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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    15 Apr '13 01:04
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/newshour

    or

    http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/worldservice/newshour/newshour_20130414-1510a.mp3

    "BBC 'used LSE students as human shield' in North Korea"
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22144667

    I just listened to this relatively lengthy discussion [the podcast is well worth listening to]. All things considered, I think the BBC got it wrong.

    Do you agree or disagree?
  2. 15 Apr '13 01:21
    Originally posted by FMF
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/newshour

    or

    http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/worldservice/newshour/newshour_20130414-1510a.mp3

    "BBC 'used LSE students as human shield' in North Korea"
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22144667

    I just listened to this relatively lengthy discussion [the podcast is well worth listening to]. All things considered, I think the BBC got it wrong.

    Do you agree or disagree?
    "Do you agree or disagree?"

    Don't know. I sort of think it sensible to err on the side of safety of the students. I listened to the arguments of Sweeney, and question whether the results of the action are justified by the possible losses. After all when the film ends up being aired, it is no longer a secret.
  3. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    15 Apr '13 01:34
    Originally posted by normbenign
    I sort of think it sensible to err on the side of safety of the students. I listened to the arguments of Sweeney, and question whether the results of the action are justified by the possible losses. After all when the film ends up being aired, it is no longer a secret.
    It's a pity that - judging by the snippets of Sweeney's observations/style that I heard - he had absolutely nothing to say that hasn't been heard before from people who have had the chance to have a look around in the DPRK.

    As for 'harm' to students, I would worry that there could be consequences for British (and other) people around the world in ugly or ugly-ish places on student visas, or students in the future.
  4. 15 Apr '13 12:58 / 2 edits
    With countrie like zimbabwe nk and iran i think the bbc should show a bit more of the countries own national tv rather then try and put sources at risk inside - there tv might be awful propaganda - but it shows you what they see, nk media pictures are quite revealing- and if you want an insiders view find someone who left the country recently. just my thoughts
  5. 15 Apr '13 16:32 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/newshour

    or

    http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/worldservice/newshour/newshour_20130414-1510a.mp3

    "BBC 'used LSE students as human shield' in North Korea"
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22144667

    I just listened to this relatively lengthy discussion [the podcast is well worth listening to]. All things considered, I think the BBC got it wrong.

    Do you agree or disagree?
    Unintended consequences, I fear.

    This incident and others like it will have a chilling effect on people and countries that might otherwise participate in useful interactions among private individuals or at the NGO level.

    This leads to closed borders and international relations being conducted only by governments, to the extent that BBC is government-funded and run and/or is seen as a the British government's errand boy. (See the Wikipedia BBC entry on this aspect.)

    Freedom-loving members of this forum should take note of this.

    Edit: The above is true even if fully disclosed, factual informed consent was obtained.
  6. 15 Apr '13 16:47
    Originally posted by JS357
    Unintended consequences, I fear.

    This incident and others like it will have a chilling effect on people and countries that might otherwise participate in useful interactions among private individuals or at the NGO level.

    This leads to closed borders and international relations being conducted only by governments, to the extent that BBC is government-fund ...[text shortened]... his.

    Edit: The above is true even if fully disclosed, factual informed consent was obtained.
    Probably agree that the BBC got it wrong with their approach and timing, but how does sneaking a news crew into a closed country that does not allow free access affect freedom? How much less open and free do you think the DPPK will be as a result of this?
  7. 15 Apr '13 19:09 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by kevcvs57
    Probably agree that the BBC got it wrong with their approach and timing, but how does sneaking a news crew into a closed country that does not allow free access affect freedom? How much less open and free do you think the DPPK will be as a result of this?
    It's the part about posing as part of a student group.

    It could close doors to people and groups who want to be free to go into NK and other countries and help people there, or restrict the help they can give. Imagine if the CIA or MI-6 infiltrated Doctors w/o Borders with spies and saboteurs and it was discovered. You may think that is an extreme example, but a paranoid regime will think it's a logical next step that must be prevented, and the freedom of both the doctors and their patients will be curtailed in tragic ways.

    My reference to "freedom loving people" is a slight jab at those on the right who profess to love freedom but are all to ready to support things that will actually result in its curtailment.
  8. 15 Apr '13 21:14
    Originally posted by JS357
    It's the part about posing as part of a student group.

