Chris Johnston / The Guardian & Rob Price / DailyDot & John Cantlie / Times Of Lebanon & Bob Garfield / On the Media, CNN Transcript – 2014-10-09 00:27:12
British Journalist John Cantlie:
The ISIS Hostage the Western Media Will Not Acknowledge
A British journalist captured by Isis two years ago appears in new footage condemning Obama’s strategy for air strikes.
This third video â€“ like those that preceded it (see others below) â€“ has been widely censored on the Internet. Only still photos or very short clips have been aired on the BBC and a few international news programs. The full video can be found on the LiveLeak website.
Third Video Featuring British Hostage John Cantlie Is Posted Online
Chris Johnston / The Guardian
(September 29, 2014) — A third video featuring John Cantlie, the British journalist captured almost two years ago by Islamic State militants, was released on Monday night.
It was unclear when the five-and-a-half minute video — introduced with the title “Lend Me Your Ears” and “Messages From The British Detainee John Cantlie” — was made.
Like the previous videos, it shows Cantlie, 43, who has worked for newspapers including the Sunday Times, sitting at a desk wearing a now-familiar orange outfit.
He looked calm and appeared to be reciting a prepared script. All three videos appear to be well-produced, with good quality sound and lighting.
Cantlie described himself as a “long-term prisoner” and went on to criticise US president Barack Obama’s strategy for air strikes to defeat IS fighters.
The new recording is the second in a series of “programmes” presented by the Briton in which he condemns the military build-up in the region.
In a previous video posted by the group on Tuesday last week, the freelance photographer — who has been a prisoner of Isis for 22 months — made clear that he was making the films under duress.
The first film, released two weeks ago, showed Cantlie saying he would speak about Isis in future videos.
Cantlie concludes the latest video by saying: “Join me again for the next programme.”
Criticising the US air strikes in Iraq, Cantlie said: “Air power is good at taking out specific targets, but it is not much use at taking and holding ground. For that you need effective and disciplined troops and it is hard to see how this hotch-potch army with a long history of underperforming is going to be any form of credible infantry.”
He also described the Free Syrian Army as an “undisciplined, corrupt and largely ineffective fighting force”, adding that arming Syrian rebels with western weapons was “largely useless” because many end up in the hands of Isis fighters.
Cantlie was kidnapped in November 2012 along with the US photographer James Foley, whose murder was filmed by Isis and posted online last month. It was the second time Cantlie had been abducted in Syria: earlier that year he was held for seven days before being freed by a rival opposition group.
Lend Me Your Ears (Video Removed by YouTube)
John Cantlie / Times Of Lebanon
(September 18, 2014) — The video of Cantlie’s presentation has been removed from YouTube. The replacement image states: “This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy on violence.” The following comment appears below an uncensored version of the video posted by the Times of Lebanon:
Online Comment: Google/YouTube has no grounds to censor this video. There is no hostage footage. There is no violence or gore. Any attempt to censor this video will be met with the most comprehensive and persistent dispute possible. You have been warned.
UPDATE: The John Cantlie video has been removed by YouTube because of a violation of YouTube’s violence policy. You can find it by searching for it on Liveleak.com
Second Video of British Hostage John Cantlie Released
(September 23, 2014) — A second video has been released showing British journalist John Cantlie, who is being held hostage by Islamic State (IS) militants.
Islamic State has captured British journalist John Cantlie
Rob Price / DailyDot
(September 18, 2014) — The British photojournalist John Cantlie is being held as a prisoner of the militant group Islamic State (formerly ISIS), a new video confirms. Unlike previous videos showing Western hostages, Cantlie appears visibly unharmed — instead he sits alone at a desk, directly addressing “the public.”
Dressed in an orange uniform, Cantlie says that the video is to be the first in a series, intended to “show you the truth as the Western media tries to drag the tries to drag the public back to the abyss of another war with the Islamic State.”
He recognises that he is a prisoner, but says that he has “been abandoned by my government,” and that he will show the public “the truth behind the systems and motivation of the Islamic State, and how the Western media — the very organisation I used to work — for can twist and manipulate that truth for the public back home.”
The footage was almost certainly recorded under extreme duress; Cantlie had previously been captured in 2012, and was tortured and the subject of mock executions. He was also shot during an escape attempt.
Previous videos released by Islamic State showed the graphic murders of the journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, as well as the British aid worker David Haines. The Jihadist group is currently threatening to kill the aid worker Alan Henning, and it is unclear how many other Western hostages they have under their control.
Members of the media learned of Cantlie’s capture early this year, but were reportedly told to not report the news by the UK Foreign Office.
The video of Cantlie has since been removed from YouTube. The full transcript of the video, which the Daily Dot is not linking to, is as follows:
Lend Me Your Ears
Hello, my name is John Cantlie. I’m a British journalist who used to work for some of the bigger newspapers and magazines in the UK, including the Sunday Times, The Sun, and The Sunday Telegraph.
In November 2012 I came to Syria, where I was subsequently captured by the Islamic State. Now, nearly two years later, many things have changed, including the expansion of the Islamic State to include large areas of Eastern Syria and Western Iraq — a landmass bigger than Britain, and many other nations.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “He’s only doing this because he’s a prisoner he’s got a gun at his head and he’s being forced to do this,” right? Well, it’s true.
I am a prisoner. That I cannot deny. But seeing as I’ve been abandoned by my government and my fate now lies in the hand of the Islamic State, I have nothing to lose. Maybe I will live and maybe I will die, but I want to take this opportunity to convey some facts that you can verify — facts that, if you contemplate, might help in preserving lives.
