Saturday, August 29, 2009


An activist received a sentence yesterday of 18 years for "insulting" Thailand's king. Thomas Fuller reports in today's The New York Times that a former journalist was adjudged guilty of damaging the reputation and honor of the king.

Reports Fuller:

"The three-judge panel ruled that even though she did not mention the king or queen by name in the speech, she had insinuated that they supported the coup. One of the ways she made her point, the judges said, was to refer to yellow and blue, the traditional Thai birth colors of the king and queen.

"Among those charged with lèse-majesté recently are a number of strong-willed activists in a country that has traditionally prized deference."

This is an egregious miscarriage of the law and of justice. Everyone in the world should be free to speak his mind, no matter if it offends the king or not. The whole country of Thailand is reduced to a state of ridicule on account of this conviction.

Remember when George W. Bush's press secretary Ari Fleischer warned reporters to watch what they said or wrote. I am sure the Bush coterie would have liked nothing better than to arrest critics and commentators who opposed the War in Iraq and/or other policies of W. Fortunately, the courts in the U.S. would not allow it and Bush knew it, but he and Fleischer were trying to impose censorship and silence, nonetheless.

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