Tag Archives: Yemen

New magazine jolts publishing world – TSA body scans to appear in “Public Screenings”

The White House announced the first stage of a new business diversification plan today, launching the first-ever government owned monthly magazine.

“Public Screenings” will carry images of airline passengers taken by Transportation Security Administration using the new millimeter-wave scanning machines.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs said the TSA originally planned to release the photos in the Federal Register, as a way to preempt the paperwork burden of responding to inevitable Freedom of Information Act requests by Maxim, FHM and Fox News.

However, the Office of Management and Budget reviewed the project and immediately saw how a new magazine, when coupled with the public’s insatiable interest in seeing people naked, could result in a major new revenue source.


Gibbs
Press secretary featured in spread in premiere issue

Gibbs cited how the tens of millions of people who fly every year would quickly create a huge collection of body scans of people from all walks of life — including the rich and famous. “The sales of issues containing Tiger Woods mistresses alone could pay for three years worth of the upcoming military occupation of Yemen,” Gibbs said, adding: “Whoopsie.”

OMB projections see newsstand sales erasing the national debt by June.

However, the private sector publishing world denounced “Public Screenings” as exploitation and an invasion of privacy, and called the idea of a federally-published magazine socialistic.

“Americans don’t want a bureaucrat standing between them and their paparazzi, we already have the best private naked picture delivery system in the world,” said Vernon H.W. Lechér, spokesman for the U.S. chapter of the British Institute of Nude Observation Clubs United for Laws Against Robes (B.I.N.O.C.U.L.A.R.), a free-market less privacy rights organization.

“This is a job killer. If Barack Obama has his way, instead of lurking in bushes with telephoto lenses, thousands of independent photographic entrepreneurs will be living under those bushes,” Lechér said.

Instead, Government should cut regulations on independent photographic entrepreneurs. “Imagine what the Globe or National Enquirer could do with those TSA body scanners — provided all local voyeur laws are canceled by executive order,” said Lechér.

“Honest people with curtains and nothing to hide should have no objections,” he added.

In other news, Fox News commentator Brit Hume said yesterday that he meant no offense to Buddhism when he advised prodigal golfer Tiger Woods to become a Christian. “I was only saying that his kitchen floor would be cleaner and shinier with new improved Christianity, over Buddhism or other kinds of witchcraft,” Hume told Fox’s Bill O’Reilly.

Global Blogging Arrests Triple

American bloggers have it pretty easy compared to the perils that freedom-loving bloggers in more repressive countries face. The number of blogging arrests world-wide tripled last year. Egypt, Iran and China account for more than half of all blogging arrests.

Jane Novak at Armies of Liberation blogs regularly about the case of online journalist Abdul-Karim al-Khaiwani, who received a six-year jail sentence from the Yemeni government last week. Her reporting has really pissed off the Yemeni government, and they have banned her blog in that country.

Al-Khaiwani (pictured), a pro-democracy journalist and activist was convicted by a Yemeni court for conspiring with anti-government rebels, a ridiculous charge that Novak and others have soundly refuted.

Frontline Defenders has more on al-Khaiwani:

Charges of insulting the president and “demoralising the military” as well as allegations that he had links with an al-Houthi terrorist cell had been brought against Abdul-Karim al-Khaiwani based on articles written about the Sa’ada war in Yemen.

The newspaper for which Abdul-Karim al-Khaiwani works has been closed and his website has been blocked. His family have also been subject to physical abuse and threats. In 2004, he was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment for supporting Hussain Badr al-Din al-Huthi, a cleric from the Zaidi community. On 20 June 2007, he was arrested at his home for allegedly having ties with an al-Houthi terrorist cell. According to reports, these accusations were fabricated. Abdul-Karim al-Khaiwani has previously reported on human rights violations against the Zaidi community and those suspected of having links to al-Houthi. On 27 August 2007, after having been released, Abdul-Karim al-Khaiwani was abducted and tortured by a gang of armed men. His family have also been subject to physical abuse and threats.

(more)

In Singapore on Monday a U.S. citizen named Gopalan Nair was charged with insulting a judge because he wrote on his blog that the judge was “prostituting herself during the entire proceedings, by being nothing more than an employee of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his son and carrying out their orders”. Nair faces one year in prison and a fine.

The whole NSA wiretapping deal is a pisser, and the Bush administration are horrendous by American standards, but imagine the sentences some American bloggers would face if we had to answer to the Singaporean government.