[This article talks about Dr. Dhafir’s case as well as others.]
By Stephen Lendman sjlendman.blogspot.com 5/2/07

Economist and media critic Edward S. Herman and social and political critic Noam Chomsky note two kinds of victims in their classic 1988 book “Manufacturing Consent.” So does journalist and documentary filmmaker John Pilger in his writings. “Unworthy” ones are the many unmentioned tens of thousands killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and all other places by US, Israeli and other rapacious imperial waring and occupying forces. “Worthy” ones, however, are those prominently mentioned who died or were hurt on September 11, 2001 in the US, on July 7, 2005 in a dubious London “terrorist” bombing, on March 11, 2004 in the Madrid train bombings, and the Israeli corporal practically the whole free world still knows about since he was taken captive in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) last summer and is still being held. More recent “worthy” victims are the 15 British Royal Navy seamen arrested by Iranian armed forces, now released, and BBC journalist Alan Johnston, also apparently abducted and held captive in the OPT since March 12 when his employer reported he was forcibly seized from his car by gunpoint driving home from work in Gaza City.

The Royal Navy and Johnston instances particularly stand out with the kind of steady BBC and western media reporting on the incidents usually reserved for figures of note but common as well for ordinary types when it serves a propaganda purpose.

First the Persian Gulf incident involving the British seamen. Iran claims geographical coordinates showed they were 0.5 km inside Iranian waters while the Brits claimed otherwise, but it hardly matters in waters where it’s hard to tell. More important are CIA, Defense Department and former US and other officials admitting to years of covert and other incursions into Iranian territory on land, sea and by air. Iran is aware they’re still ongoing and justifiably views them as hostile acts likely committed as prelude to planned future greater provocations or military action.

Up to now, Iran showed great restraint and patience, but had every right to defend its territory by seizing the intruders March 23. They were held for interrogation until ceremonially released April 5 following their 15 day captivity during which time it appeared they were well treated even though Britain’s Ministry of Defense instructed them to say otherwise once they were back home.

Compare that to how British and US forces treat their captives in torture-prisons. Sent there are innocent men, women and children, held in most cases on administrative charges indefinitely, and subjected to harsh punitive treatment only revealed later by the few lucky enough to get out and go home to talk about their ordeals. Try hearing about them in the dominant western media deafeningly silent.

Economist, activist and web editor Michel Chossudovsky is never silent and reported more information on the British seamen April 6 on his Global Research web site. He wrote that British “Royal Marine Captain Chris Air told (British) Sky News TV that the object of their mission (in the Persian Gulf) was to ‘gather intelligence’ on Iran” in a pre-recorded interview done prior to his capture, but aired only after his release. Chossudovsky reprinted the interview on his web site and included a video link to Sky News TV so readers could watch and listen to it ending any doubt what British forces are up to repeatedly in the Gulf and Iranian waters. Chossudovsky also included a BBC TV video link and reprinted a transcript of BBC’s interview with Captain Air and Lt. Felix Carman during which Carman admitted this operation “followed approximately 66 similar (ones) over the previous four weeks” done to conduct boardings of ships stopped to be inspected or crews interrogated in an intrusive (and likely illegal) operation called IPAT – Interaction patrol.

In spite of this, the 15 Royal Navy personnel got impressive and disingenuous headline coverage throughout their captivity during which time UK officials and Prime Minister Blair denied what Air and Carman admitted on British television so we all now know what only could be previously surmised. They’re now released, back home unharmed, regarded as heros, at first allowed by Britain’s Ministry of Defense to sell their stories (as obvious propaganda) to the media for profit until public outrage got the Ministry to change its mind meaning the seamen can still do it but only for free.

Now the case of BBC Gaza reporter Alan Johnston. Dozens of foreigners have been abducted in Gaza in the past, but none held as long as Johnston or given the kind of publicity he gets daily in the UK. Why? Because he’s from the West and works for BBC that reports it has no knowledge where he is or who may be responsible for his apparent abduction. BBC also notes 6500 people worldwide have signed a petition calling for (in fact, demanding) his release. On April 9, rallies were held in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and London on his behalf. Prayer vigils as well since. BBC reports Palestinian officials insist they’re doing all they can to locate and free him, and have ordered their security services and interior ministry to take “all necessary measures” on his behalf. BBC further notes, with irony, Johnston’s Gaza posting was to have ended in March, but, of course, has now been involuntarily extended indefinitely.

Full article: Information Clearing House