Washington Babylon — May 22, 2009, 8:48 am

Death in Libya: Political prisoner latest victim of Bush’s “Freedom Agenda”

Former President George W. Bush’s “Freedom Agenda,” a set of policies that exists only in the minds of Washington Post editorial page writers and senior fellows at the American Enterprise Institute, has claimed its latest victim:

The Associated Press reported today:

A Libyan dissident and human rights activist repeatedly imprisoned in Libya for defying the country’s leader Moammar Gadhafi died after being released earlier this month to Jordan, a top Jordanian security official said. Fathi al-Jahmi, whose ordeal in Libyan prisons had been decried by the United States, never regained consciousness after having slipped into a coma following a stroke on May 4 in a Libyan jail, the official said…

Since 2000, al-Jahmi had been imprisoned several times, mostly for urging free and fair elections and calling for the abolishment of Gadhafi’s “Green Book,” which outlines the Libyan ruler’s anti-democratic and economic policies. Upon one of his releases, in 2004, al-Jahmi gave an interview to U.S.-funded al-Hurra television, repeating his call for Libya’s democratization. In another interview to the same station days later, he called Gadhafi a dictator and said the Libyan leader “wants people to worship him.”

He was arrested weeks later, along with his wife and their eldest son. The three were detained at an undisclosed location without access to relatives or lawyers. The wife and son were released about six months later but al-Jahmi remained in detention.

Incidentally, Jahmi’s 2004 arrest came soon after Bush praised Libya for freeing him and declaring that Jahmi was one of those “courageous reformers” that the United States government was so devoted to. But Libya was providing cooperation in the “war on terrorism” (and it also sits atop vast reserves of oil that American companies want access to), so Jahmi’s detention was swept under the rug in order to facilitate the Bush administration’s political thaw with Libya.

Share
Single Page

More from Ken Silverstein:

From the November 2013 issue

Dirty South

The foul legacy of Louisiana oil

Perspective October 23, 2013, 8:00 am

On Brining and Dining

How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy

Postcard October 16, 2013, 8:00 am

The Most Cajun Place on Earth

A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits 

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

January 2015

Come With Us If You Want to Live

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Body Politic

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Problem of Pain Management

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Game On

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Love Crimes

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Body Politic·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“‘He wrote all these love poems, but he was a son of a bitch,’ said a reporter from a wire service.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
Article
Love Crimes·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If a man rapes a woman, she might be forced to marry him, because in Afghanistan sex before marriage is dishonorable.”
Photographs © Andrew Quilty/Oculi/Agence VU
Article
Game On·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union had posed a truly existential threat.”
Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Come With Us If You Want to Live·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I was startled that all these negative ideologies could be condensed so easily into a positive worldview.”
Illustration by Darrel Rees
Article
Christmas in Prison·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Just so you motherfuckers know, I’ll be spending Christmas with my family, eating a good meal, and you’ll all be here, right where you belong.”
Photographer unknown. Artwork courtesy Alyse Emdur

Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:

36,000

A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.

Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today