"Weapons of Mass Deception"


AIPAC push Washington to add al-Manar TV to terrorism list

Lebanon-USA, Politics, 12/18/2004

The US has listed the Lebanese al-Manar TV of the Hizbullah party within its list of the terrorist organizations and prevented its broadcast on its territories under the pretext of provoking terrorism and hatred.

The spokesman for the US Department Of State Richard Boucher said that "The designation is to put Al-Manar Television on the terrorist exclusion list because of its incitement of terrorist activity.

Our law says that the organization can be put on the list if it commits or incites to commit any terrorist activity, and that is what we've found them."He added "What we have done, therefore, is to exclude aliens who have certain -- have associations with Al-Manar, based on the designation of the organization under the terrorist exclusion list.

For example, an alien would be found inadmissible, that is ineligible, for visas or subject to deportation if the alien is a member of Al-Manar, if a person solicits funds or other things of value for Al-Manar, if he provides material support to Al-Manar, or solicits any individual for membership in Al-Manar.

So those individuals, individuals who carried out such activities on behalf of Al-Manar, are supporting Al-Manar, or were part of the organization, will be excludable from the United States and not eligible for visas because of that."

Here is part of the breifing Boucher gave:

QUESTION: What about any Americans in this country that provide programming or things like that? Are --

BOUCHER: I don't know what the legal implications might be. I think this list, in particular, only has to do with the exclusion of aliens from the United States. So whether there are other designations that might imply something for Americans, I don't know. I'm not aware of any restrictions at this point on finance or things like that.

QUESTION: Just two quick follow-ups to that. Is there anybody specifically that is now under orders to leave? And second, I believe there's an Iranian station in California that distributes some stuff by Al-Manar. Are they going to be barred from doing that now?

BOUCHER: At this point, we are examining whether there are people that fall in the categories as defined. I don't have a list or any definitive word yet on design -- identification of individuals.

QUESTION: Okay. And the bar that --

BOUCHER: Yeah. Or activities -- particular activities, right.

QUESTION: And whether or not they can distribute through the California station? Is that part of it?

BOUCHER: Again, you've given -- I've given you the criteria. We will be examining people and activities to see whether they fall within that criteria.

QUESTION: Many people in the Middle East are seeing this step by the United States and the previous one by France as a -- an evidence of the extreme power that the Israeli lobby is having in this town and in Paris, also, to prevent a free speech. What would you answer these people?

BOUCHER: I would say that that's not an appropriate conclusion in the circumstances, that the fact is that Hezbollah is an active terrorist organization. People in the Middle East know as much as we do of the attacks they carry out, the weapons they smuggle, the people they kill, the violent opposition to the peace process, the violent opposition to a Palestinian state that the Palestinians are peacefully trying to create. Their television arm, as anybody who watches it can tell you, as they have told me, serves to incite that kind of terrorist violence. And therefore, it's entirely logical that if we view Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, which it is, that their propaganda activities through this television station should be barred. It's not a question of freedom of speech. It's a question of incitement to violence, and we don't see why, here or anywhere else, a terrorist organization should be allowed to spread its hatred and incitement through the television airwaves.

QUESTION: Avi Jorisch, he is from the AIPAC, the Israeli-American Public Relations Committee. He said on CSPAN about a couple of weeks ago that they were trying so hard with the United States State Department and the Congress to carry this campaign against the Al-Manar. So he made it really obvious that they were working so hard toward this conclusion. So, is that an evidence that the Israelis actually are -- their friends are -- have a hand in this?

BOUCHER: No. I'm sure there are plenty of people who think this was a correct and appropriate step. And the U.S. Government looked at this carefully on its own. The U.S. Government examined it from the basis of law and from the basis of the evidence and the basis of the sheer logic of the situation. This was a conclusion reached and decided by the U.S. Government, not by any outside group. (end of briefing remarks)

Meantime, in a Lebanese reaction to this decision m the Lebanese ambassador in Washington Fred Abboud condemned this step and described it as a flagrant and unaccepted violation of the freedom of expression.

France on Monday decided to halt the transmission of the channel to Europe after it accused it of provoking hatred of Israel.

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Milton Frihetsson, 13:35


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