The 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.
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