    It could close doors to people and groups who want to be free to go into NK and other countries and help people there, or restrict the help they can give. Imagine if the CIA or MI-6 infiltrated Doctors w/o Borders with spies and saboteurs and it was discovered. You may think that is an extreme example, ...[text shortened]... freedom but are all to ready to support things that will actually result in its curtailment.
    "It's the part about posing as part of a student group."

    Well thats why I agree that the BBc got it's approach wrong, but I dont think we can improve freedom by colluding with extremely oppressive regimes in their wish for secrecy.

    I watched the programme tonight and it did not tell anyone (who's interested) anything they dont already know, so if it has made access to DPPK harder then it is probably an epic fail, but you do not have to be a lackie of the British state to put that regime in a bad light you just have to tell the truth.
  9. 16 Apr '13 01:32
    Originally posted by FMF
    It's a pity that - judging by the snippets of Sweeney's observations/style that I heard - he had absolutely nothing to say that hasn't been heard before from people who have had the chance to have a look around in the DPRK.

    As for 'harm' to students, I would worry that there could be consequences for British (and other) people around the world in ugly or ugly-ish places on student visas, or students in the future.
    Tend to agree that what was accomplished wasn't justified by the shady dealing.
  10. 16 Apr '13 02:04 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by JS357 to kevcvs57
    It's the part about posing as part of a student group.

    It could close doors to people and groups who want to be free to go into NK and other countries and help people there, or restrict the help they can give. Imagine if the CIA or MI-6 infiltrated Doctors w/o Borders with spies and saboteurs and it was discovered. You may think that is an extre freedom but are all to ready to support things that will actually result in its curtailment.
    The US Peace Corps has come under some suspicion for supposedly
    being a CIA front. If I recall correctly, reportedly some CIA agents
    have used being a Peace Corps volunteer as a temporary cover.
    While I believe that almost all Peace Corps volunteers have nothing
    to do with the CIA, any real or preceived link to the CIA has led
    some people to suspect the worst of all Peace Corps volunteers.

    By the way, a young Englishwoman (who had studied Russian at
    university) began working as a freelance journalist, and one of her
    first assignments was to report on the Spetsnaz (Soviet Army special
    forces unit). The Spetsnaz assumed that she was working for British
    intelligence until they became convinced otherwise. Indeed, the fact
    that she's a woman without military training seemed to encourage the
    Spetsnaz to give her access that would not have been given to, say,
    a male journalist who had been in the SAS.
  11. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    16 Apr '13 03:34
    Personally I say sacrifice Pyongyang to save the 20 million other North Koreans who are living some of the most miserable existences in human history. Let the missiles fly. Hallelujah.
  12. 16 Apr '13 06:27
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    The US Peace Corps has come under some suspicion for supposedly
    being a CIA front. If I recall correctly, reportedly some CIA agents
    have used being a Peace Corps volunteer as a temporary cover.
    While I believe that almost all Peace Corps volunteers have nothing
    to do with the CIA, any real or preceived link to the CIA has led
    some people to suspect ...[text shortened]... her access that would not have been given to, say,
    a male journalist who had been in the SAS.
    "While I believe that almost all Peace Corps volunteers have nothing
    to do with the CIA, any real or preceived link to the CIA has led
    some people to suspect the worst of all Peace Corps volunteers."

    This is exactly why I believe that the BBC action of posing as students has a cost that the results of this posing have to justify. I don's see that in this case, I see no new information, but what do I know? What do any of us know? What do the people doing it, know? And yet, in a democracy, we have to decide.
  13. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    16 Apr '13 06:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by JS357
    And yet, in a democracy, we have to decide.
    Couple of thoughts. In a democracy, can people willfully taint potentially thousands of student visas for years to come through an act of deceit? Is it a "democratic" act to do so?
  14. 16 Apr '13 12:29
    Originally posted by FMF
    Couple of thoughts. In a democracy, can people willfully taint potentially thousands of student visas for years to come through an act of deceit? Is it a "democratic" act to do so?
    Anything can happen in a pure democracy. In a democratic republic where peoples rights are protected it is a different story.
  15. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    16 Apr '13 12:33
    Originally posted by joe beyser
    Anything can happen in a pure democracy. In a democratic republic where peoples rights are protected it is a different story.
    What does this have to do with journalists abusing visas? How would the damage caused by an incident like this be prevented/addressed in a 'republic'?