Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Achtung! Papers, please!

The corrupt Bush administration (oxymoron?) is further clamping down on press freedoms as the New Amerika is created right in front of our eyes (North American Union, anyone?)

Writes the hardworking and brave reporter Wayne Madsen, over at Wayne Madsen Report, writes the following while on assignment in Scandinavia:
Information visas (I-Visa) -- a Bush administration method for controlling the foreign media's coverage of the United States.
You're a foreign journalist and you want to visit the United States to cover a story. If you think it is as easy as hopping on an airplane, even if you are a citizen or resident of a visa-waiver country, guess again. Journalists wishing to travel to the United States -- whether they are with print, television, radio, or Internet media -- must first obtain an "I-Visa" from the U.S. embassy or selected consulates responsible for their jurisdictions. Freelance journalists who are not under contract to a U.S.-recognized media organization need not apply

(and the foreign reporters now are required to jump through all sorts of hoops to get an I-visa. This isn't Soviet Russia or the Eastern Bloc circa 1970. Where's the freedom, freedom-lovers?


What happens if the Bush cronies decide they do not like the story a foreign journalist will be pursuing? They will reject the I-Visa application -- no explanation necessary. But if the rejected journalist expects a refund of his or her $108, $102, or $100, he or she can guess again. According to the U.S. embassy in Germany, "refunds of this fee are rarely granted, and generally only in cases in which the embassy has made an error in processing the visa application. In the case in which a visa request has been refused or an applicant has erroneously paid the fee twice, a refund will not be approved."

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