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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hedges Drops PEN

The writer and activist not only exits speaking slot at conference but resigns from PEN American Centr over appointment of former Hillary Clinton aide, SuzanneNossel,  as new director.  In his statement:
This appointment makes a mockery of PEN as a human rights organization and belittles the values PEN purports to defend.  I spent seven years in the Middle East, most of them as the Middle East Bureau Chief of The New York Times.  The suffering of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation and the plight of those caught up in our imperial wars in countries such as Iraq are not abstractions to me. Nossel’s relentless championing of preemptive war—which under international law is illegal—as a State Department official along with her callous disregard for Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians and her refusal as a government official to denounce the use of torture and use of extra-judicial killings, makes her utterly unfit to lead any human rights organization, especially one that has global concerns. PEN American Center, by appointing Nossel, has unwittingly highlighted its own failure to defend and speak out for our dissidents, especially Bradley Manning. I hereby resign from PEN. 
Greg Mitchell’s new edition of So Wrong for So Long includes a preface by Bruce Springsteen, a new introduction and a lengthy afterword with updates right up to Bradley Manning’s hearing last month.    

1 comment:

Janet Weil said...

Nossel had to leave her post as Executive Director of Amnesty Intl because of large, full-color bus shelter ads in Chicago during the NATO conference last May. These ads tried to push the hoary old propaganda point that NATO (and the US military, by extension) is somehow "helping" Afghan women. There was a lot of push BACK on those notorious ads. Too bad she's showed up at PEN. Good for Hedges.