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US: Setting a bad example for World Despots

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12/08/10

  11:15:42 pm, by admin, 1266 words  
Categories: Ethiopia

US: Setting a bad example for World Despots

US: Setting a bad example for World Despots

By Tibebe Samuel Ferenji


In 1970s when New York Times published what is dubbed “The Pentagon Papers.” Its publication created an enormous uproar in the political arena of the United States. The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States–Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, was a top-secret United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. The papers were first brought to the attention of the public on the front page of the New York Times in 1971. A 1996 article in the New York Times said that the Pentagon Papers "demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance.”
The Papers revealed that the U.S. had deliberately expanded its war with bombing of Cambodia and Laos, coastal raids on North Vietnam, and Marine Corps attacks, none of which had been reported by media in the US. The most damaging revelations in the papers revealed that four administrations, from Truman to Johnson, had misled the public regarding their intentions. It is because the freedom of the press that such information was exposed and became known to the public. Today, we see an attempt to silence the press because improper conducts are exposed to the public domain by brave reporters like Julian Assange.
Following the unfolding story of Wikileaks founder Julia Assange, I am extremely amazed and surprised how poorly the US administration handled the situation. It may well be true that the documents leaked by Wikileaks may harm the national Security of several countries. It is up to each country to protect and guard its own secret. Once the “cat is out of the bag” trying to control the information by muzzling those who are publishing it dangerous and wrong.
Everyone has the right whatever opinion they could form regarding Mr. Assange, but harassing him threatening him and arresting him with tramp up charges is a dangerous trend that will have a significant effect on the freedom of the press all over the world.
The United States which has been a leading critic of regimes, that imprison and muzel journalists and reporters, is becoming one of the perpetrators of such conduct. You may feel whatever about Mr. Assange; however he has every right to publish the information that he has received from whatever source. It is up to the concerned government agencies to guard their confidential information. The enormous sacrifice paid for the freedom of the press is because Governments lie to their people and abuse their powers. As history teaches us, by its nature government is abusive. Laws and Constitutions are enacted to protect the public from the government not the other way around.
The United States has been a shinning example for the world when it comes to Freedom of the press. When its interests are threatened however, it is reacting like despots that we often condemn and chastise. It is essential to realize despot regimes all over the world suppress the press in the name of protecting their national security. If the United States follows their foot steps in the name of “National Security”, I don’t know what makes the United States different than Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iran or China when it comes to freedom of the press. Long time ago I read a quote that says “Many of us believe that wrongs aren't wrong if it's done by nice people like ourselves.” In this case, targeting Mr. Assange cannot be any different from those despot regimes that target reporters in their own countries and deny information to their own people.
For the United States and its allies, targeting the website of Wikileaks was not enough to silence Mr. Assange; they have to come up with some trump up charges to imprison him in order to stop him publishing the remaining documents. Several reports have stated that Wikileaks website was hacked, and the company that was hosting Wikileaks pulled the plug and the Server was forced to relocate to a different country; now we learned in addition to the arrest of Mr. Assange, VISA, the largest credit card provider in the world has suspended payment for Wikileaks. One does not need to be a conspiracy theorist to realize the pressure that is mounting on various companies not to do business with Wikileaks in order to shut it down. What is sad is those advocating for freedom of the press are standing on sidelines with silence watching this tragedy unfold. All of us have a responsibility to put pressure on the United States and its allies to stop muzzling the press. As many experts stated Wikileaks has every right to publish the information it has received PERIOD! By knowing what kind of classified information could be out in the public domain as the result of the Wikileaks leak, the concerned governments should work to contain its effect and the damage it may cause rather than trying to control the information by persecuting the publishers and by shutting down the website.
The cat is out of the bag, deal with it and continue to respect freedom of the press and the publics’ right to know. There is no question that the information that is coming out from Wikileaks is damaging the US relations with other countries. It is the US intelligence community that failed to protect its information. The US has only itself to blame. I was ashamed and disappointed when I heard Secretary Robert Gate telling the press that the arrest of Mr. Assange is good news. How could Secretary Gate have any moral authority to criticize China, Iran or anyone else for that matter when and if they detain, assassinate, and persecute reporters and journalists in the future. It can not be right when the US and its allies violate the fundamental rights of the public for information and suppress the press; and cannot be wrong when others do the same thing. The US and its allies conduct must be judged with the same ethical and moral standard like everyone else.
I respectfully ask you to oppose the detention of Mr. Assange. Write to the US President Barrak Obama to do what he can to demand the release of Mr. Assange. The US should lead by an example and show the world that it will not violate its own laws and constitution even when it perceives that its National Security is threatened by legitimate publications. More over, for those who believe that Freedom of the press is as important as any basic necessities for the survival of civilization and the world community, I ask you to boycott VISA until VISA changes its policy. Speak with your money, write and call the appropriate authorities to stop the persecution of Mr. Julian Assange and his colleagues. As one commentator said, Mr. Assange deserves a Nobel Prize for his courage not to share a prison cell with thieves and murderers. Voice your concern to British embassy all over the world and demand that Mr. Assange be released immediately. If the United States and its allies get away in muzzling the press, then how could any one speak with voice of authority about freedom of the press.

Please call the White House at: (202) 456-1414 or (202) 456-2461; and the British Embassy at: (202) 588 6500 or (202) 588 7800. Boycott VISA and let them know how you feel. Support Freedom of the Press. CHERISH THE FREEDOM YOU ENJOY TODAY, it may not be there tomorrow unless you fight for it.

Tags: wikileaks

16 comments

Comment from: AC [Visitor]
AC

The more evil the conspiracy, the more violently it reacts to threats.

12/09/10 @ 01:08
Comment from: Abhilash [Visitor]
Abhilash

I may not be with Assange for what all he has done. Everything is not right when we see it with a myopic eye. But I believe it’s all a beautiful picture out there in a not so distant future.

Power distribution is a key factor today in this world that is shrinking. Those who has power abuse it and those who don’t have no other choice but to respect it.

If I am asked to betray someone, fear is that thing. Shed your fears, as this is the chance when the world may come into parity as a whole.

I believe “destruction leads to rejuvenation” but often we don’t get the chance for this. Today is the chance, we should not miss it.

12/09/10 @ 02:34
Comment from: Ababilawa [Visitor]
Ababilawa

This article shows how naive people are. They always believe so called freedom… comes before soverignity and National security. Americans are being Americans defending their America. What is wrong with that Mr. foreigner, (Ferenji in Ethiopia hehehe)

12/09/10 @ 04:23
Comment from: Suliman [Visitor]
Suliman

I do not disagree with Mr. frenji when he says governments have the responsibility to protect sensitive information . I also agree and respect the freedom of the press and free speech . One thing that is fogotten and no body seem to talk about is these rights come with responsibilites . To me these rights are not absolute . Journalists must follow what is termed responsible reporting . This means, they need to ensure the information they share with the public do not endanger the safety of troops and nations . Like any other citzen journalists have responsibility to their counteres.
Belive me when I say the top priority for many countries
including the USA is protecting their national security . Many
nations would not appreciate those who leak information that
will endanger their national security and would do anything to stop those who do.

12/09/10 @ 04:31
Comment from: mehiretab [Visitor]
mehiretab

Good piece of writing and message. Help the world become better place to live by boycotting despot dilly -dallies such as paypal, visa , etc. USA is hanged forever being caught in double standards. No one from here onwards would ever trust and believe the hypocrite USA. In fact the opposite. The USA should be enlisted for now as a dangerous and terroist state that endangers world piece and harmony.

12/09/10 @ 04:37
Comment from: tezibt [Visitor]
tezibt

Tibebe, smart as you are do not forget to give credit when quoting someone else. I like you commentaries and articles. Don’t disappear.

12/09/10 @ 06:22
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]  

Press freedom is not and can’t be more important than public security/national security, fundamental freedoms and human rights are not above the state, but below the state.

The USA pretended to show the world as if freedom of press was more important than national security or public interest for quite some time just because there was no real threat of unlimited press freedom against public security in the USA until Wikileaks.

It doesn’t give sense to talk about safeguarding fundamental freedoms and human rights without first safeguarding national security, freedom of press can’t just exist without national security. In this nation state world order everything comes after the security of national interest. If there is no national security we are back to zero of Hobbesian state of nature.

The key word is limitation, there is limitation to every “freedom".

12/09/10 @ 09:22
Comment from: abyssiniangirl4life [Visitor]
abyssiniangirl4life

Mihretab,
LOL you are one hilarious guy! Every country in the world double-crosses their allies/enemies hundreds of times. We the people just weren’t EXPLICITLY aware, that’s all. If you didn’t suspect this, you are the one that is crazy. Anwywhoo, what i wanted to point out is that it doesn’t matter whether we find out or not…we are not in any position of power, therefore, we won’t change anything. I’m sure you’re are going to say: what about voting these politicians out, right? How has that worked out for you so far, especially in terms of change in foreign policy?

12/09/10 @ 09:55
Comment from: Bekele [Visitor]
Bekele

I disagree with the article in some truth,i.e., there is no democracy, freedom or right when some conditions are happening that threatn the national security.
1. every thing has its limitation. there is no what is called absolute freedom.
2. the very essence of democracy is could only grown on the issues of sovereighnty and security of the country
3.there is responsibility as there is rights and they are always found together. there is no any chance of finding freedom with the absences os obligations.
4. every citizen have an obligation to keep secrate things that could challenge the national security.

