Monday, January 29, 2007

Refocusing Public Attention away from the Freedom of Expression Issue

The Danish prime minister is a master of spin.

Public broadcaster DR has cooperated with the left-wing political party the Unity List, the Red-Green Alliance, about producing evidence for the film "The Secret War" by Guldbrandsen, the daily The Avisen writes. In the film it is claimed that Danish soldiers in Afghanistan on a number of occasions have delivered prisoners to American camps where they have been tortured. The Unity list parliamentarian Fran Aaen has tried to force information out of the Danish military by questioning the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister in the questioning hour in the Danish Folketinget's (parliament) questioning hour.

And so fucking what? we're tempted to ask. What is the crux of this whole matter? And what has the Prime minister accomplished by changing focus away from torture and to the way the DR public broadcaster has dealt with the matter? By attacking the media, the prime minister is directing a fullfledged attack at not only the media, but freedom of expression as well.

The DR has not only a right - but a duty as a public broadcaster to inform the public of what is going on in Afghanistan. - And for that purpose they've bought a film from a private direction and shown it on prime time TV.

It is also not uncommon to cooperate with politicians to get relevant information. Anybody knows how difficult it is to get information from military personel in such matters.

Doesn't the public have a right to be informed? Tax-payers money is spent on such military expeditions. Cititzens hence have every right to be informed. The prime minister should be ashamed that he tries to stop the free flow of information. That's not worthy of a democracy - and especially not when we remember how the same PM boasted of his defence of freedom of expression during the Mohammed cartoons crisis a year ago!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is funny how history sometimes comes full circle. Frank Aaen himself was in Afghanistan in the 1980s and was working as an interrogator for the Soviet forces. He has admitted to interrogating (torturing?) an Afghani suspected of being a CIA agent ( One can only wonder how politely a suspected CIA agents was treated in a Soviet prison )

2:45 AM  
Anonymous Cosmic Duck said...

He interviewed a prisoner. It was not torture. Nor was it interrogation!

Anyway, so fucking what? What's the point? - the fact that Mr. Aaen has done it - or not done it! It's not Frank Aaen we're talking about here, but the Danish government. And here there's some kind of difference! It's worse-case-scenario when it's a government doing this kind of shit, compared to when it's an individual.

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He interviewed a prisoner. It was not torture. Nor was it interrogation!"

Of course not... im sure that life in Soviet prisons were full of hugs and kisses. No torture what so ever. The moderate Frank Aaen (who as a SAP member in the 1980s urged his fellow extremist's to attack the american embassy with molotov-coktails) probably was nothing but nice to the suspected CIA agent...

And regarding the afghani "prisoners": they were released after 24 hours so maybe the alleged torture couldent have been so awful.

3:31 AM  

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