Where The Rubber Hits The Road

Two journalists were sentenced yesterday to twelve year terms by North Korea for allegedly “spying” on The Dictatorship that is North Korea. Their alleged crime? They apparently stepped into North Korean territory while researching their story on Human trafficking by North Koreans. Apparently they were under the mistaken assumption that journalists are protected from harm while they expose corruption- a fallacy in this country, and certainly in places that are antagonistic to the United States, like Iran, and of course, North Korea.

Ling and Lee were arrested March 17 along the China-North Korean border after top officials in Pyongyang said they encroached on North Korea soil while reporting a story on human trafficking by Kim Jong Il’s regime. Housed separately in Pyongyang since their arrest, the women have reached out to family members in the U.S., who have in the last week made several public appeals calling for their release.

latimes.com

There has been a tradition in this country of journalists uncovering corruption, but in recent years, journalists have become in many instances, timid in the exposing of corruption in domestic circles, choosing instead to face the uncertain future of an antagonistic dictatorship abroad instead of the budding one at home. Perhaps they believe Barama has their back. Nothing could be further from the truth, apparently. 

When your white Knight is Al Gore, you know you are in deep do- do.

Japanese television has reported that Current TV founder Al Gore was prepared to fly to Pyongyang and secure the women’s freedom, depending on the outcome of the trial. It was not known Monday how the guilty verdict might have affected those plans.

Many analysts speculate that North Korea, which has in recent months sought to publicly establish its nuclear capabilities — conducting an underground nuclear test and launching several experimental missiles — was trying to use the women as political pawns in an attempt to force Washington to sit down for one-on-one talks.

latimes.com

Of course, to be fair, they were working for Gore’s TV station, so the buck has got to stop somewhere- it certainly won’t with Barama- he can’t be bothered by trivialities. Let the minions do the heavy lifting of real life- he’s the theorist, the dreamer, the One. Mere mortals mean nothing to him, unless they have a use.

These reporters are learning several lessons- one, don’t get caught up by a dictatorship- just ask Roxana Saberi, the journalist who was imprisoned by Iran. Two, just because you work for Al Gore doesn’t mean squat to the North Koreans- green to them means money, something their starving people do not have. Three, rights are only as good as the country you are in, and it’s a heck of a lesson to learn. Why don’t you think liberals do not protest in North Korea, or Iran, or China? Their little pink behinds would be tossed in jail, if they were lucky, or kicked into an unmarked grave if they were not so lucky.

After the March 17 arrest of the journalists, analysts say, the Obama administration had sought to quietly negotiate with North Korea. Officials were encouraged after Iran released U.S. journalist and accused spy Roxana Saberi after four months in jail.

In recent weeks, as the trial date got closer, state-run news in North Korea released condemnations of the women, alluding to their “confirmed crimes” and “illegally intruding into [North Korean] territory.”

Experts believe the trial serves as a political litmus test. They say North Korea had an opportunity to distinguish the journalists’ case from the political realm and temper an international image further damaged by the nuclear test.

But now those hopes have been cast into doubt with Monday’s verdict.

latimes.com

These journalists should pray that there is something, some concession that the North Koreans want from the United States. Barama will, I am sure, be glad to roll over, show his belly, and give it to them. After all, he has just finished conceding an atomic weapon to Iran, why shouldn’t he kiss some North Korean butt while he’s on his knees? If he does that, then these unfortunate pawns will possibly be allowed to come home- then again, maybe not. Kim Jong Il has not been exactly renowned for his sanity.

But who knows? Barama could be his equal.
Blake

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