November 23, 2008
Post Office Style Wanted Flyers Needed Worldwide
Glenn Greenwald, writing at Salon yesterday noted a very depressing fact, not that there aren’t thousands more examples of similar behavior during the last shameful eight years.
The Washington Post Editorial Page today hails the courage of six journalists who have faced down persecution and grave danger in their line of work and who, consequently, are this week receiving the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists:
Plainclothes Ugandan police officers descended yesterday on the newsroom of the weekly newsmagazine the Independent, seizing computer documents and attempting to deliver an arrest warrant to managing editor Andrew M. Mwenda. “Unluckily, I was out of Uganda,” Mr. Mwenda told us. Unluckily? “Yes. I do not want them to think I am running away” . . . .
Mr. Mwenda is in the United States to receive an International Press Freedom award from the Committee to Protect Journalists . . . .
Mr. Mwenda's courage is typical of CPJ award winners. Others being honored this year include photographer Bilal Hussein of the Associated Press, whom the U.S. military imprisoned in Iraq for two years without charges; Danish Karokhel and Farida Nekzad, who run a news agency in Afghanistan, one of the world's most dangerous places for reporters, and especially for female reporters such as Ms. Nekzad; Beatrice Mtetwa, a lawyer who has defended journalists against the vicious persecution of President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe; and Cuban journalist Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez.
So, to recap the award winners: we have a reporter persecuted by the Ugandan Government; another imprisoned by the Castro regime; a journalist-defending lawyer who faced down the intimidation and threats of Robert Mugabe; two journalists who work at great risk of being attacked by the Taliban; and one who was arrested by the U.S. military and then imprisoned for two years without any charges or due process of any kind by the United States Government. As happens so frequently now, that is the company we keep.
I have a modest proposal for dealing with this situation. I’m sure most of our readers have seen those FBI wanted posters that have two holes in them and are routinely placed in Post Offices throughout the United States. Why not create similar wanted posters for the cretins responsible for the outrageous assaults on civil liberties throughout the world, both inside and outside of the United States.
Make them printable on web sites and develop an all out concerted effort to legally post them all over the United States and the World. The Freeway sign project seems to have run its course, but now it’s time to make sure the fascists in our midst are constantly reminded of what they have done. If the crimes committed under the Bush administration are swept under the rug and quietly forgotten, you can be sure that we as a nation will commit them again. We must publicly embarrass those who were not prosecuted by the lax prosecutors who were led by Michael Mukasey, Alberto Gonzalez and John Ashcroft and others who often defended and made possible these inhumane and illegal policies. By posting wanted posters of those responsible for atrocities committed in our names, we will insure that for at least one generation and hopefully many more, people will not forget what happened. We have an army of liberal bloggers with computers and printers and all it will take is someone with the talent to design the wanted posters.
A poster that someone prepared of George Bush appears below, but it would not be sufficient since most of his crimes are not outlined there. We have a multitude of CIA agents who have been prosecuted in Italy as well as Camp Psychologists at Guantanamo Bay who supervised torture whose names need to become publicly known so they can never be allowed to engage in such activity again. We must approach this project as seriously as other war crimes prosecutions during the last century. Even if government won’t prosecute those “acting under orders’ or even those who issued those orders, public humiliation and shame will make others think twice before engaging in such activity again.
Does anyone think this would be a worthwhile project? I’m tired of the endless arguing over Barack Obama’s appointments. We must never allow the world to forget the atrocities committed in our names and the perpetrators must be publicly shamed throughout the nation. The liberal blogosphere is the real press these days and handbills are as old as the nation itself. The White Rose was one of Germany’s moments of triumph in its darkest days. What will ours be?
Posted by Buck Batard at November 23, 2008 01:08 AM
There should be a trial in the Hague. They cannot obtain jurisdiction until criminal prosecution is exhausted or pardoned away in the US. We need to wait and see what pardons may issue at the end of this travesty and then we will have a better idea what should happen next.
Mahakel, I'm doubtful that the Hague will prosecute many of those responsible for the worst abuses. Most will escape unpunished I suspect. But punishment by public humiliation when the facts are known should take place regardless of what the courts do. If George Bush has a library on a college campus, no one should be able to venture to the place without having to view the truth on a handbill rather than the lies that the library will undoubtedly try to convey.
This wanted poster is qualitatively more allowable than this coffee cup's image of a crosshair drawn over Barack Obama's face. This one promulgates the arrest and prosecution of Bush for his 8-year crime spree. Totally legit.
keep us posted as to when these online printable posters become available. i'd be more than happy to print some out and plaster some around where i live.
We're a rather small blog, but I'd like to see the idea spread throughout the blogosphere and debated. There are many unknowns, including the names of many of the perpetrators at Guantanamo, but the minute Bush issues pardons, we will have a good start on who gets their flyers printed first.
If anyone has any ideas on how to set up a central clearing house where names of offenders could be vetted, this blog is open to discussion here in comments. In China you either get a bullet in the back of the head or one hell of a public shaming if you do offense to the nation. I'm not proposing that we follow the path of China but the latter method seems to me to be the proper course for our democracy if we don't have leaders who have the courage to prosecute those who brought infamy to our nation and shamed this nation's honor throughout the world. The very nation that fought and defeated fascism in WWII was brought to a horrific level of indignity by misguided and evil men and women who deserve worse than they will ever receive through the rule of law. Unless there are more courageous men who live in this land than I am aware of who would take up the prosecution of those responsible for the worst abuses.
I'd like to see the worst offenders tried at The Hague, but I'm doubtful that will happen. But we must make sure these perpetrators and others who would copy them are never able to allow this nation to descend into fascism again. The shaming of a nation was done fairly well in Germany (although we shamefully allowed some scientists who should have been prosecuted and jailed to come to this country to transfer their scientific knowledge here).
I enjoyed reading about how Chris Dodd's father was a part of that effort in his recent book, Letters from Nuremberg: My Father's Narrative of a Quest for Justice . Whether government officials would want to participate officially or unofficially in such an undertaking is an open question. Their spineless character seems to be on display daily in my opinion.
Hopefully we will have many hearings informing the American people about what we know now but that hasn't been revealed through the mainstream media, and what is sure to crawl out from the sewage once those hiding more of the evidence are removed from power, as they soon will be.
Lastly, in some ways we are all at fault. Some for voting even though the truth was out there, and others for not pushing more forcefully to stop the evil forces that shamed all of us and in the process, our national honor. It was always said of Germany, "Never Again". Now it is being said about us. And I hope that we have men and women who are courageous enough to ensure that it never does. Let us pray that, in the immortal words of one of the greatest Americans who ever lived, "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." The task before us is immense and one of the greatest challenges in our history, but if we set forth to see that might does not stand in the way of what is right, and that personality does not stand in the way of justice, we will have that new birth of freedom once again. If we fail to do so, we can expect a return to the descent into the hellish pit of fascism that we were led into by men who cared not for the good of the nation, but for their own selfish goals and purposes.