Thursday, December 26, 2013

What Does Shelby County, Alabama, Have in Common with Turkey, Iran and China?

This is Carol, Roger's wife. So just what does Shelby County, Alabama, have in common with Turkey, Iran and China? Answer: It shares the dubious distinction of being a location cited by the Committee to Protect Journalists--an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide--in their 2013 Census of Jail Journalists. Here is a link to the CPJ list: CPJ 2013 Prison Census

Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler was named on the list which is published by the CPJ each December. According to the CPJ's article, "CPJ’s list is a snapshot of those incarcerated at 12:01 a.m. on December 1, 2013. It does not include the many journalists imprisoned and released throughout the year; accounts of those cases can be found at Journalists remain on CPJ’s list until the organization determines with reasonable certainty that they have been released or have died in custody." 

In a census that is normally about jailed journalists in oppressive countries such as Turkey, Iran and China, the unlawful detention of Roger Shuler in the United States is truly a disgrace and shows just have far we have sunk as a nation. Shuler has made the list as an American journalist having been imprisoned for speaking out about corruption in America and Alabama at the highest levels. This is making worldwide news in a variety of media venues because it is very uncommon for an American to make this list. 

According to a CPJ special report by Elana Beiser, "Turkey, Iran, and China accounted for more than half of all journalists imprisoned around the world in 2013, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found." Here is the link to Ms. Beiser's article: Second Worst Year on Record for Jailed Journalists.

Ms. Beiser goes on to write about Roger Shuler:
"The single journalist behind bars in the Americas was in the United States. Roger Shuler, an independent blogger specializing in allegations of corruption and scandal in Republican circles in Alabama, was being held on contempt of court for refusing to comply with an injunction regarding content ruled defamatory. In recent years, journalist jailings in the Americas have become increasingly rare, with one Cuban documented in prison in 2012 and none throughout the region in 2011."
Alabama attorney and whistleblower in the Don Siegelman case Jill Simpson wrote an article on Dec. 23 for OpEd News about Roger Shuler making the CPJ list of jailed journalists.

Ms. Simpson writes: 
"Roger has been a key documenter of corruption in the United States since he took on the Don Siegelman story in 2007 and he has never let up.  Roger has recently vowed from his jail cell that he will not retract the statements he has made about Rob Riley, son of recent former Governor Bob Riley.  So what we are left with in America is a journalist indefinitely incarcerated by a specially appointed retired judge not duly elected to decide this case who was appointed by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore known famously as the "10 Commandments" judge who was removed from the bench due to his mixture of church and state but re-elected by popular vote."
Ms. Simpson further writes:
"What concerns me about Roger Shuler's case is how they are indefinitely holding him.  Clearly, if they want to punish Roger they should give him a sentence but instead it appears that in America these days we can now hold people for any amount of time if they do not do as the court wishes.  So Roger sits in a jail cell in Shelby County Alabama with no knowledge of when he is to get out.  Journalists all over the world are beginning to pick up his story as it appears this is the first time we have seen a journalist in the United States be treated like a Guantanamo Bay alleged terrorist.  It is very Kafka-esque because we have a specially appointed non-elected judge, a secret hearing and sealed records."
Here is the link to Ms. Simpson's OpEd News article: Let Roger Shuler Go Before Christmas -- The Only Journalist Held Indefinitely in the U.S.


Anonymous said...

Research will show there was a powerful effort during the 1990's for Republicans to move in and take complete control of the South. Look to the past beyond 1990 and you will find Republican governors were increasingly rare in Southern States.

They used religion, patriotism and even illegal financial and political means to gain control, utilizing Southern culture and family traditions to their best advantage.

The outcome has been frightening. Not only has fear prevailed, "security" and an invisible enemy been held as an impending doom over Americans for the past 12 years - just like during the Cold War when Baby Boomers were children and feared Russians.

America leads the world in imprisoning its own people yet promotes itself as being the greatest nation and best democracy on the planet.

What's going on? Are Republicans using Alabama to test the waters and see just how much they can get away with?

Is Roger Shuler's incarceration a part of their plans? Are they watching to see who protests their actions so they can punish them, as well?

Alabama was a key state for implementation of the Civil Rights movement. Let's hope Alabama is not a selected state for implementation of the Republicans concept of their own Third Reich government.

So many questionable things are happening in Alabama a person has to wonder if local folks can smell their home coffee burning.

Even in Nazi Germany the local inhabitants maintained that they had no idea gas chambers were operating. Funny how the world knew what was happening in German back yards, and the local people maintained knew nothing - or were they afraid?

Is Alabama the new Germany? Are people there afraid of their ruling class with the power to harass and arrest to the point that they will not get involved to make things right?

