Friday, August 25, 2006

U.S. Cracks Down On Hezbollah TV Provider In NYC

Additional evidence (as if any more is needed by our readers) that the wars of the 21st century will be fought with increasing emphasis on information operations.

A New York man was arrested yesterday on charges that he conspired to support a terrorist group by providing U.S. residents with access to Hezbollah's satellite channel, al-Manar.

Javed Iqbal runs HDTV Corp., a Brooklyn-based company registered with the Federal Communications Commission that provides satellite television transmissions to cable operators, private companies, government organizations and individual customers.

According to an affidavit made public yesterday in U.S. District Court in New York, a paid FBI confidential informant told law enforcement officials in February that Iqbal's company was selling "satellite television service, including access to al-Manar broadcasts." The informant then had a recorded conversation during which Iqbal offered al-Manar broadcasts along with other Arab television stations.

The U.S. Treasury Department in March designated al-Manar a "global terrorist entity" and a media arm of the Hezbollah terrorist network. The designation froze al-Manar's assets in the United States and prohibited any transactions between Americans and al-Manar.

Iqbal's attorney, Mustapha Ndanusa, said yesterday that the accusations against his client are "completely ridiculous," according to the Associated Press. Ndanusa added that he is not aware of another instance in which someone was accused of violating U.S. laws by enabling access to a news outlet.

This episode is important in that governments are starting to find it harder to sell hare-brained military pursuits to their citizenry in the wired world. Without a population that is complacent when faced with the idea of fighting unprovoked wars, those urging such actions quickly lose political traction, and the enterprise becomes unworkable.

Electronic media based information wars thus assume importance that could have only been dreamed about by Goebbels.

That's why the U.S. government is taking such a hard line in this case.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously the U.S. gov't will take a hardline anytime there is even the slightest, scintilla of a chance its interests are in anyway threatened -- it's hardly a benign entity... What will be interesting to see is if it gets any push back at all from all the civil liberties types...

"They hate us for our freedoms"

What "freedoms" would that be?


8/25/2006 12:56 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


Bush must be trying to appease the terrorists by taking away the same "freedoms" enjoyed by Americans that he claims they hate us for.

Let's see how that works out.

8/25/2006 3:52 PM  
Blogger DrewL said...

What a travesty of American ideals, not to mention American constitutional rights! It was okay, apparently, for Dick Cheney and Halliburton to be doing business with Iran in violation of the law, but it's not okay to allow freedom of speech and freedom of the press? Yeah, that makes a ton of sense.

These people in charge are destroying the foundation of this country. Not Hezbollah. Not al Qaeda. Not Iraq or Iran. They're doing it all on their own. And it really is disturbing.


8/25/2006 11:30 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

I want to talk about the war on Christmas instead of the clamp down on contrarian factions within the 4rth estate. Fuck Hezzbollah TV.

Do you know that in Vancouver Canada, retail stores no longer wish shoppers Merry Christmas?

And I'm not just talking about the month of August here. I mean September, October, Novemeber, and December. Christ almighty, Canada is much further down the culture war road.

Canada, Oh Canada. Where the heck are ye going?

8/26/2006 4:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I can't speak for Vancouver - but here in Toronto we get a politically correct "Happy Holidays"

Also, I'm a graphic designer and have to belong to the union at my work -- for two years I was the union rep and when I wrote out the Christmas blurb -- I put "Merry Christmas" at the end -- It was taken out by the union V.P. (who is black, gay + very Christian) -- I'm not affiliated with any organized religion -- but, um, I kind of like Christmas lights and carols...

I don't know where we're going, but I love Toronto's mulitculturalness -- the food here is the best.


8/26/2006 8:33 AM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Hey Dena.

I was sort of kidding around but sure, what I wrote of Vancouver is true and it oddly enough bothers me in some slight way.

I have no probelm when folks say Happy Moses day or Merry Buddha day to me. I think it's quaint and heart warming, even though I'm a non-passionate atheiest/agnostic (or whatever I am beyond being a philanderer and wannabe drunk).

I dig the multuculti cosmo cauldrons of the world - no beef from me. And to be fair, there's no legislation in place (that I know of)against saying Merry Christmas out in's just apparently better for business these days not to say so.

But hot damn, folks taking offence to Merry Christmas is too fucking intolerant for me. That if anything is the expression of intolerance and anti-cosmopolitanism. Like you, I dig the trappings of Christmas and Bing Cosby and saying christmas isn't saying Christmas in my hairy ears. Christ has become totally dissociated from Christmas as I use it. Screw what the deep and murky roots of the word are. Hell, getting all etymologically hypersensitive will leave us to be but tiptoeing mutes whose only common language is the one shared by Shias and Sunnis in today's Iraq - namely life-letting violence.

Now, wasn't that all a rather reactionary and mindless rant from ol' Meatball One? Gawsh it feels good to get regressively WASPy every now and then. To feel like the other half, the rednecks, feels - all goosebumpy and christian soldiery.

But anyways, my loose lippy brother apparently spilled the beans to my blitzvisiting mother that I have a blog called Swedish meatballs Confidential. Now she's in shock, having partaken of my gratuitously pornofied scribblings.

Mother: "Why aren't you more creative? You used to be so creative"
M1: "Im juxtaposing. That's a creative trick with some synergistic potential. And anyways, Im trying to filter away lefty sheep who look for standard issue legitimizing packaging instead of relying on the content when deciing what's up their alley. I don't even think about the chicks I plaster up on my pages. It's actually a major hassle to hunt down those pics."

Mother; "Sure, but don't you just attract perverts to your blog?"
M1: "If the perverts want T & A then they will surely go elsewhere. I hardly deliver the goods they're looking for" (at which point I thought I'd show here how accessible solid porn is on the web - but I didnt want her to spill her glass of Welch's grape juice mixed with sparkling Perrier on her white Chanel blazer)

Mother: "But don't you want lots of serious visitors? Those pictures will turn them off"
M1: "I don't give a hoot about numbers."

Mother: "Do you have any pictures of naked men?"
M1: "Perhaps one"

Mother: "Aha!! So the naked women are important"
M1: "ahhh, well..."

Mother: "Did you know that Robbie Williams is an alcoholic? And Christoffer Hitchens too? It's really too bad."

I'm gonna kill my squealing brother. Never trust a male Scorpio to uphold a vow of silence. Never. Especially if they're jewish or mormon. I knew that but I faltered. God damn Meatball One.

8/26/2006 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL Mr. Meatball One,

I've read your blog and I've seen your pictures -- and I have to admit, I've tried to understand what you are saying -- subliminally or otherwise -- but, alas, to no avail... I guess you must be kind of like a meatball sandwhich huh, a mystery wrapped in an enigma? Your poor Mamma... :-)


8/26/2006 11:56 AM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Lemme buy you a drink some day and all will become as clear as Alabama mud. I promise. (It must be a drink at a wheelchair friendly joint however)

8/27/2006 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, very kind.


8/27/2006 3:56 PM  

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