Thursday, January 05, 2006
AmericaBlog: Why would Bush spy on Christiane Amanpour?
Very interesting analysis from Attytood:
...we decided to look at why the American government would want to spy on the CNN reporter (Christiane Amanpour, right).
Well, given the current administration's views on civil liberties and Arabs, the most cynical answer we could offer is because she is of Iranian descent. But while her father was an Iranian airline executive, Amanpour was born in London and mostly raised there, attending Catholic schools, and her family fled Iran in 1979 "during the Islamic Revolution."
Not exactly a terrorist profile.
The least cynical answer would be because her recent reporting would have brought her into direct contact with members of al Qaeda. In August 2002, not long after Bush began to authorize the warrantless spying program, Amanpour worked with CNN's Nic Robertson on a special that was billed as an inside view of al-Qaeda....
Then there is the issue of Amanpour's husband, Jamie Rubin, former official in the Clinton administration State Department. You may have forgotten (we did, frankly), but Rubin re-emerged in 2004 -- as a foreign policy advisor to John Kerry. Do husbands and wives use the same telephones and computers? Is the Pope German?
But frankly, the concept that scares us the most, as a journalist, goes back to that lovely quote from the Fox News spokeswoman at the very top of this post -- and the episode that inspired it. Because Christiane Amanpour was highest profile, and also the most forceful, critic of the media's pliency toward Bush after the 9/11 attacks.
Here's what she said in Sept. 2003:
"I think the press was muzzled, and I think the press self-muzzled. I'm sorry to say, but certainly television and, perhaps, to a certain extent, my station was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News. And it did, in fact, put a climate of fear and self-censorship, in my view, in terms of the kind of broadcast work we did."
The next day, Fox blasts her as an "al-Qaeda spokeswoman." And two years later, we are left to wonder if she was spied upon by the American government.
We sure hope so.
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