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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
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”