Freedom of press and individuals for that matter should be seen after the national security otherwise there will not be peace and security and this leads to the florishing of anarchism.

12/09/10 @ 11:16
Comment from: Sodo [Visitor]
Sodo

What the hell. Assume what was in the minds of policy makers in the U. S. Before Obama. It was based on racism towards Africa and a great fear of Ethiopia. You see, Ethiopia and Ethiopians were the bad apples of the Continent for simply they like their freedom and they taught and died for it. Naturally, they have to be disintegrated as a nation. In came the little Weyanase and the crazed Shabias to do that job. It was never a secret to Ethiopians. We always knew it.

12/09/10 @ 13:38
Comment from: Demele [Visitor]
Demele

Ferenji, you are funny. When was the time America has a free press? Never

12/09/10 @ 13:56
Comment from: Ras Thomas (Patariotic Abyssinians). USA [Visitor]
Ras Thomas (Patariotic Abyssinians).  USA

Hey !!!!
Ethiopian, you should learn what truth is:
truth is we are living non perfect
world since our grand-grand father Adam
and grand-grand mother Eve were both expelled from Garden Eden in Heaven.
So, we are exile in this planet and life will never perfect, people will never perfect as angels of God, Look
what we have done with only one who came this World in perfectness, look
what we have done only one who came in perfectness. Yesus the Holy one of Israel.
When we came back to those they callec Wiki-leaks. We don’t know wether it is a intentional misinfomations that West released as
to misinform others or wether it is true. As Mr. Putin said in that regard. Putin an experienced ex-KGB
officer and current President of Russia. And we know also, when state wants to expose mis-information to their enemies they will put some realy true information, in order to be believable. so they mostly mix true and false as souse to food.
in conclusion it is not to do much to our interest as Ethiopians. what is important to us that we need to talk is: Security, stablity of our country. which necessary to devolopement of poor nation. we need to talk about how we can produce more electricity and food. we need to increase our export of products.
we need to prepare how to defend our country, because we very powerful enemy. We can do all this when we unite. And forgive to each other. let our eyes see foreign enemy who want to destroy us. who believe his
Injeer will go if we use our water.

God bless Ethiopia.

12/09/10 @ 20:25
Comment from: Mihretab [Visitor]
Mihretab

abyssiniangirl4life:

You are the hilarious Hilary Clinton!! I should agree with you and vote that a despot, the USA is, AND THE LIKE FOR LIKE FRIEND OF ANOTHER EVIL DESPOT NAMED MELES ZENAWI has the right to spy the world and advance its version of foreign policy when decoded means enslaving the world at any cost? Ah! why not! When Communism collapsed from within (implodeded) the usa imperialism , the devil that it is, remains untouched, unchallenged and truimphant. The whole world fell before its feet and every one scrambled to be USA’s floor sweeper and ally including the Enver Hodja’s self-proclaimed graduate called meles. USA has been despots’ ally as long as its interest was and is maintained. But what was and is its interest? USA was a staunch ally of South Africa’s apartheid regime. Time and again it was against sanction against the apartheid regime. If there were wikileaks document of those era, sure the USA would be exposed further sleeping in deep love with the apartheid regime. When the cold war was over, the USA was absolved of all its sins as if it did not do any thing. The USA is a staunch bed fellow to zionists, desposts like meles, and mass murderers for long, not just now. The wikileaks showed more of what the USA is :hypocrite and willing to sleep with despots like meles and terrorists, and twart opressed people’s aspiration for freedom and democracy. What a grand idea it is the USA secrecy and state secret!!! It serves its own version of neo-natzism paperd over by talk and posturing in ther name of democracy and free world. The USA is not living alone in mars: its secret policy is aimed at harassing the world population and advancing its dinosorous imperialist agenda of enslaving the world through contemporary mercenaries and despots like Meles zenawi.

12/10/10 @ 04:17
Comment from: yoyoma [Visitor]
yoyoma

I understand your point, it’s good to write as long as you can back it up. But what if that information can lead to the death people. In the case of pakistan where he leaked the names of all people working with antiterorism missions, Just because he has the information it doesn’t mean he has to put it in the open and let the world get in flames. I am sorry, they should even shoot him before it’s too late.

12/10/10 @ 13:06
Comment from: Belay [Visitor]
Belay

Mihretaab you are foolish or an eritrean.

12/11/10 @ 11:42
Comment from: Mihretaab [Visitor]
Mihretaab

from: Belay [Visitor]
“Mihretaab you are foolish or an eritrean".

Belay in a minute you spiralled in to your premordial sentiments. We are ofcourse familiar with the nature of people in the “support despot zenawi PLC".

12/13/10 @ 05:43

rebtel

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