Effect Measure

The US national news is all about American journalist Roxana Saberi who has received an 8 year sentence in an Iranian prison for who knows what. There are plenty of places to read about it (CNN here). There aren’t that many places to read about another Iranian miscarriage of justice affecting scientists and doctors, the Alaei brothers:

An Iranian appellate court rejected the appeal of Dr. Kamiar Alaei, an internationally recognized AIDS physician and doctoral student in the University at Albany’s School of Public Health.

Alaei and his older brother, Dr. Arash Alaei, also an AIDS doctor, have been held since last June in Tehran’s Evin prison, where conditions have been described as grim and where they’ve been in solitary confinement for more than two months.

Kamiar and Arash Alaei were sentenced to three and six years respectively on charges of plotting to overthrow the government after an unorthodox, one-day, secret army trial in December. Their appeal was rejected last month after just one day, despite extensive legal documents filed by attorney Masoud Shafie. He has argued that the charges are baseless and the brothers were denied due process. (Paul Grondahl, Albany Times Union; hat tip DemFromCT)

You can get more information on the Alaei brothers and join the worldwide movement to free them here and our previous posts (here, here, here).

Meanwhile we can expect a lot of breastbeating and outraged statements about Iran’s outrageous behavior from American media and officials. Iran deserves to be condemned. How can anyone have respect for a government that acts like this? But for the very same reasons, much of the American media and certainly the American government have no moral standing when it comes to condemning others for holding people without charge or trial. At least we have been consistent here in condemning Gitmo, torture and extraordinary rendition, whoever does it. It’s not too cynical to say that if these things were being done by our allies (and they are), the US and American media would look the other way (because they do). It’s also probably too much to expect Americans who are outraged by what is happening to Roxana Saberi to realize they are looking in the mirror.

Because they are.


  1. #1 M. Randolph Kruger
    April 19, 2009

    OK Folks, first she shouldnt have been there in light of current conditions… I want my FBI agent back too. But this is a theocracy of the highest order and unfortunately, an even bigger hypocrisy. (yeah thats the way its spelled)

    The Imams and clerics have been sacking the treasury for years and sending money to Dubai and Switzerland. They hang out there periodically to have a bit of fun with the ladies and well, thats where the hypocrisy comes in. They drink beer, have parties with the flown in hookers and all in the name of Islam and control.

    These guys are radicals who maintain control not unlike Saddam. I know a guy that we trained in 79 who finally made it out two years ago after having been imprisoned for 8 in 2000 for drawing a picture. 8 years-a picture. He was beaten, tortured (the real kind, has two cracked vertebrae, a smashed hand and he walked, yes walked into Iraq from Qom after they started looking for the dissidents during a crackdown. He dressed as a goatherd and thats a smooth near 125 miles and he was aided by the people in the SW who wanted to go with him. An underground railroad if you will.

    Ultimately their own system will collapse or be destroyed by the Israelis. My fear is that the Israelis will launch an attack and Obama will out them as they head in, or try to stop them. Saberi is in deep trouble and none of these activities that Obama is currently employing will work on the Islamanutz. Mostly these folks fear the reprisals that will ultimately come to late for yet another hostage. We saw what happened when the Iranian sponsored PLO took Russian hostages in Lebanon in the 80’s. They went in and grabbed two of the PLO members and capped them in broad daylight. They released them that afternoon.

    But Saberi is nothing more than legalized taking of a hostage. Here is another take on the CNN article..They say an Iranian-American prisoner. The description is that this to me is an American of Iranian descent and thats how it should be touted. What did she do? She pissed them off is about all. Thats not acceptable to me and even Obama gets this one…. But he will only express outrage and negotiate. Take a small town off the map or a naval facility. But thats just me.

