Monday, December 12, 2016

Editorial: 3 Americans held in Iraq?

Where's the press been last week?

Obsessing over the failure of Hillary Clinton to win an election?

An election that took place last month?

How about we try to pay attention to reality.

Three Americans are said to be held in Iraq.

And yet the US State Dept. and the White House have refused to talk about it publicly and the 'brave' corporate press has refused to ask about it.

News of the three Americans was ignored by US outlets.

It started with news out of Canada.  For example, THE CANADIAN PRESS reported:

A former Canadian soldier being held in Iraq is in good health and Canadian Embassy officials are working to win his release, federal cabinet minister Judy Foote confirmed Monday.
Foote, the senior minister responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador, spoke to Mike Kennedy’s mother in Newfoundland earlier in the day, said press secretary Jessica Turner.

Kay Kennedy told radio station VOCM her son was arrested in Erbil in northern Iraq while taking part in what she called a humanitarian mission. She said she was speaking with him on Tuesday evening when she realized something was wrong.

Mike Kennedy was released.

But his mother, explaining his release, revealed something else.

From Wendesday's "Iraq snapshot:"

VOCM explained yesterday, "Kay Kennedy has confirmed for VOCM News that her son, Michael, was released today.  Kennedy told VOCM that her son would not leave others he was travelling with when they were arrested for visa infractions, even though his visa had not expired."  Colin Farrell (TELEGRAM) added:

 “He called me and he said, ‘Mom, I’ve been released. I’m good, I’m in good health and I’ll be home for Christmas.’”
She explained that her son had been travelling as part of a group when they were arrested.
“The five guys he was travelling with, three Americans and two Germans, their visas were expired,” she explained. “So it was a visa violation, Michael’s visa was not expired. It didn’t expire till January.”
Kennedy explained her son was given an option to go free or stay with the group.
“He turned around and said, the option for me, I am going to stay with my buddies, I am not abandoning them.”

The KRG is standing by their decision to arrest Michael. Murray Brewster (CBC) reports:

But Kurdish authorities, while not disputing the account, say Kennedy's side-trip into Syria was a serious violation that warranted his detention.
"He is arrested because he came from Syria and crossed [the] Iraq and [Kurdish Regional Government] borders illegally [at] Shingal," Dindar Zebari, the assistant head of foreign relations in the semi-autonomous region, told CBC News on Tuesday.

Zebari said Kennedy had been dealt with under Iraqi law.

And the five others that were arrested as well?  Garrett Barry (CBC) reports, "Though the other fighters have yet to be released, Kay Kennedy says their governments -- Germany and the United States -- have begun to work on the file."

Exactly when does the US press expect to cover this news?

Or will they just look the other way as they have repeatedly throughout Barack Obama's two terms as president?

This is real news.

It's not crazed talk of Russia or whining about Hillary Clinton's loss.

It's reality.

Do you think we might pay attention for just a moment?

We should.

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