Thursday, August 24, 2006

Who's Ready to Feed the Tree?

This seems fairly clear to me:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. authorities have arrested a New York man for broadcasting Hizbollah television station al-Manar, which has been designated a terrorist entity by the U.S. Treasury Department, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Javed Iqbal, 42, was arrested on Wednesday because his Brooklyn-based company HDTV Ltd. was providing New York-area customers with the Hizbollah-operated channel, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

It did not say how long Iqbal's company had been providing satellite broadcasts of al-Manar, which the U.S. Treasury Department in March had designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity, making it a crime to conduct business with al-Manar.

Iqbal has been charged with conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the statement said. Federal authorities searched HDTV's Brooklyn office and Iqbal's Staten Island home, where Iqbal was suspected of maintaining satellite dishes, the statement said.
Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity. International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Ever hear of either of these before? What, exactly, do they forbid? You may not know (I sure as hell don't), but that doesn't matter -- we can get tossed in the slam anyway. A hat tip, by the way, to "Brian S." at Freedom 4um for the alert to this latest revolting development.

Clearly, Jefferson's "Tree of Liberty" is becoming very thirsty.


Pam said...

Um, hello?? Freedom of speech, freedom of the press....since when did it become a crime to broadcast something?

oh, right, i forgot. it's when we traded in our civil liberties for some false sense of security.

Bartleby said...

I think freedom of speech and press have actually been eroding for a long time. What's alarming to me right now is the recent dramatic speedup of the process.

Sometimes I console myself with the idea that these things go in cycles; after all, we had the Alien and Sedition Acts 'way back in 1798, and Lincoln was having recalcitrant editors, legislators, and ordinary citizens suspected of Confederate sympathies imprisoned without charges or trials in the 1860s. But while things generally ease up after a while, and liberties are restored, they never quite all return. The noose tightens by six inches, then loosens by five and a half; rinse and repeat.

It's a discouraging business.