United States, Istanbul, Joel Simon discussed on Forum
This fake news framework that started after he became president and an enemies of people his latest framework for attacking journalists is calling them the opposition. And it's all very dangerous. It's dangerous. I don't think it inhibits individual journalists. And I I think that that that you know, we're seeing a lot of great reporting. But it, but it undermines public confidence in the media, and it has a terrible. And the other thing that concerns me is inspires people online who are threatening and even sending a letter bombs to journalists. But but more importantly, I think it's disempowers autocrats around the world this fake news. Framing is a gift autocratic leaders, and you know, in the Philippines, for example. President territory. There is calling critical journalists, you know, fake news there, there's there's actually trying to get a fake news law on the books there. Basically, the argument there is well, you just talk about fake news. But I'm doing something about it. If you know, I'm gonna put you in jail who published news that idea to be fake. So it's having terrible consequences around the world in terms of strengthening the, you know, the repressive leaders in providing them with a new framework to justify crackdowns on the media. Wanna ask you about the Washington Post journalist, Jamal kashogi? Yeah. Who was murdered of course in the Soviet in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Your group. I believe is suing the yes. As for records, rather talk talk about that. Yeah. So so we're working with the knights center of Columbia would recently joined a lawsuit basically the under US law. The US government has what's called a duty to warn. So if a US person is there's a there's a threat against a US person that the intelligence services become aware of they have to let them know. And we believe based on circumstantial evidence that there was an awareness within the intelligence community of the threat. Two. Jamaica Shoji this includes alleged reports of text messages exchanged between Jared, Kushner and Hamad bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia prior to tobacco. She's visit to the consulate in Istanbul where he was subsequently murdered and dismembered. So there's some some evidence that you know. You know, there was an awareness that that he was at risk and he was not worn. So we filed a we're we're we're we're we're potentially suing the US government to compel them to make public. This information to to answer the question of whether they complied with this legal requirement likely is that you think that they will comply? I'm a journalist. I'm not a lawyer. So I'll leave it to the lawyers to to answer that question. I mean, I think we we have a strong case. But I think that really we on one of the reasons you file a lawsuit. Like, this is you know, you hope to win. But you also want to make the point. And so whether we win or not I think it's important that we we we make express concern in this way. You know, one thing I want to mention about the case sort of. Interesting development is the UN a special rapid sure on a force disappearances is actually her name. Her name is kinda Mark. And she is actually in. Istanbul now carrying out a investigation into the crime. So that's good that there continues to be international attention, and we're hoping alternately that the UN secretary general gets behind an international investigation. They're they're not that many clear paths the Justice. But that's a critical step. Got some listener comments here. Richard Wright's sad. But isn't this? Also, the problem of being a citizen of a world superpower, your guests talks about other countries. But those countries are countries, which do not have the same geopolitical position. Yeah. I mean, I think there's there's you know, there's there's a there's a a case to be made. I mean, I think that part of it is that we discussed this with with Cam who called in from India. You know, the US should've geo political posture in the world creates complexities. But again, if you look at the data, and you look at who's kidnapped you realize just how complex this crime is, you know, Turkish citizens are kidnapped and. People from Latin America, and and of course, most of kidnapping domestic so international kidnappings a relatively small set. Of the overall the overall number. But, but you know, it is it is a very complex crime and motivations are very earth. Always variable. Which is why I think it's really critical that we knock it locked into a narrow policy framework, but have the broadest and most flexible policy possible, another comment here listener asks can you speak the hostage exchanges. Good policy for the United States to be in the business of using humans in exchange for other people. Well, this is this is a nasty business. You know? So so, you know, sometimes I kind of at the end of the book, I look at you know, how how do we look at this issue as an ethical issue is it a political issue is it a policy issue and the ethics of ransom payments, and and and and exchanges. It's coercive. It's a course of strategy. So the goal of the kidnappers to compel people to do things that are contrary to their values and principles. So you always have to kind of look at it from that perspective, but I will say the prisoner exchanges under the Geneva conventions are specifically contemplated, and that the US doesn't gauge in prisoner exchanges. When their service personnel are taken captive in the context of an armed conflict, and people may remember the Bowe bergdahl case the soldier who wandered off the base in Afghanistan was taken hostage by the Taliban and the US released five prisoners from Guantanamo for his freedom. And I should point out that if if if you were journalist or aid worker, there would have been known negotiation. The Taleban is a designated terror group said it would