U.S. Holds Journalist For Almost a Year Without Charges or Evidence

200px-flag_of_the_united_statessvgThe United States has been vocal in its denouncing of the recent arrests of journalists by North Korea and Iran. These countries refuse to comply with American values and legal process, particularly in the treatment of journalists. The biggest difference thus far: North Korea and Iran gave the journalists trials. Reuters cameraman Ibrahim Jassam has been held since September by the U.S. military in Iraq without charges or evidence.

The U.S. military simply says that .Jassam remains a high-security risk. If this is true, the rule of law requires a modicum of legal process and of course proof. Instead, the Obama Administration has continued to hold a journalist without meeting the most minimal standards of due process.

On Sept. 2nd, the U.S. busted into the home of Jassam with guns and dogs late at night screaming “Where is the journalist Ibrahim?” He has remained in custody ever since. The Administration continues to ignore a court order for his release to add to our hypocrisy.

In the case of Roxana Saberi, the U.S.-Iranian journalist who was convicted of espionage (and recently released), Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized her treatment “non-transparent, unpredictable and arbitrary.” Well, at least Iran gave her a sham trial. We apparently refused charges let alone a trial.

In the meantime, the United States has sent Speaker Nancy Pelosi to China where she has understandably remained silent about human rights violations in the wake of her own scandal of remaining silent on the torture program for years. She will find a very understanding group of leaders in the People’s Republic.
For the full story, click here.

15 thoughts on “U.S. Holds Journalist For Almost a Year Without Charges or Evidence”

  1. It appears that jonolan’s view of this whole issue is akin to Jutice Stewart’s take on pornography. Even though he cannot describe what constitutes a Muslim terrorist, he knows one when he sees one, or at least when a bounty hunter drags one in. After all, a jihadist is bound to have a peculiar name, speak English with an accent (if at all) and harbor nationalistic tendencies.

  2. I think that W and Cheney ought to have all of there assets taken while this war has gone on under the trading with the enemies act. Yep.

  3. I don’t know what the ‘War Party’ is offering these days as the reason for invading Iraq but it used to be to establish a foot hold for democracy in the Middle East, civil institutions, rule of law, etc, etc. Reporters without Borders, back in Oct 2008 said ‘we deplore the US military’s refusal to comply with the Iraqi central criminal court’s order to release Reuters photographer Ibrahim Jassam.

    Maj. Neal Fisher, a spokesman for detainee operations, yesterday said the US military was not bound by Iraqi court orders and would continue to hold Jassam on the grounds that he posed “a threat to Iraq security.”

    “You cannot proclaim your commitment to the rule of law in Iraq and at the same time reject Iraqi court decisions,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The US military must put an end to this contradiction by freeing Jassam.” ‘

    What a crock!

  4. rafflaw, Charles and Alex,

    Well said!


    Did you mean to post the exact same thing on two different threads?

  5. We can only lead by example. Our words are meaningless. I wonder what Obama is afraid of — it must be something or why continue the lawlessness of the Bush administration? When will the USofA quit being hypocritical?

  6. Jonolan,
    Your response to Alex is interesting to say the least. How does the US know this journalist is a jihadist? Where is their evidence? Even in a war zone, you still need evidence to arrest and detain civilians. What freedom are we bringing to Iraq if we thumb our noses at the authority of an Iraqi court’s jurisdiction over an Iraqi citizen? Wake up and realize that your neocon view of the world has damaged this country for 8 years and we will not allow it to be damaged any further. The journalist should either be released to the Iraqi court or freed outright. The Obama administration needs to take action and honor the ruling of the Iraqi court.

  7. No, Alex. Enemies in time of war don’t “due process.” You don’t subpoena enemy operative; you take them, find out what they know and who they work with, then you execute them.

  8. This is an interesting case because of what it may say about the US-Iraq relationship. An Iraqi court ordered the journalist freed based on a lack of evidence but the US has refused. It begs the question of who is in charge in Iraq and whether the Iraqi government is truly sovereign or still merely subservient to the US.

  9. OK, so the US rounded up a jihadi; so what? Do you think that, just because he occasionally worked for various media outlets, he deserves a free pass?

Comments are closed.