Faced with growing efforts to censor the release of embarrassing information by WikiLeaks and armed with at best a tenuous grasp of the concept of irony, US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley today announced that the federal government has won the right to host “World Press Freedom Day” in May of 2011, and that the event will be held in Washington DC.
In his official statement Crowley said the move would prove the US commitment to “expand press freedom and the free flow of information in this digital age,” but comes at a time when the State Department is not only championing the attempt to silence the release of classified cables showing a variety of crimes by officials.
Indeed, it was just days ago that the State Department openly warned students at a major US university that if they intended to have any sort of future career they had better not read or discuss the WikiLeaks releases, and a spokesman warned that discussing the leaks would be a “bad move” for any US citizen.
If after only a week of such releases (amounting to less than half of a percent of the overall leak) officials are already openly warning the public against even mentioning the leaks in polite company (and the politically ambitious are openly calling for the assassinations of media members responsible for the leaks), one can’t but wonder what position the freedom of the American press, or indeed the press in the Western world will be in by May. After another five months of this it may well be all but impossible to even cover the event.
22 thoughts on “Amid Censorship Efforts, US Announces Plans to Host World Press Freedom Day”
Unparalled hypocrisy. The sooner the US government falls the better and happier humanity will be. I only fear what evil will step up to replace it.
Welcome to the dark ages. This is the sign for the Great Empire to fall.
what a joke
Yes. Absolutely preposterous. But I can't make myself laugh.
Did we enter an alternate universe?
It is called BIZZARO WORLD by Antiwar's Justin Raimond, an appropriate terms for the timeswe live in.
This is just unbelievable. The U.S. is simultaneously the laughing stock of the world and the most hated country on the planet.
"I'm a big believer in openness when it comes to the flow of information. I think that the more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes … And so I've always been a strong supporter of open Internet use. I'm a big supporter of non-censorship." – Barack Obama, November 16, 2009.
Yeah. The Chinese gov't is wrong to distrust its citizens' ability to handle information.
Hopefully, this was taken off The Onion…Seriously? Did he say it with a straight face? Such stones.
Perfect. The National Socialists hosted the 1936 Olympics.
i don't understand the comparison
to me it seems that the olympics are very compatible with the idea of national socialism
The Olympic spirit is to promote sports among nations, and honor achievement of all — even one's adversaries. Nazi movement was a polar opposite. It did not respect any variation of ideology, and had a rigid ideas of race and human mental and physical abilities. 1936 Olympics were to glorify its superiority, and to show the world who is going to be their future lord and master.
as far as i can see most of the times the olympics are just that, a display of "rigid ideas of race and human mental and physical abilities" based on nationality
although i really don't follow them.
Let's get this straight; what is going on here is an assault on freedom of speech, an assault on journalism, and an assault on a news organisation. Like it or not – the documentation being revealed by Wikileaks.? is news. Lastly, the world is seeing an assault waged against Mr. Assange, the "face" of Wikileaks.? His troubles are not listed last because they less important. It's always disturbing to see an innocent man framed, but there are larger issues at play here. The resolution of response to these larger issues will benefit Mr. Assange collaterally.
There is something very wrong with labeling recent events an 'information war'. Wkileaks began releasing information that embarrassed america, and essentially indicted its foreign policy and its officials. The american news media, however did more than a retaliatory release of information. Indeed, america's criticisms of Mr. Assange and heinous allegations of homosexuality against private Manning would constitute the practical extent of an appropriate response. However, the world has witnessed america and (possibly via through coercion – probably a result of political cowardice and a desire to be on the biggest bully's team) its various international "friends" wage an attack in response that is easily seen as disproportionate.
In an information war – or any other type of 'war' for that matter, there are presumably at least two armed opponents sorting out their differences. Here, the situation is far uglier. This is more akin to a large gang of heavily armed assailants attacking an unarmed (and innocent) victim. Oh yeah; one of the thugs has his hand over the victim's mouth as they relentlessly stomp him to death.
The problem with this scenario is that – a news organisation – cannot and, importantly, should not respond in a like manner. This leads to a situation wherein Wikileaks et al. has been reduced to essentially running for its life and struggling to continue its vital work amid a flurry of tactics which have shut down its financial sources and and continually shut down its access to the inter-net. 'Wikileaks.whateveritcanfindtoday' is playing 'whack-a mole' by continuing to pop up under different i.p.s and on different servers around the world, but as for a 'retaliatory strike', Wikileaks' proverbial hands are tied.
HOWEVER; people (with hacking abilities) who support what Wikileaks is doing are free to retaliate against american main stream media. I wonder when the major networks will be hacked and crashed. I wonder why these people have not yet realised that they hold the key to making this an even fight – the argument being: "Attack Wikileaks' freedom of the press, and the mainstream media's access to the airwaves will be attacked. Suppress Wikileaks and freedom of the press / speech, and we Will suppress you." How long will it take for the hacker community to realise that the next move is their's? The main stream media's (american and that of its lackeys around the world) monopoly on what people are allowed to know and its attempts to hide the highest of crimes is something that could easily be disrupted – to say the least. These people need to know that they operate at the pleasure of others (with hacking abilities) and that there is a limit to how much criminality and suppression of free speech the world will tolerate. There is a limit – isn't there? Present these questions to all of your hacker-type friends, and we'll see.
"World Press Freedom Day." Ironic? More nightmarish than a bad '1984' movie. The world's journo-tainment types show up for this farce and they're liable to end up in Gauntanamo.
Look.., US is a free country in regard to its first constitutional amendment.., however that freedom dose not mean that you are “free” in terms of the meaning of the word “free” or “ Freedom” to say what you want or leak the governments frauds and deceits.., it means that NY Times and LA Times or other big bulky news papers full of fashionable advertising whom are controlled by government can say what they been told to say..,, you people must be misunderstanding the government concepts‘.., what they are saying is what they tell you to say.., by that they assure your personal and social “freedom” in saying or writing.., what they say.., now if that’s good or bad is not for you to decide.., because the matter has been censored before you can even say it.
You got it bass ackwards. The govt doesn't control the press. The press is owned by those that control the govt. Stop drinking the Koolaid
That's an interesting take and there is some truth to it. The bottom line is that the "news" media in this country function as a for-profit branch of the government.
Yes, exactly, as long as you follow the Orwell Principle, it all makes logical sense.
"World Press Freedom Day" will be a day in which they celebrate the stifling of free press, and the monopoly of Big Media. Maybe a "World Police Kindness Day" next.
Just like the Department of Defense is continuously in the business of forever making war.
Just like the Department of the Treasury insures we have no treasure.
Just like the Federal Reserve is not federal and ensures we have no reserves.
Here's a few more real-life examples of doublespeak:
Growth is debt.
Assault from someone wearing an official badge is security.
Freedom of the press is the freedom to state only what is allowed.
Murder is victory. (after all, what else are we winning in Iraq and Afghanistan, other than massive body counts? Notice how no one defines what "victory" over there constitutes)
Poverty is opportunity.
Countries we bomb and murder the people of hate us because we're free.
Betrayal of humanity is heroism.
Following illegal orders without question is honor.
And, of course, "Those who disagree with policy commit 'low-level terrorism.'" As opposed to that high-level kind sanctioned by governments against their own people. When good is outlawed, good people either turn evil – or become criminals.
Will Rick Sanchez and Helen Thomas be there?
Next up Saudi Arabia host freedom of religion day.
We haven't witnessed the death of irony, but we are seeing the inability to recognize it.
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