guns for hostages.”

  16. To all:

    I am curious as to why you think we can talk to the Mulahs? Their stated goal is the destruction of the US and Israel. We frustrate their goals for a greater Caliphate and our society is repugnent to them, which allows them to rationalize our destruction as the will/desire of Allah.

    When confronted with irrational men, force is not only warranted it is necessary. They are immune to logic and rationality, they are truly willing to die for their cause because of their belief in paradise. You cannot deal with people like this. The reason we kept the back channels open during the Cold War was that Russians are not buck ass crazy and there was much to lose for both sides.

    The Iranians are ruled by religious fanatics that believe the after life is the real life. They have nothing to loose.

  17. LeAnn,

    How many pairs of white panties of your’s have been taken off of the flag pole, given back to you, just to have you go home.

    Little girl, you Mommie is calling you.

    Have your parents ever taught you it is not nice to play on line or talk to strangers? Would you give us your telephone number so we can call and complain to them about your conduct.

    If your mommie is not home and if you don’t know your number, just pick up the phone, make sure you have a dial tone. That is the thing that kinda makes a whining sound in your ear. Which you are all to familiar with. Dial 9-1-1 and make sure it rings 3 times before you hangup.

    If anyone answers hang up and if your phone rings do not answer under any circumstances, remember that this is a stranger as well. Please, DO NOT answer the door if anyone comes knocking. I don’t care how loud they knock. Just start screaming DON’T EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN and LEAVE ME ALONE.

    Ok, hon, just remember that the people in white uniforms are there to help you.

    Ok, do it.

  18. http://www.drudgereport.com/

    Obama and and new best buddy the EVIL CLOWN Hugo Chaves make friends as Chavez gives book to Obama that condemns America.

    unfriggin unbelievable. WHY DON’T WE JUST RUN THE WHITE FLAGS UP NOW.

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