Monday was the day we heard that the "US believes al-Qa'ida is on the verge of defeat after deputy leader's death" as The Independent headlined the story. It stood out as a sequel to the recent United States action in Pakistan, which brought us the news (but not the body) of a dead Osama bin Laden. It appears that a US operated drone killed Al Qaeda's top deputy, one Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, a Libyan citizen. After decades as a jihadist, Rahman is no more. But is that the end of al Qaeda?
On Tuesday, foreign affairs columnist for the Asia Times, Pepe Escobar, published a remarkable column outlining the command structure of the victorious NATO backed military leaders. Abdelhakim Belhaj, the lead commander of the rebels, and the two top regional commanders were once affiliated with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LGIF). In fact, commander Belhaj was once the subject of a US led extraordinary rendition (aka torture) in Thailand. About the time the US planned to send Belhaj to Guantanamo Bay, the Gaddafi's government requested his return to Libya.
Welcome to Wednesday, 23 March 2011. Traditionally called "Hump Day" in some parts due to its location and identification as the "mid-week" milestone, here is a selection of some of the stories currently catching the most attention at sites like McClatchy and Al Jazeera (English):
Mary Sanchez: The outrageous suggestion that illegal immigrants could be dealt with like feral hogs flew out of Kansas state Rep. Virgil Peck’s mouth and across the Internet. The fact that it slipped out of his mouth so readily indicates that the tenor of the debate over illegal immigration may be reaching dangerous levels.
What's news in your neck of the woods? Let us know in the comments below. And as we begin our descent toward the end of the work week and long slow slide into the weekend, please keep your hands, feet and any miscellaneous appendages inside the vehicle...
The death has been announced of Mohammad Nabbous, described as the "face of citizen journalism in Libya".
Nabbous was apparently shot dead by Gaddafi forces in Benghazi on Saturday.
Known as "Mo", Nabbous set up Libya al-Hurra TV, which broadcast raw feeds and commentary from Benghazi, on Livestream.
Video from the Guardian article, via YouTube
A Google search on the term "journalists targeted" yields quite a few results, indicating the potential power and impact that live reporting can have on fluid, dangerous situations - particularly in this age of ubiquitous and instant communication. Any time that there's a potential for oppression through violence, those doing the oppression know how important it is to keep the truth hidden as long as possible. A few samples from the search results as of this report:
New York, February 18, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on authorities today in Bahrain, Yemen, Libya to cease their attempts to prevent media from reporting on anti-government demonstrations. Bahraini authorities used live ammunition--including fire from a helicopter--against peaceful protesters and journalists, according to news reports. Pro-government thugs attacked at least two journalists in Yemen, and the Libyan government appeared to be shutting down Facebook, Twitter, and Al-Jazeera's website as a means of silencing reporting on protests.
The New York-based Committee to protect Journalists [CPJ] says both sides are using media outlets allied with them to disseminate their political message.
Media houses have been used to inflame passions and win the hearts of civilians in both the south and the rebel-controlled north, says Mohamed Keita, the CPJ Africa advocacy coordinator.
Thirty people were killed recently when they marched on the offices of the state-controlled television station to demand the resignation of its director.
"It is becoming unbearably dangerous for media outlets and their journalists to operate in Ivory Coast,” says Keita. He calls on both sides to “refrain from targeting the press or using politically motivated censorship."
Turkey’s ruling party has a list of 70 people, including journalists and opposition figures, to be kept under surveillance or detained in the scope of the Ergenekon investigation, a daily newspaper has claimed.
The truth hurts. Sometimes, ensuring that the truth gets out can be deadly.
Be careful out there. Without journalists - and without citizen journalists - the forces of oppression and decay can operate with less fear of opposition.
We need to stand together, and we need to keep those who have given their all to keep the rest of us informed, and safe, in our hearts and minds.
Support your local citizen journalists and their efforts - remember, they're doing this for all of us.
NEW YORK — Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi have said they will release four New York Times [NYT] journalists who were captured during fighting in the eastern part of the country, the newspaper said today.
The journalists are reporter Anthony Shadid; photographers Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario; and a reporter and videographer, Stephen Farrell. In 2009, Farrell was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan and was rescued by British commandos.
Gadhafi’s son, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, told ABC News reporter Christiane Amanpour during an interview that the journalists were in Libyan custody, and on Thursday evening Libyan government officials told the U.S. State Department that all four would be released, the Times said in an article on its website.
The average price for a gallon of gas rose 30% from $2.69 in July 2010 to $3.49 as of March 6. Most of that 30% has come in just the last few days.
We're about to embark on another period of let the markets take care of it. The Money Party manipulators are again jerking citizens around in the old bottom-up wealth redistribution program. Their imagineers are writing the storyline right now.
The conflict in Libya is causing the spike in oil prices over the past ten days or so according to the media script. Take a look at the chart to the right. Can you find Libya among the top fifteen nations supplying the United States with crude oil?
Why the Current Panic Over Gas Prices?
The general explanation points to the crisis in Libya as the proximate cause. The anti Gaddafi regime revolution began in earnest on February 17. But if the Libyan revolution were the cause, we'd have to attribute a 50% drop in a 2% share of the world's oil supply as the cause of the panic. We would also have to attribute the increase in US gas prices to a nation that doesn't impact the US crude oil supply and, as a result, should not impact the price of gas here..