have been no negotiation. It's only because he was a service member that there was although the Lear court him. Well, yeah. I mean, the question is not whether he deserves to be punished. Yeah. The question is what is the policy? What how do we gauge when these terrible things happen? You're listening to form Joel Simon from the committee to protect journalists is appearing tonight at the World Affairs Council tonight at six thirty. This is a fundraising period for Katie public radio. For more information about how to support go to key community dot org. I'm Scott Shafer. And let's go back to the phones. Now, Timothy you're next. Welcome. Yes. Mr. Simon mentioning the forty three missing in Mexico makes people think of the alleged story of massad right after nine eleven attacking the congress in Mexico that was just very much hushed up. Some people have said there's a lot of Masada activity in Mexico in that the forty three and many journalists in Mexico were tracked using the massad software Pegasus could you comment on that? And also in DC, the investigative journalist who mysteriously died, Jan j n Moore who is investigating Clinton's sex crimes. Joel Simon you wear that one. No, I'm not aware of that one. There's an I think that's I don't want to comment on it because I'm not aware of it. But I will talk about you know, the. I think I think the the the the point that I certainly can't talk about is the Pegasus software. And so basically, this is a software developed by an Israeli security firm that when it's implanted on your your phone, basically takes over your phone, and we know that the Mexican government purchases the software and used it to try, and and some cases successfully compromise the communication of journalists and other activists as a very powerful tool, but I I would commend to readers a new story today from from Reuters about a new program that was just it's a really it's a it's an important story that was happening in the United Arab Emirates that involved a former US NSA, an NSA employees who were working for the Emirati government using new software that actually all you needed was the phone number. The thing about this. Pegasus software is you needed to click on a link with this with this new software, which is. This is a new development if they just have your phone number. They can basically take over your phone. And so everyone is vulnerable journalists, particularly, and there was a there was a an example in the story. That was published today by Reuters. I'm a British journalist who was a target. But you know, phones are increasingly insecure they're finding new back doors every day. It's a big concern for Oregon station for journalists and for other vulnerable populations. Who who rely on these devices to communicate our apple, and you know, other phone makers of a working it's sort of interfere with that kind of software. Well, I mean, I I think when they become aware of it. I mean, these are these are very very sophisticated. Technologies that are developed by governments for these precise purpose of of of espionage. So, you know, it's a cat and mouse. But I always assume that my phone's not secure and that no not I I try I try and engage in best practice. I worry a lot about this. But at the end of the day, I don't have complete confidence that I can security information on my phone, and I believe that most journalists were doing, you know, high risk kinds of work have share these concerns and Dan's all, our producer puts up. A just short a headline from the New York Times today at reeds apple was slow to act on FaceTime bug that allows iphones which is another. Yeah. That that was even like a kind of that was not developed by some spy agency that was that was detected by teenager who. Mom, tried to try to alert. A alert apple. There was a problem that was a problem and was very slow to act. So imagine how they how they react. When there's when there's a kind of back door created by government intelligence agency, trying to sneak one more call in Dan in Santa Clara. You're next. Good morning have a larger question. Maybe you could help me with the whether there's a correlation between the lack of standing in the American public mine and the Nydia in the media in general, and I'm gonna ask you to be quick because we're coming up at the end of the I'm sorry and the ease with which. Journalists are targeted around the world. And to what degree the media is to blame particularly cable news by becoming infotainment which happened long before Trump. Yeah. Thank you. Joe? I think I'm going to put that into a global perspective because that's my job. And I will say is this, you know, if you look at places like Venezuela. If you look at places like Turkey, if you look at places like Russia, you know, when the media is perceived as a political actor, they're much more vulnerable to systematic government repression. So I would you have a free media when you don't have the government controlling the media, and you have other forces determining what the media does. And you know, there's lots of reasons to be critical, and, you know, I'm not suggesting that the government should somehow intervene at regulate the media, but I will say that media performance in my experience correlates with greater repression because the public has to feel they have a stake in the press freedom battle, and if they don't then the media's more vulnerable. All right, Joel Simon is new book is called we want to negotiate the secret world of kidnapping, hostages and ransom. He's appearing tonight at six thirty at the World Affairs Council. Thanks so much for coming in very important topic. Thanks for bringing it to light. Thanks for having me. I'm Scott Shafer here today for Michael Krasny. Thanks so much for listening for participating with your calls and your emails will be back. Funds for the production of forum are provided by the members of E D public radio and the.