    The Alaei Bro’s also pissed them off because they were taking away from their state sponsored health programs and were in sharp denunciation of it. They were very vocal about the spread of HIV/AIDS. But you cant have HIV/AIDS in a theocracy. Their real crime? Communicating with an enemy government. They were also convicted of plotting an over throw.I for one hope it comes very quickly before we have to get involved on the day they pop a nuke test.

    Since we cant get Obama to threaten them with the military that leave us with the other option. And that is that Revere thing since no one has the balls anymore to tell them to give them up or face the music.

    Drop the 42 cent stamp, flood the Iranian Embassy mail server with every legal nastygram you can think of. Write those congressmen and Senators http://www.congress.com/ Hit the House and Senate links for the appropriate elected. DO NOT SEND A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT… It puts you into a Secret Service file. Yes, you are a possible threat that they have to investigate if you do… And that goes back to the 70’s. My mom is on the list.

    Here are our little friends in Canada’s email addresses… Be very terse and to the point. Cant threaten them via the wires in the US, even though 1/2 of a division sent emails from Iraq to Mo Khadaffi over the Bulgarian nurses. In fact it was part of a daily briefing to do so and for them to express their desires to meet personally with the Great Leader and without fear of reprisals for threatening bodily harm from another country…sigh.

    I think it was two weeks later that they decided to release them. Did it have a part? I know they at least got the message.

    I dont know what this kid was thinking when she went there. Proximity again. If you put yourself into harms way, then well you have to expect that there are going to be problems. But as a nation we should work to get her out. As Revere said… Imprisoned for WHAT?

    So write the letters, send the emails and hope that they dont eventually have to send people like me in to restore the rights of an American citizen. She isnt an Iranian American… She is an American and due the resolve and respect we can afford her.

    Nearest Iranian embassy.

    245 Metcalfe St.
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K2P 2K2 Canada

    Tel (consulate): (613) 233(4726)
    Fax (consulate): 613 2364726)

    Tel (embassy): 613 2354726)
    Fax (embassy): 613 2325712

    E-Mail Addresses

    E-mail (Consulate): consulate@salamiran.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

    E-mail (Embassy): iranemb@salamiran.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

    E-mail (Ambassador): ambassador@iranembassy.org This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

    Higher Education Advisory: hea@iranembassy.org

    Send one or many to them and explain that its not in the interests of world peace to hold anyone having convicted them illegally. Sooner or later something will tip the scales and they’ll get a visit from some foreigners without visas.

    Like me.

  2. #2 dmcw
    April 20, 2009

    Dear M. Randolph Kruger,

    April Fools Day was 19 days ago.

    Better luck next year!


  3. #3 Ryan
    April 20, 2009

    Cheers, Revere. It’s uncomfortable to think of the moral equivalence between the Saberi case and, well, any of the recent evidence that’s come to light about our own system of secret prisons. But we need to think about it nevertheless.

    We should recognize that the philosophical underpinnings of the two situations (Iran and the US) are fundamentally different, and that the US has a huge body of law outlawing detention without trial (plus, for the record, the strongest history of a free press the world has ever known).

    But all the more reason to talk about the similarities. To those who defend gitmo and are sympathetic to Cheney’s idiotic mutterings, look in the mirror.

  4. #4 wybory sondaze demokracja
    April 21, 2009

    Not only Iran has very specific sence of justice, it also leads as a country were performing death penalty is the highest… I’m not sure what exactly can be done about it, but there are mighty people who could take care of it. But how can we focus their sight a bit farer than on quasi-political issues and let them see the real word?

  5. #5 llewelly
    April 22, 2009

    DO NOT SEND A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT… It puts you into a Secret Service file.

    It’s ok. Been on that list since 4th grade. Thanks to Teacher Cardall.

  6. #6 ads
    April 23, 2009

    We saw what happened when the Iranian sponsored PLO took Russian hostages in Lebanon in the 80’s. They went in and grabbed two of the PLO members and capped them in broad daylight. They released them that afternoon.

    Didn’t they leave them on the doorstep of the Iranian embassy, dismembered in baskets?