Thursday, November 02, 2006

How Can a “Blogger” “Scoop” All the Main Stream Media on a Story of Interest to the President of the United States?

By Thomas Michael O’Herlihey
Peace and Freedom/Extended Remarks
November 2, 2006

John E. Carey has been writing about Vietnam almost continuously since July 4, 2006. John is well connected in the Vietnamese community and he is married to Honglien Do, a Vietnam prison survivor.

John took a particular interest in the case of American citizen Mrs. Thuong Nguyen “Cuc” Foshee. Mrs. Foshee has been in prison without charges, legal representation or medical care for over a year.

Yesterday John emailed me an essay entitled “In Communist Vietnam; Glimmer of Hope on Human Rights.” In this internet posting, John revealed for the first time in public that just that day he had confirmation from Vietnam that Mrs. Foshee was finally charged.

I rang him up and said, “John, this is T.O. (he calls me by my initials and says I am the antithesis of Terrell Owens the American football player). How do you know this to be true?”

He said, “A source that very much wants to remain anonymous inside Vietnam.”

Good enough for me. John has friends all over the world.

As I surfed the internet news this morning, and I saw stories similar to John’s November 1 story on outlets like AFP and the BBC.

I phoned John again and asked, “How did you “scoop” (the newspaper term for getting ahead of the competition by printing the story first) the BBC and AFP and everyone else on a story of interest to the President of the United States?”

John said, “That’s what good reporters and bloggers do.”

Simple as that.

I wrote this because John is good.

In Communist Vietnam;

Glimmer of Hope on Human Rights

By John E. Carey
November 1, 2006

The Communist Government of Vietnam indicted Mrs. "Cuc" Foshee this week and charged her with crimes against the government.

Analysts say that the Government in Vietnam is moving toward resolving Mrs. Foshee's year long incarceration prior to President Bush's trip to Hanoi for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference Nov. 17-19.

Experts believe Mrs. Foshee will now be rapidly processed and tried. The hope is that she will be extradited to the United States within the next two weeks.

This action allows the Government of Vietnam to save face, signaling a harsh response to alleged crimes against the government. By holding a trial the Vietnamese do not have to look as if they acceded to demands from the U.S.

Also yesterday the Government of Vietnam announced that it is laying aside its policy of detaining people without charging them with violations of the law.

"We received word that the government of Vietnam has made a political decision to repeal or abolish this administrative decree," Michael Orona, the State Department's deputy director of the bureau of democracy, human rights and labor, told reporters.

The so-called "administrative detention decree 31/CP," was used by the government in Vietnam to hold such "notorious criminals" as Cong Do and Mrs. Foshee.

The Government of Vietnam is "considering and examining possibilities for abolishing this decree and proposing some modifications so that it is adapted to the situation in Vietnam as well as international norms," foreign ministry spokesman Le Dung said.

Administrative detention decree 31/CP went into effect in Vietnam in 1997.

From now on in Vietnam, "whoever is detained will have to know what they are being detained for and be given an opportunity to go to court and to meet with a lawyer -- rights which were not granted before," said Orona.

This is a big step forward in the Human Rights area of policy for Vietnam.

With the setting aside of detention decree 31/CP and the release of Mrs. Foshee now potentially only days away, the U.S. Congress may now grant Vietnam Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR).

In a long discussion with us last evening, Mrs. Foshee's daughter Liz McCausland said she is now exceedingly hopeful that her Mother's release is near. But she added, "Our position is that the President of the United States should not go to Vietnam until my Mother "Cuc" is safely home."