Over the next few programs, I’m going to show you the truth as the Western media tries to drag the public back to the abyss of another war with the Islamic State. After two disastrous and hugely unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq why is it that our governments appear so keen to get involved in yet another unwinnable conflict?
I’m going to show you the truth behind the systems and motivation of the Islamic State, and how the Western media — the very organisation I used to work — for can twist and manipulate that truth for the public back home. There are two sides to every story — think you’re getting the whole picture?
And I’ll show you the truth behind what happened when many European citizens were imprisoned and later released by the Islamic State, and how the British and American governments thought they could do it differently to every other European country. They negotiated with the Islamic State and got their people home, while the British and Americans were left behind.
It’s very alarming to see where this is all headed, and it looks like history repeating itself, yet again. There is time to change this seemingly inevitable sequence of events, but only if you, the public act now.
Join me for the next few programs, and i think you may be surprised at what you learn.
Why CNN Decided Not to Air the John Cantlie Video
Bob Garfield / On the Media, CNN Transcript
(September 26, 2014) — This is On the Media, Iâ€™m Bob Garfield. This week brought another disturbing video of British ISIS hostage John Cantlie spouting ISIS propaganda in the style of a broadcast news commentary – if commentators wore orange jumpsuits.
Last week, this program aired three short excerpts from the first Cantlie tape. Another news outlet, however, did not: CNN, on the grounds of not wishing to give a propaganda platform to terrorists. To have done so, said, Tony Maddox is the Executive Vice President of CNN International, would have to have been complicit in torture.
MADDOX: The starting point with all these things is you donâ€™t want to run them. If you think that a group such as ISIS which is a wicked organization. I normally avoid giving value judgements against different groups involved in world affairs but I’m afraid ISIS are off the clock and with the Cantlie video I just thought this man is clearly performing to save his life.
It is a disgusting spectacle. He’s saying nothing we haven’t heard before we should certainly say that he’s done it. Certainly show a still from it. But why would we then go on and actually run the video itself and show this unbelievably demeaning, humiliating footage.
GARFIELD: I just want to be clear it’s not just that you didn’t want to give a platform to the terrorists it was the particular nature of this kind of video which while not a beheading was kind of grisly in its own right.
MADDOX: I’m a great believer in we shouldn’t censor and we should show the full story even if it is disturbing and even if it is ultimately in the interest of the people who did the act of badness.
A good example I can think of is the story we did a lot on earlier this year with the schoolgirls who were taken from Chibok. Footage appeared of all girls lined up and the full garm and this guy ranting and raving away at the front. I thought that was an image the world had to see.
GARFIELD: These were the Nigerian schoolchildren who were kidnapped by Boko Harem.
MADDOX: That was a story we committed to. We went to Chibok and it was important that the world saw that image as disturbing as it was. We’re in CNN. We are the business of arresting and powerful images. But I’m saying we should always weigh up why are we showing this. What is the editorial purpose that is achieved in doing so.
With the Cantlie video I wasn’t sure what that was. We have no way of knowing if that’s genuinely what he felt or if he was saying it because he’s under the imminent threat of death. He’s a not a well known figure. So I thought this was an occasion where we wouldn’t need to show it. The next time those circumstances could be different and then we would. We have these editorial debates all the time. Actually some very powerful counter arguments were offered.
GARFIELD: What were they?
MADDOX: The fact that they’ve changed their strategy now from a beheading to actually making like a news type video is in itself quite interesting. And I think that’s a fair point.
GARFIELD: I want to ask you about something you said, that its’ clear that he has been coerced. To me, what’s so chilling about the Cantlie videos is that it isn’t clear that he has been coerced. You get the feeling that he has written this stuff. He doesn’t sound like a terrorist lunatic.
On the contrary, he’s making some fairly cogent about the West’s strategy in dealing with ISIS. I wonder if you concerned that the video would actually persuade the audience that maybe it is best to leave these people alone.
MADDOX: No, I’m not convinced by that at all. There are all kinds of counter arguments US strategy and elsewhere. And we’ve got all kinds of people who can powerfully argue that on CNN or CNN International and NPR. And that’s fine. And we absolutely should be seeking out those voices but we should be seeking out the voices of people under threat of death.
GARFIELD: TV news and print news as well is very much in the business of feeding the public’s appetite for the kinds of very disturbing images that we’re discussing now and our jobs are frequently about where to draw the line. I wonder if the calculus that you applied to this decision will affect how you look at all such compelling images henceforth.
MADDOX: People shouldn’t think that we did it just for this one video. I started in journalism long time ago as a senior editorial figure if you like in Northern Ireland in the mid-90s and I’ve been dealing with these kinds of ethical and editorial dilemmas ever since. And one thing I can tell you they don’t really get that much easier. If anything they get more complicated. I
‘m always very uncomfortable with people who view these things win such clear black and white terms. I think a lot of people who choose to run a lot of this stuff candidly aren’t even discussing it at all. It’s just good footage and we’re putting it up and just step back and say we’ll let the audience decide.
People should be afraid actively discuss these things on a case-by-case basis. I just think people just like to get too easy and say ‘oh, we never do this,’ or ‘we always do that,’ or ‘we should never do this,’ or ‘ we should always do that.’ And my concern, my wider concern really is that sometimes I just don’t think that debate takes place.
GARFIELD: Tony thank you so much.
MADDOX: Oh, no problem at all.
GARFIELD: Tony Maddox is the Exec. VP of CNN International.
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