Why The Threats and Permanent Silencing Of Journalists Should Make Us Turn Up The Volume
We need truth tellers now more than ever
The brutal slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, has been disastrously handled by the Saudi Arabian kingdom, as they grapple with the responsibility of having to atone for the global crime against humanity, while desperately trying to maintain the momentum with super powers that are cowering away from the burden of stained association.
The United States wasn’t among the progressive nations to initially strongly condemn the murder of a world-renowned journalist, who had been employed by The Washington Post prior to his death. His op-eds were precisely geared towards systemic enlightenment with the patriotically hopeful tendencies that are all too familiar to writers — who hail from countries that are paralyzed by morally corrupt regimes.
As a Nigerian-American, I am acutely appalled by the way the country of my birth has betrayed me by outright refusing to express horror at the criminality of a disturbingly vile event — and displaying the incapacity to humanely assess the inhumane slaughter of Khashoggi.
President Trump, who has spent his almost 700 days in office, energetically attacking the media by demonizing the sacrifices that are made to deliver the unfiltered truth to those who deserve it, was recklessly and abhorrently compliant when it came to the ungracious support that was relegated to Saudi officials — who initially delivered an infuriatingly unsatisfactory official response to Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Trump’s damning rhetoric when it comes to the media outlets that attempt to hold him accountable is dangerously aligned with regimes that don’t recognize anything that resembles free speech. His adamant chant of how the press should be regarded as “enemy of the people” has inspired a slew of fatal and near fatal attacks at the offices that house citizens who are committed to the duty of unbiased reportage.
His staged rallies that feature the explosion of all the elements that uphold the validity of White supremacy, also plays host to the president’s incoherent rant against the press, as his base of ignorant fanatics defiantly echo the gross sentiments of their fractured leader.
This past summer, at a rally in Florida, CNN’s Jim Acosta and more than a handful of his colleagues, were subjected to jeering sessions that led to unrelenting harassment from the maddening crowd. The chaotic mob was energized for the task of replicating their leader’s lack of respect for freedom of speech — that also includes the journalistic pursuits of reporters who provide the reality of what it means to have a president who endorses the survivability of White people over non-Whites.
Trump’s willingness to immediately declare the nonsensical explanation of a “fist fight” that erupted between 15 men and a lone “fighter” as “credible,” was the disappointing indication that America was defying the traditional method of setting the high standard of adhering to the noble cause of valuing human lives above all else.
The Crown Prince and his loyal court of hitmen have found a solid kinship with a world leader who is direly sour when it comes to relations with familial allies who have discreetly canceled their membership. Yet, he’s questionably forthcoming and welcoming to brutish dictators who are psyched by the extreme turn of events that has given them the audacity to embrace the stupidity of an American president.
As with any situation where the stakes are impossibly high, the incentives behind binding partnerships are rooted in the intolerable mayhem that drives the channels of greed.
This explains why the country of my heritage violently silenced the voices that were dedicated to the duty of revealing how and why the bribery and corruption of the Nigerian government was to blame for the never-ending dismantling of law and order — and the absence of a structural blueprint that could thrive under the suspiciously mandated militarized climate.
Dele Giwa’s death anniversary recently passed, but his murder echoes the violent removal of Khashoggi when you consider that both men died for the sin of loving their homeland too much to turn a blind eye to the mistreatment — at the behest of well-positioned renegades — who rule with the iron fist that’s laced with evidence of cruel injustice and systemic hostility towards the voices that refuse to stay quiet.
Another Nigerian soldier for a cause that ran deeper for personal reasons, Ken Saro-Wiwa, was also summoned to pay the ultimate price for his protection of the land of humble beginnings, that was being ravaged by the savageness of a government that had succumbed to the bribery by industrialized nations — that needed the continuance of military rule to secure the uninterrupted supply of oil.
As the gruesome details of what transpired with Khashoggi in the days leading to his death as well as the unfathomable aftermath become vividly clearer, thanks to the astute work performed by Turkish officials ,who’ve concluded that the slain Saudi journalist was “ambushed and murdered by Saudi operatives” — the position of a former “world police” has swiftly shifted.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave a formal address that unequivocally confirmed the premeditated killing of a US-based journalist who walked into a death trap and didn’t emerge alive — despite the imposter who was dressed in the clothes of the deceased and ordered to exit the consulate — hours after the murder.
