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Wikileaks: Al-Manar TV Shareholders Targeted for Sanctions
The US embassy in Beirut recommended financial sanctions on 38 shareholders in Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV station. The Daily Star writes:
“Designating them now will reinforce our efforts to discredit Hizbullah and its institutions and deny Hizbullah supporters access to financing that goes through US institutions,” the cable said. “Moreover, the publicity that will greet designation will make other Lebanese think twice about being involved in Hizbullah-connected institutions. Some people may even become more cautious about appearing on Al-Manar programming, for fear of designation.”
It's a gutsy cable, but what about the free speech issue raised by Hezbollah's apologists?
As one US official told the Washington Times in 2006:
"Any entity maintained by a terrorist group -- whether masquerading as a charity, a business or a media outlet -- is as culpable as the terrorist group itself," said Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey.
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