Robby Scott Hill said...

Not a good trend. Radical neo-Confederates have taken over the courts, police, banks & real estate agencies. They are grabbing up all the valuable land & plan to reduce all Colored People & Liberal Whites to prisoners, wage slaves or sharecropping or peonage. In an Alabama controlled by the likes of Judges Roy Moore, Tom Parker & Attorney Bill Swatek, Roger's journalism stood in the way of the restoration of White Supremacy. So, Roger is being made an example of in the Shelby County Jail to warn away anyone else who might decide to address the issues he has. From their perspective, the Yankee Law that was forced down their throats says it's still against the federal law to wear hoods, burn crosses and lynch people. However, they are praying that Chief Justice John Roberts will do his best to overturn the rest of the Civil Rights laws so they can go back to cross burning & lynching anyone who dares to get in the way of White Supremacy Restoration. Brother "John Smith" recently asked for an Amen to all that good ol' country boy shit at the prayer breakfast held at the local country club. After it was over they sent the leftover crumbs to "those dumb sonofabitches" who are working 70 hours a week at the nearby sweatshop without healthcare who were most grateful to get those leftovers because Brother Smith has taught them how that is God's plan for their lives and that if they behave according to God's Will as interpreted by Brother Smith, maybe they won't wind up in jail like Roger.

e.a.f. said...

it is interesting to note the U.S.A. via the State of Alabama has made a list, which one would NOT want to be on.

Having decided to convey my concerns regarding the matter, to the governor, his website gave a list of topics covers a great many items. One was Second Amendment Rights. Nothing about First Amendment Rights. So much for progress.

Really given the publicity Mr. Shuler's case is receiving, the State of Alabama ought to realize the days of "what happens in Alabam,a stays in Alabama" are over. there are new modern methods of communication and the State might want to take note. it can not be stopped. People can easily write to whatever newspaper they wish in other countries, specifically those countries which followed the U.S.A. into a number of wars to "defend democracy". Should my country every consider going to war along side the Americans to "defend democracy" I will be writing my Member of parliament, etc. Given many European countries have joined the Americans in exersions in the "fight for democracy" they may not be too happy to hear about the U.S.A. making this list.

Alabama politicians need to understand they can't throw everyone with an opinion, they don't like into jail. For one thing, blogs can be written in other countries, where they have no jurisdiction. The State of Alabama has only to look to China which has tried very hard to keep information out of the country. Bloggers keep writing and sending.

It is hoped that those reading this blog and support Mr. Shuler write the governor and other elected politicians to register their dismay regarding Mr. Shuler's situation. At some point they may realize what they are doing is a bigger problem than Mr. Shuler's writings.

Anonymous said...

"Its hard for me to believe that the plaintiffs and their advisers and their lawyers and the judge were so stupid, but the facts speak for themselves. They made Roger into a super hero, a legend; and they made sure everyone knew what he had written and said about them, which only would have been seen by a small audience if they had just left it alone." November 28, 2013, Sloan Bashinsky.

Alabama's shadow government's "political silencing machine" has become more than ever before public's common knowledge; they'll do this to Roger, it has been done to others beforehand, if allowed to continue; then, really, unto whom does the "little people" look to too enforce the U.S. Constitution and laws of the State of Alabama against an encouraged/condoned tyrannical government?

These plaintiffs are but saplings, liken to acorns fallen from under the nearest highest big tree trunk; by comparison saplings' roots are minimal when seeking just cause; the tree's trunk, it's well entrenched deep roots, therein covered up are the problems facing the "little people".

Moore knows, actually Moore knows more; hypocrite[s]!

Has anyone noticed the non-existent interest in Obama refusing to pardon Seigelman end of this year, but rather choosing in stead to pardon several drug dealers. One is left to wonder, are any of them back on the scenes now, back in business, destroying the youths and young peoples lives, and futures of tomorrow; and apparently nobody don't give a shi-;
does this mean that we are beholding to Alabama's state federal officials for sitting silent to keep Seigelman in prison, that Alabamians' relatives and children are provided again a greater opportunity to overdose, kill someone else, steal, drop out of school;

Have Alabamians become so complacent and aloof, that even with the personal sacrifice that Roger Shuler is making that majority of Alabamians can't come together in opposition to such pardoning; whose hands are in whose pockets between Montgomery and Washington; for example one had to only watch the national day of prayer breakfast mockery.

May God provide Roger the strength to maintain his
dedication for all men's equal rights; and may Alabamian's finally stand, although if not all, united demanding aloud publicly nationally their voices be heard.

Happy New Year
War Eagles
Roll Tide