Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. Our show is special because we make it our priority to go where the silence is. We put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2015. Pretty exciting, right? Please do your part today. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2015.

Your Donation: $
Wednesday, June 11, 2003 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | PREVIOUS: Former Congressmember Cynthia McKinney Speaks about...

US Occupation Forces Draw up New Rules for Press Censorship of Iraqi Media

This is viewer supported news

Officials say the code is not intended to censor the media, only to "stifle intemperate speech," but Iraqi journalists who endured censorship under Saddam Hussein are protesting the decision.

"Freedom’s untidy." These are the words Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld uttered when faced with increasingly difficult questions at a Pentagon Press briefing on April 11.

Rampant looting had broken out across Baghdad. Buildings were set on fire all over the city. Workers at the Baghdad National museum had fled and the museum was being gutted of its archaeological treasures.

Rumsfeld told reporters: "It’s untidy. And freedom’s untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things."

Evidently, the same rule will not apply to the free Iraqi press.

Last week, US occupation forces devised a "code of conduct" for the Iraqi press.

Officials say the code is not intended to censor the media, only to "stifle intemperate speech that could incite violence and hinder efforts to build a civil society."

Material deemed provocative will be threatened or shut down.

The decision has drawn protests from Iraqi journalists who endured censorship under Saddam Hussein and were punished if they strayed beyond the official line.

Dozens of daily and weekly newspapers have sprung up in the capital since the fall of Saddam’s regime in April. The Washington Post describes the situation as "a raucous rush of unfettered expression."

  • Borzou Daragahi, freelance reporter in Baghdad. He broke the story on the new US "code of conduct" for the Iraqi media, in the Associated Press.


Borzou Daragahi

Recent Shows More

Full News Hour

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.