Baltimore Activist Alert – December 30, 2023 to January 22, 2024
Friday, December 29, 2023
U.S. Secretary of State Antony
Blinken speaks during a press conference at the State Department in Washington,
D.C. on December 20, 2023. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
'Gaslighting of the Worst Order': Blinken Calls 2023
Dangerous Year for Press
"How many journalists have
been killed in Gaza with American-made, American-supplied weapons over the past
three months?" responded Mehdi Hasan.
Dec 28, 2023
U.S. Secretary of State Antony
Blinken came under fire for the second time in just over a week when he wrote
on social media Thursday that this year has been dangerous for members of the
press—without mentioning the dozens of journalists who have been killed in Israel's
U.S.-backed assault of the Gaza Strip.
"This has been an
extraordinarily dangerous year for press around the world," Blinken said. "Many killed, many more
wounded, hundreds detained, attacked, threatened, injured—simply for doing
their jobs. I am profoundly grateful to the press for getting accurate,
timely information to people."
Many journalists were quick to
respond, often pointing to the death toll in Gaza. Mehdi
Hasan—whose MSNBC show was recently canceled—asked, "How many journalists
have been killed in Gaza with American-made, American-supplied weapons over the
past three months?"
The United States gives Israel $3.8
billion in annual military aid. Since Israel declared war in retaliation
for a Hamas-led attack on October 7, U.S. President Joe Biden has offered
"unwavering" support for the Israeli air and ground assault on the
besieged Palestinian enclave and asked Congress for a $14.3 billion package.
The Committee to Protect
Journalists (CPJ) announced last week
that at least 69 media workers were killed in the region through December 23—62
Palestinians, four Israelis, and three Lebanese. The Hamas-controlled
Government Media Office in Gaza puts the figure for
the strip alone at over 100 journalists.
"Israel, with U.S. support,
has killed more than 100 journalists in Gaza. Is Blinken taunting the
press with this post?" Ryan Grim, The Intercept's Washington,
D.C. bureau chief, asked Thursday.
The Intercept co-founder Jeremy
Scahill declared: "It is
sickening when Blinken makes statements like this while simultaneously
supporting Israel as it conducts its record-breaking, systematic killing spree
of journalists in Gaza. It's gas lighting of the worst order.
Shameful and gross."
Also responding to Blinken, Chen
Weihua, the European Union bureau chief of China Daily, said that "more journalists were
killed in Gaza in the last two months than any conflicts in recent decades
according to CPJ. And the U.S. was partly responsible because of its full
endorsement of Israeli military operation and the weapons/bombs it provided and
the cease-fire it vetoed."
Although the United Nations
Security Council last week finally passed a watered-down Gaza
resolution—from which the United States abstained—the U.S. has vetoed multiple previous measures in that
body and opposed others in
the U.N. General Assembly, even as polling shows that like many nations around
the world, a majority of American voters support a
Blinken also faced backlash last
week, when he made very similar comments during an end-of-year press conference.
In addition to pointing to Gaza,
critics of Blinken's recent statements on the media noted that the
Biden administration is continuing its effort to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian
Assange, an Australian currently detained in the United Kingdom.
The 52-year-old father of two could
face up to 175 years behind bars in the United States for publishing classified
materials exposing U.S. and allied nations' war crimes, including the Afghan War Diary, the Iraq War Logs, and the "Collateral Murder" video.
Rebecca Vincent of Reporters
Without Borders warned earlier this
month that "if the U.S. government succeeds to extradite Julian Assange to
this country, he will become the first publisher imprisoned under the Espionage
Act—but he will not be the last."
Our work is licensed under Creative
Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
Jessica Corbett is a senior editor and staff writer for
Donations can be sent to Max Obuszewski, Baltimore
Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212. Ph:
410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net.
Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
"The master class has always declared the wars; the
subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to
gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and
everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs