Ben Hammersley on Arnett

ben peter arnett and treason.<blockquote>…what seems to be escaping everyone’s attention is that people are only interested in this because he was being interviewed on Iraqi television. Implying that such a statement is treasonous only if spoken on Iraqi television, but not if spoken on TV, Radio, or in the press elsewhere. This is nonsensical. Iraq has just as much access to the other satellite stations as we do in the rest of the world. If an American correspondent on US soil had expressed the same views to a BBC journalist in London, and such views had been broadcast on BBC World and viewed in Iraq, would that be treason? By definition, yes. What about newspaper editorials published on the internet? Against Bush? Is that comforting to the enemy? Well, yes. Coverage of anti-war marches on US television? The editors are giving succour to the enemy there, I’d say.

Such a law, if upheld in the manner being talked about for Arnett - describing ‘comfort’ as psychological, rather than material - is completely meaningless in a world of internationalised media. Any view, other than that of impending total defeat, could be classified as treason - no matter who made it, or where it was expressed. Ultimately, any view made public contrary to that of the government could be expressed as such…</blockquote>