By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: February 14, 2008
The most famous journalist you may never have heard of is Sami al-Hajj, an Al Jazeera cameraman who is on a hunger strike to protest abuse during more than six years in a Kafkaesque prison system.
Mr. Hajj's fortitude has turned him into a household name in the Arab world, and his story is sowing anger at the authorities holding him without trial.
That's us. Mr. Hajj is one of our forgotten prisoners in Guantánamo Bay.
If the Bush administration appointed an Under Secretary of State for Antagonizing the Islamic World, with advice from a Blue Ribbon Commission for Sullying America's Image, it couldn't have done a more systematic job of discrediting our reputation around the globe. Instead of using American political capital to push for peace in the Middle East or Darfur, it is using it to force-feed Mr. Hajj.