The Corner

Get Him Off the Air

Paul Wolfowitz:

It appears that Libyan State Television is dependent on four international satellite providers (ArabSat, EutelSat, AsiaSat, and, especially, NileSat) to carry Muammar Gaddafi’s three state TV channels—particularly the Jamahiriya satellite channel, which has reportedly been used to transmit coded messages to Gaddafi’s mercenaries and security forces.

That includes all of “the Leader’s” threatening broadcasts, as well as those of Dr. Seif Al-Islam Gaddafi. It also includes the official state television version of Gaddafi’s latest hit song, “Zenga, Zenga,” which includes hired demonstrators repeating Gaddafi’s rant about searching out and destroying his enemies, “alley by alley, house by house, room by room,” to the tune of cheerful music and the waving of flags.

In a Sky News interview today with Adam Boulton, I suggested jamming Gaddafi’s broadcasts, but it might be much easier (and not require use of any special assets) to simply get NileSat and the others to turn him off. When Hosni Mubarak was still in power, on January 30, NileSat stopped carrying Al Jazeera on the instruction of the Egyptian government.

Why isn’t the U.S. administration pushing this? Moreover, why isn’t it helping the opposition to set up their own effective broadcasting? Oh well, I guess we know the answer to those questions.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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