President Trump who has proudly declared himself a “nationalist” is having a difficult time considering a future without the immense financial rewards that come from the binding contract that’s furnished in the ambitious Saudi-Emirati war in Yemen, that’s currently killing and maiming citizens.
The U.S. can’t afford to overlook the lucrative trade deals with non-allies that are known to kill off those who dare to investigate and valiantly unveil the truth of criminalized regimes at all costs.
Millions and billions of blood money at the expense of school children, seated in a school bus and headed for an excursion that won’t happen due to a bomb blast implemented by Saudis — who gladly utilized the prized weapons that America traded without conscience — is the main reason why there will be no justice for Jamal Khashoggi.
But the reluctance by the Trump administration to produce a response that gives the U.S. the opportunity to take a stand against the Saudi government by condemning an act of stark brutality — that has evolved into the type of global emergency that we’ve historically thwarted with regimented efficiency — is the arrow through the heart of journalists all over the world.
The restless dispositions of those who were born to roam, observe and report, is the characteristic that can’t ever be threatened by rogue silencers who cowardly resort to name-calling — and dehumanizing tactics to destabilize the valiant foundation of truth tellers.
Now that America is actively collaborating with leaders who aren’t interested in the concept of “free speech,” there’s the fear of what this means for homegrown reporters, who are now accommodating the consequences stemming from Trump’s motivation to sterilize this country from any evidence of their station.
There’s only the patience for manufactured items that are unleashed for the benefit of the population, who have been trained to never dispute the invalidity of coerced statements — that swear on the basis of “very good information” — that there are criminally-inclined middle easterners hiding in the migrant caravan that’s heading our way.
We can’t permit the continuous threats and permanent silencing of journalists.
We have to turn up the volume even higher, for the sake of the diligence and passionate exercise, that is exerted from curious minds both home and abroad, who will risk their lives for the humble duty of exposing systematic negligence and global atrocities — that have been abandoned by agencies like the United Nations, due to the bleak nonchalance of the Secretary-General.
But even more glaring is the ultimate sacrifice that was exacted on those who didn’t survive their search for the truth in the terrain of governmental mayhem — that results in the 2017 car bombing death of prominent Maltese investigative reporter, Daphne Caruana Galizia, who had spent her career dodging death threats that never derailed her mission to hold those in power accountable for the miscarriage of justice.
In reaction to the horrific fate of Caruana Galizia, who was also known as the “witch of Malta,” European Commission spokeswoman Margaritis Schinas provided an honorable summation of the gorgeous defiance that often leads to deplorable acts:
“The right of a journalist to investigate, ask uncomfortable questions and report effectively is at the heart of our values and needs to be guaranteed at all times.”
This is a truth that is being distorted with unimaginable brutality against the lives that are engaged in the assignment of highlighting the lives that should matter.
This is exacerbated by the threats of violence from the Commander-in-Chief who, boldly commends the “body slamming” techniques of GOP Congressman Greg Gianforte, who made headlines back in May for physically assaulting a reporter for the Guardian, after being asked about his position on health care.
Perhaps Trump’s utter disdain for reporters who are immersed in the trenches of his climatic toxicity has inspired his need to encourage the vilification of a profession that shouldn’t be reduced to a makeshift killing field. These bodies and souls are unfairly targeted by venomous rhetoric — orchestrated by the buffoonery of a glorified man-baby.
And then, there’s the scorn of a scorching kingdom that demands the freedom to kill at will.
We haven’t even covered the tragic loss of brave souls who ventured onto the battlefield to challenge the dishonesty of missiles that are rarely aimed at the epicenter of the concocted tales of logistical fare.
The volume needs to be louder and the bar raised higher, as the stakes increase and the entertainment of harboring a failed business tycoon turned successful reality star with a golden seat in The White House — overtakes the wearied media and a harried nation.
Dear CNN, we can’t afford to drop the ball with invitations to idiotic pundits who bring nothing but the assurance of Trump’s victory in 2020.
It’s time for truth tellers to do it for the people, even the ones that don’t comprehend what they really need.
Our lives depend on it.