Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Release the Rashid Khalidi Video now!

President Obama recently backtracked on a promise he had made to release photos showing alleged abuse of terrorist detainees, saying the release of the photos would endanger US troops abroad.

The LA Times promptly criticized the president's decision and called on him to release the photos.

"The Obama administration is wrong in withholding the pictures," the Times wrote, "...Let's not forget Obama's promise, on his second day in office, to 'hold myself as president to a new standard of openness'."

However, the Times' call for "openness" is a bit paradoxical to say the least, considering the following:

During the presidential campaign, the LA Times refused to post a videotape it had obtained of a 2003 banquet where then-state Sen. Barack Obama spoke of his friendship with former Arafat adviser, Rashid Khalidi. Former Weather underground terrorists, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn were also in attendance. Several speakers at the event uttered highly inflammatory remarks about Israel, including one speaker who compared Israeli settlers to Osama bin Laden.

Other unconfirmed sources claim that Obama himself had uttered highly inflammatory remarks about Israel.

"It would be really controversial if [the videotape] got out," the source said. "Tha'ts why [the LA Times] will not even let a transcript get out."

Nevertheless, regardless of whether the latter allegation is true or not, the Times clearly suppressed the videotape, knowing that posting it would very likely impact Obama's presidential campaign.

No one but the LA Times and those who attended the dinner know the full scope of what was said at the event, which is why the McCain campaign and others pleaded with the Times to release the videotape. But the Times, rather than fulfill its journalistic obligation, chose instead to protect Obama in order to ensure him a smooth path to the presidency.

But unlike the detainee photos, releasing the Khalidi video would not endanger anyone [although it may hurt the president politically]. Hence, if the Times believes, that in the spirit of "openness", Obama should release the detainee photos, then the Times should also release the Khalidi video, in the spirit of "openness" and in the spirit of not being hypocritical.

Thus, I hereby call on the LA Times to release the Khalidi videotape now - in the spirit of "openness" and in the spirit of being true to one's purported convictions!

H/T - Todd Garrick

No comments: