Friday, April 21, 2006

The Freedom to Op-press

As a postscript to yesterday's story about Wang Wenyi, the 47 year old reporter for The Epoch Times who was arrested on the South Lawn for her anguished outrage over the oppression of Falun Gong, in China, please note that Ms. Wenyi was charged today by the U.S. Attorney's Office with violating a federal law that prohibits "harassing, intimidating, or threatening a foreign official in the performance of their official duties," as Reuters now reports. If convicted, she may face up to 6 months in jail.

What was it Mr. Bush was telling the Chinese president about the need for the "freedom to assemble, and to speak freely" during their photo-op yesterday? This administration has to learn that it's time to practice what they preach.

In addition to federal charges, the D.C. Attorney's Office plans to slap Ms. Wenyi with "disorderly conduct," for which she was initially detained and, if convicted, will undoubtedly face jail time, too. Sadly, we are witnessing a time when freedom of the press has rapidly disintegrated into the freedom to oppress.