Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Breaking News--Fox News Hostages Were Freed With $2 Million Ransom

World Net Daily, in an exclusive article by Aaron Klein, claims that,
JERUSALEM – Palestinian terror groups and security organizations in the Gaza Strip received $2 million from a United States source in exchange for the release of Fox News employees Steve Centanni and Olag Wiig, who were kidnapped here last summer, a senior leader of one of the groups suspected of the abductions told WND.

The terror leader, from the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, said his organization's share of the money was used to purchase weapons, which he said would be utilized "to hit the Zionists."
This should not surprise anyone but should disappoint everyone.

On August 27, the day that Centanni and Wiig were released, I posted a story citing DEBKAfile as claiming that the terms of their release included, 1. That the hostages convert to Islam, 2. That they do so as part of a pubicly released video, and 3. That a six-figure ransom be paid to the man who orchestrated the kidnapping.

It now appears that her information was correct.

What does this mean?

If the United States government was involved in this transaction it means that we are being governed by hypocrites of the highest order.

If the United States government was not involved then it must launch and immediate investigation into the transfer of American money directly into the hands of terrorist organizations.

Further, if the United States government was not involved then there must be easy ways for people with money to bypass the international financial embargo on terrorist organizations in Palestine. This in itself is bad news and worthy of a more thorough investigation.

My personal opinion is that such a large monetary transaction could not have taken place without both the knowledge and cooperation of the United States Government.

More to the point, this story demonstrates how dangerous it has become for international journalists in general and American journalists in particular to cover stories in territory controlled or patrolled by terrorist or "insurgent" organizations.

It can never be clear to any given journalist as to whether their value as a conveyance of news/propoganda will be trumped by their trade-in value for cold, hard cash.

With this situation in place I doubt that I will ever be able to believe another story filed by a on-site journalist again.

I also believe that this story makes it clear that journalists operating among terrorists are either A. complete fools, B. propoganda stooges or else C. have been paying large sums of "protection money" for the privilige of maintaining at least a superficial cachet of objectivity and independence.

The phrase "sleeping with the enemy" comes to mind.

If true, is this journalism? Or treason?