“…What this teaches us is, of course, to take with a pinch or two of salt the protestations of freedom and righteousness with which leaders cloak the actions of their men-at-arms……., ……
Few people in the UK will be aware the a very prominent British journalist and his team have only recently emerged from the terrifying experience of becoming kidnap victims in rebel hands. That story has still not appeared in any media in the UK because a “news blackout” was declared in order to facilitate their release. Few would – or should – have any qualms with that degree of self-censorship.
However, their organisation – a very major force in the British media – has chosen to say nothing about the issue since. The public are entirely unaware this has happened.
In doing so they – and we by extension – have effectively muzzled ourselves and not told an important part of the Syrian war story – a nasty, dark and highly relevant dimension to the the rebel campaign there. The great Syrian question is all about what kind of freedoms people are fighting for. That’s why this issue matters so much.
When the prominent US TV journalist Richard Engel of NBC was kidnapped and released, recently, he wasted no time in putting the story out when he was safely out of Syria.
But I would say he took the opportunity to tell an important story just when our governments are considering arming these people who will kidnap our reporters.
I think that matters. Matters more then self-censorship. Whilst there may be reasons for not telling the story when it is happening and trying to get people out is paramount, it should be a very different story when, with luck, the people are freed.
This self-censorship after the event is not stopping the kidnapping, nor is it telling and essential truth of the war. In fact it is actively hiding that important truth…”