We’ve discussed the recent SCOTUS decision that ruled the government can charge people engaging in First Amendment activities with material support for terrorism. Even groups trying to teach terrorist organizations to engage peacefully might be judged to be materially supporting terrorists.
And while I don’t think that’s precisely what is going on here, the logical next step after treating counseling on conflict negotiations as material support for terrorism is to treat reporting on conflict negotiations as material support for terrorism.
Hollman Morris Rincón, an independent journalist in Colombia, won a Nieman Fellowship this spring to study conflict negotiation strategies, international criminal court procedures, and the Rome Statute. I’ll just quote the AP:
BOGOTA, Colombia — The U.S. government has denied a visa to a prominent Colombian journalist who specializes in conflict and human rights reporting to attend a prestigious fellowship at Harvard University.
Hollman Morris, who produces an independent TV news program called “Contravia,” has been highly critical of ties between illegal far-right militias and allies of outgoing President Alvaro Uribe, Washington’s closest ally in Latin America.
The curator of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard, which has offered the mid-career fellowships since 1938, said Thursday that a consular official at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota told him Morris was ruled permanently ineligible for a visa under the “Terrorist activities” section of the USA Patriot Act.
Of course, given that the Attorney General has, himself, helped a bunch of white Republicans get away with their material support for Colombia’s death squads, you might think our country simply thinks some terrorists are more equal than others. But keep in mind: both Colombia’s left wing and right wing terrorists are on the Foreign Terrorist Organization list.