Effect Measure

Update on “The Tripoli Six” campaign

An amazing thing is happening. There are now more than 60 70 80 posts about the travesty of the five nurses and a doctor imprisoned in Libya and under threat of death by firing squad (see our posts here and here and Declan Butler’s running Connotea list). Thanks to the many of you that have taken a little time to contact your reps and the government of Libya and whoever else you think needs to know. Full list of contacts and links here .

The number of posts is impressive and let me say how proud I am of science bloggers and especially my colleagues here at scienceblogs.com who have blogged this repeatedly and with genuine passion in the last couple of days. But the science blogs are still only a small portion of the big blogosphere and that’s where some really amazing things have happened, instigated by the science blogs. From us it spread to the progressive (“Left”) blogosphere where the big guys like DailyKos, The Next Hurrah, Fire Dog Lake, Alterpeek and Majikthise (and probably others I’ve missed) frontpaged it within a day or two of each other. Then a frontpage post at DailyKos Saturday got linked on the frontpage of Instapundit, the conservative counterpart to DailyKos. The issue is now covering both Left and Right blogistan, including the largest progressive and conservative blogs in the world. It is not a partisan issue. It is a matter of simple justice, respect for law, the human plight of these workers who went to Libya to help others and wound up victims, the problem of dirty syringes that spreads HIV throughout the world, substandard health care, human rights abuses by nation states and the whole ball of wax.

We still don’t know where this is going. But for a doctor to see colleagues face firing squads for failures in the health care delivery system (dirty syringes) it is the ultimate metaphor, except that it’s more than a metaphor for these six who have languished in prison for 7 years and now face the death penalty once again. They stand in for all of us who risk killing our patients because the tools we are given are so defective, our patients, through no fault of their own, are so sick, and the system so corrupt, cruel and inhumane it cares nothing for their deaths except as a political gambit to divert attention.

Here is a quick movie trailer for those who would like a human face on this: http://www.creativehat.com/index.html. Two minutes of your time to watch it.


  1. #1 DarkSyde
    September 24, 2006

    SeedScience did the heavy lifting. And for the record, Glenn Reynolds took a break from his vacation to help out. We now need to get this nonpartisan story into traditional media. Thoughts?

  2. #2 revere
    September 24, 2006

    DarkSyde: Didn’t know he took time off from vacation, but I know you were the one that got him to do it. That may have been one of the most powerful moves yet. Thanks. Getting the story back on the front page of the MSM is indeed the next step. Having it start in Nature should help a lot. All of us with press contacts should push them, now that it is a big story in the blogosphere.

  3. #3 DemFromCT
    September 24, 2006

    Someone’s got to say this sooner or later, so I will. We are all trying to do our part, but if you ask Declan, the reveres, DarkSyde, or anyone involved, it’s not about us. if anyone asked me who deserves credit, I’d simply say Nature and the science blogs, without naming names.

    I know this is not a self-congratulatory post, nor have any of the 70 been; it’s about how news spreads, and ultimately about how we can help these poor souls. But I want to make sure there’s no misinterpretation.

  4. #4 revere
    September 24, 2006

    DemFromCT: I couldn’t agree more, except for one thing. It is also important to realize that what we do can make a difference. Otherwise people become cynical and don’t bother.

    Cynicism is the great weapon of our enemies. We need to fight it everywhere we can. We can’t always make a difference but we have to have hope that we can sometimes make a difference.

  5. #5 DemFromCT
    September 24, 2006

    Heh. Spoken like an activist and a gentleman. 😉

    If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. And yes, I’m that old.

  6. #6 Palmdoc
    September 24, 2006

    We did our part too

  7. #7 revere
    September 24, 2006

    palmdoc: Many thanks. Malaysia, huh? Very nice.

  8. #8 rickr
    September 25, 2006

    What the heck, I just emailed Oprah. Hey, you never know…

  9. #9 revere
    September 25, 2006

    rickr: Indeed, you don’t. The world is a strange place.

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