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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.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Number of people stopped and frisked by the NYPD in 2011 for “furtive movements”:
The faces of Lego people were growing angrier.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature