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Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal/Prison Radio
"Targeting Journalists? "
1) 2:24 short radio essay MP3
2) 4:02 long radio essay MP3
THE TARGETING OF JOURNALISTS
[Col. Writ. 3/30/05] Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal
At the last meeting of the World Economic
Forum, a top CNN news executive, Eason Jordan,
said that the U.S. Army targeted and killed a dozen
The corporate media went hog-wild -- and within
days, Jordan backpedaled from his assertion, and
when that did not quell the blogstorm that erupted,
he submitted his resignation.
The majoritarian, white nationalist media effectively
exiled Jordan from the club, for daring to denounce
the actions of the empire.
Eason Jordan did not betray the journalistic
profession, but he did betray the class interests
that owns the journalism industry, and the Empire
forced him out.
For it is unacceptable for the nation-state that
preaches to the world the glories of the First
Amendment, that declares its fealty to 'freedom of
the press', actually targeted journalists.
But what are the facts?
Within days of the CNN resignation, an Italian
journalist, Giuliana Sgrena, would narrowly escape
death at the hands of U.S. soldiers, who fired over
300 bullets at her vehicle as she was riding away
from being held captive in Iraq. She seemed
safer in the clutches of the "terrorists" than in
the gunsights of the U.S. 'liberators!'
Was Ms. Sgrena "targeted?" According to
Piero Scolari, who was in the car with her, the
shooting was a "deliberate attempt" by U.S.
forces to silence her, for Sgrena "had information
due to which the U.S. military did not want
her to leave alive" [Prensa Latina, Mar. 5, 2005;
*Socialist Viewpoint*, Mar. '05, p. 34].
Why? Because Giuliana Sgrena did some
first-hand reporting at the mosque in Falluja,
where people went seeking refuge during U.S.
air raids in February.
Sgrena was wounded during the shooting,
and one of her Italian protectors, Nicola
Calipari, was slain by the U.S. gunmen.
Sgrena writes for the Italian paper, *Il
Manifesto*. Agent Calipari was the chief
negotiator who secured Sgrena's release.
At the time of his killing, he threw his body
over Sgrena's, and received the bullets
intended for her.
The unfortunate truth is Sgrena's shooting
caused attention here in the West, because
she is European. If the journalist had been
an Arab, barely a ripple would've been made.
In Spring, 2003, Jordanian journalist,
Tariq Ayoub, who worked for the *Jordan
Times* (Al-Ra'i), and the Baghdad branch
of Al-Jazeera network, was killed by U.S.
forces. Indeed, other Arab journalists,
working for Al-Jazeera, and the Abu Dhabi
network, were *bombed* by American forces.
Have we forgotten the bombing and strafing
of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, a place
frequented by Arab journalists?
With the exception of Ayoub, we neither
know, (nor care to know, truth be told) their
names. They are -- what's the word that was
used during the first Iraq War? -- 'collateral
damage.' They are Arabs who were
'un-embedded', and thus expendable.
At the time of Ayoub's killing, CENTCOM
spokesman, Gen. Vincent Brooks put the
question of targeting journalists in interesting
relief: "We bomb locations with precision,
and we pay attention to locations where
journalists are present."
[*World Press Review*, [vol.50:No.6],
June 2003, p. 24].
Ayoub's colleague, Sultan al-Hatab, writing
in Al-Ra'i would note:
Tariq Ayoub was a journalist who prevented the warmongers from
completely narrating the story, and he strayed from the official Arab script
dictated to Arab news agencies. He did so using no methods other than
those of a real journalist; professionalism, independence, and being a witness on
the ground. [From: Al-Hatab, Sultan, "Tariq Ayoub: Setting an Example",
*Al-Ra'i*, Amman, Jordan, April 9, 2003; Repr., *World Press Review*,
June 2003, p. 24]
Targeting journalists? What do you think?
Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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