Annual Fundraising Appeal
Over the course of 21 years, we’ve published many unflattering stories about Henry Kissinger. We’ve recounted his involvement in the Chilean coup and the illegal bombings of Cambodia and Laos; his hidden role in the Kent State massacre and the genocide in East Timor; his noxious influence peddling in DC and craven work for dictators and repressive regimes around the world. We’ve questioned his ethics, his morals and his intelligence. We’ve called for him to be arrested and tried for war crimes. But nothing we’ve ever published pissed off HK quite like this sequence of photos taken at a conference in Brazil, which appeared in one of the early print editions of CounterPunch.
100716HenryKissingerNosePicking
The publication of those photos, and the story that went with them, 20 years ago earned CounterPunch a global audience in the pre-web days and helped make our reputation as a fearless journal willing to take the fight to the forces of darkness without flinching. Now our future is entirely in your hands. Please donate.

Day11

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
cp-store

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

William Nessen is Safe But Indonesia's War on Reporters Continues

Indonesia’s War on Journalists

by DAVID LINDORFF



Good news came Tuesday from Indonesia, where American journalist William Nessen was successfully allowed to leave rebel territory in oil-rich Aceh, where he had been covering the struggle by Aceh rebels to win independence from Indonesia and to resist a major assault by Indonesian troops.

Nessen had been overtly threatened with arrest and even death by notoriously brutal Indonesian military officers, and a major campaign had been mounted by the Committee to Protect Journalists and other organizations to protect him and negotiate an agreement for his safe return from the jungle.

In the end, after considerable pressure on an initially indifferent U.S. embassy and State Department, an arrangement was reportedly negotiated whereby Nessen was able to cross over into Indonesian military-controlled territory in the presence of an officer from the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia and the chief information officer of the Indonesian military. Nessen, an accredited journalist who was writing from Indonesia for the Boston Globe and the San Francisco Chronicle, agreed as part of the deal to be questioned by military personnel in the presence of a U.S. embassy official.

Nessen’s "crime"–and the reason his life was in danger in recent days–is that he had failed to abide by the Indonesian military’s restraints on journalists covering the counter-insurgency campaign in Aceh. The Indonesian army had recently taken a page from the Pentagon, and had "embedded" journalists with its troops, making that the only way for journalists to cover the campaign legally. Nessen, following the old rules of reporting, had simply gone off on his own to cover the story, walking into rebel territory. Nessen had also filed reports from the war zone via cell phone, in which he accused the Indonesian military of committing attrocities, including bombing villages and deliberately causing starvation. (His mention of the role of U.S. military equipment in the campaign, including F-16 fighter-bombers probably didn’t endear him with American diplomats in Jakarta or Washington, either.)

His harrowing experience–he was caught in one fire-fight and had to abandon his camera and video equipment, which were subsequently found and impounded by the Indonesian army–raises an interesting question: How would the Pentagon handle a reporter who was as daring and enterprising as Nessen these days?

I am afraid the answer is not pretty to contemplate.

One good example is provided by the current war in Iraq (yeah, I know, Bush says it’s been over since May 1, but does anyone really believe that?).

Those journalists who didn’t listen when, on the eve of America’s invasion of Iraq, the president urged them to flee Baghdad, found themselves subject to attack by bombers, in the case of Al Jazeera’s office, and tanks, in the case of the hotel where all other foreign journalists were quartered. Several of these courageous journalists who stayed on in Baghdad paid for their pluck with their lives.

Several other journalists in southern Iraq who went off on their own during the early days of battle were also slain, though the circumstances there are less clear.

And what about that other war–the so-called war on terrorism? One can only imagine how the Ashcroft "Justice" Department would treat any reporter who managed to get inside the Al Qaeda operation to follow it’s side of the battle.

Armed with the power to secretly arrest and imprison anyone, and to hold her or him incommunicado indefinitely as an "enemy combatant," it’s possible we wouldn’t even know about such a reporter’s exploits. Like Jose Padilla, an native-born American citizen who has been held without charge and without access to a lawyer (or even a family member) now in a South Carolina military brig for over a year, they could simply disappear along with their stories. (For all we know, given the level of secrecy imposed by the Bush Administration in this case, Padilla was just a freelance journalist trying to get a story!)

Given this kind of threat, it is perhaps understandable that there has been so little aggressive reporting being done by mainstream journalists regarding America’s new wars. That is a tragedy.

We need more William Nessens out there.

For now though, we can at least celebrate Nessen’s escape from the Indonesian Army, and look forward to reading about his experiences with Aceh independence fighters.

Postscript

The good news regarding Nessen was tempered with word on Thursday that despite promises to U.S. diplomatic officials that he would not be charged with anything, subsequent to his voluntarily turning himself in to Indonesian military authorities in Aceh, he was arrested and charged with violating two sections of Indonesia’s immigration law. One section requires foreigners to state their intentions for living in Indonesia; a second requires foreign visitors to notify military or police authorities if traveling to conflict areas.

Nessen, who was in Indonesia on a journalist’s visa, had gone to Aceh before the military declared martial law in the province and began requiring special permission to visit the troubled province.

Under the law, he can now be held in police custody for 20 days, followed by a possible extension of 40 days. At the end of those three months, authorities could decide to prosecute him.

Lin Neumann, Asia consultant with the Committee to Protect Journalists, who had been involved in negotiations to win safe conduct across military lines for Nessen, expressed surprise at the latest turn of events, saying, "The spirit of talks with the Indonesian authorities was that Nessen would be allowed to leave the country if he turned himself in, and we think that should be honored."

U.S. embassy officials in Jakarta also expressed surprise at the detention and charges leveled against Nessen.

Those seeking more information about Nessen’s case, or about how they can help, should go to the CPJ website

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. A collection of Lindorff’s stories can be found here: http://www.nwuphilly.org/dave.html