No safe place
Patterico tells the interesting story of a male nurse threatened with beheading by a terrorist suspect at Guantanamo.
I know Zarqawi, the terrorist said to the American. I am going to have Zarqawi cut off your family’s head while you watch. Then he will cut off your head. The terrorist said it all in a matter-of-fact way, looking the American straight in the eye. ... He spoke with me recently, and I will be telling his story in several posts over the coming days. The terrorists at Guantánamo knew the American by the name “Stashiu.” ... Although I know Stashiu’s real name, I am not going to publish it. Stashiu has received death threats from around a dozen Al Qaeda members. ...
After I e-mailed Stashiu, I received a return e-mail that bore his real name. Before I spoke with him on the telephone, I researched his background to make sure he was not a hoaxster. He is not. His IP address (both on his comments and e-mails) comes back to the United States Army Medical Information Technology Center. I have reached Stashiu by telephoning a number that can be accessed through the Army’s official web site. At my request, Stashiu scanned in and e-mailed me his certificate for the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, signed by Harry B. Harris, Jr., Rear Admiral of the U.S. Navy, and Commander of Joint Task Force Guantánamo. He also e-mailed me the citation accompanying that medal. ...
So why did the nurse agree to break his story on a blogsite rather than a regular newspaper. Patterico tell us.
So why did Stashiu agree to speak with me? After all, hadn’t journalists visited Guantánamo? He told me that, of course, they had. So I asked him: why not give his story to Big Media? He said: "I don’t trust them to factually report anything I say. I’ve read you and trust you."
Whoa! Wasn't that the line whistleblowers typically whispered at a suitably dramatic moment in movies featuring a Crusading Journalist getting too close to the Truth? They are whispering it now, except that "Them" refers to the Crusading Journalists. The nurse is safe for now, but not when the terrorist suspect eventually gets out.
The American was not frightened. There was little danger that the terrorist was going to carry out his threat . . . at least any time soon.
So maybe we to create some kind of Witness Protection Program, for ex-Guantanamo guards, nurses and caterers maybe, who served a bad meal. At least it would provide a place for people like this French philosophy teacher, Robert Redeker, to go when he runs out his life savings. He wrote an article in Le Figaro which angered Islamists and he's been on the lam ever since. The Times of London tells his story:
Intellectuals are rallying around a philosophy teacher forced into hiding after he wrote an article describing the Prophet Muhammad as a ruthless warlord and mass murderer.
Robert Redeker, a writer who teaches at a lycée near Toulouse, has been under police protection, moving between secret addresses, since threats against him appeared on Islamist websites last week. His home address was published with calls to murder. “You will never feel secure on this earth. One billion, 300 million Muslims are ready to kill you,” one message said. One threat came from a contributor to al- Hesbah, an internet forum that is viewed as a channel for al-Qaeda. Despite the threats the Government has offered M Redeker, 52, only limited support.
More than 20 stars of the French intellectual world appealed yesterday to the Government to do more to help. They included the philosophers Bernard-Henri Lévy, Alain Finkielkraut and André Glucksmann. M Redeker, who is on the editorial board of Les Temps Modernes, a review founded by Jean-Paul Sartre, has said that he cannot afford to pay for his accommodation and other costs in hiding.
The message is clear. To Stashiu and Redeker: you can run but you can't hide and its your fault. None of this would have happened if you had known what was good for you. The Times of London story continues:
Some Muslims have accused M Redeker of courting trouble for publicity. Tariq Ramadan, a leading university teacher, said: “The philosophy teacher is free to write what he likes in Le Figaro, but he must know what he wanted — he signed a stupidly provocative text.”
Dr. Tariq Ramadan may take some satsifaction in Redeker's discomfiture: he has been restricted going the other way; barred from entering the US, not on account of his statements, but his actions according to the State Department.
In October 2005 he began teaching at St Antony's College at the University of Oxford on a Visiting Fellowship. In March 2006, the ACLU requested an injunction in federal court that would bar DHS from denying Ramadan entry into the U.S., where he hoped to speak at several U.S. academic and literary conferences. In June 2006, a federal judge ruled that the government could not continue to deny Ramadan entry to the U.S. unless it provided a "legitimate and bona fide reason" why not. The judge gave the government ninety days to either grant a visa, or explain why it would not. In September 2006, a State Department statement said: "A U.S. consular officer has denied Dr. Tariq Ramadan's visa application. The consular officer concluded that Dr. Ramadan was inadmissible based solely on his actions, which constituted providing material support to a terrorist organization."
The frontline of the War on Terror has gradually spread to encompass every activity, place and clime. Its shadow lurks whether one is traveling by air, speaking at a public forum, writing a book, applying to teach at a university or giving a Papal speech, working as a nurse or teaching philosophy. Today you have to be really, really careful. The really ironic effect of multiculturalism in both the Islamic world and the West is that it has brought the return of the clandestine act and secret speech. No longer is it possible:
To live undaunted, unafraid
Of any step that I have made;
To be without pretense or sham
Exactly what men think I am.
To be that was to enjoy a freedom we have already lost; and it was never free.