Article Image

IPFS News Link • Censorship

US Targets Journalists Who Criticize Administration's Foreign Policy

•, by Dennis Kucinich

Scott Ritter was pulled off a NY-to-Istanbul flight on Monday by US officials and his passport confiscated in a startling new development in the government's open drive to censor and silence critics of the Administration's foreign policies at a time when the United States is supplying billions of dollars in arms to foment wider war in Russia, accelerate the attacks on Gazans and set the stage for war with China over Taiwan.

A Marine veteran and true American patriot, Mr. Ritter is also a noted former Chief UN weapons inspector, author and journalist.  He was enroute to Russia to attend an international conference in St. Petersburg.  

Mr. Ritter first came to my attention when he testified at a Capitol hearing I sponsored to inquire into the Bush Administration's plans to attack Iraq. Ritter warned in August of 2002 that a case had not been made for attacking Iraq.  

Had Congress listened to Mr. Ritter, the US would have been spared the loss of thousands of our soldiers and the waste of trillions of tax dollars. Over one million Iraqis died as a result of the US attack on their country. America's financial and moral debt will never be able to be repaid, but would not exist if we had simply looked at the evidence he presented.

Mr. Ritter's  passport was confiscated yesterday by U.S. authorities without explanation.

There are several Constitutional issues at stake here:

The taking of his passport was  an illegal seizure, prohibited by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. Mr. Ritter asked for, but did not receive a receipt, for the seized passport.  

The seizure represents a punitive attempt to censor his views, a violation of his First Amendment right to free speech and freedom of the press.

His Fifth Amendment rights to due process were violated. Someone in the State Department made an administrative decision to prevent his travel and to take away his passport.  Since there was no stated reason for the seizure, there was no open court hearing, no evidence to justify the confiscation of Mr. Ritter's passport was presented publicly.  The whole process has a Kafka-like Trial feeling, where Mr. Ritter cannot find out what he is accused of.