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Lesson Fourteen

Section One: News in Brief

1. State Department spokesman Bernard Kalb resigned today because of the Reagan Administration's alleged disinformation campaign against Libya. The Washington Post reported last week that the administration planted false information about Libya in an effort to destabilize the government of Muammar Ouddafi. Kalb today did not confirm or deny that such a campaign took place, but he said reports about it had damaged the credibility of the US. The State Department would not comment on Kalb's resignation.

2. The State Department today criticized the Nicaraguan government for allegedly refusing to grant US officials access to Eugene Hasenfus. He's the survivor of Sunday's plane crash inside Nicaragua. State Department spokesman Charles Redmond. 'Our representative was not received by the Nicaraguan government. And we view this with the utmost seriousness. The rendering of consular services is an essential part of the function of an embassy. The Sandinista government has once again taken action to make that function difficult and has raised the question of whether, indeed, a US embassy can function normally within Nicaragua. We frankly cannot accept the delay in granting consular access since the Sandinista government has apparently gone to some lengths to parade Mr. Hasenfus before the press, and considering the fact that a government spokesman stated clearly last night on American television that access would be granted.' Meanwhile President Reagan today denied that the downed plane allegedly carrying arms to Contra rebels was operating-under official US orders. He also acknowledged that the government has been aware that private American groups and citizens have been helping the anti-government forces in Nicaragua.


第一节 简明新闻
1. 因里根政府被指对利比亚进行虚假新闻战,美国国务院发言人伯纳德卡尔布今天辞职。《华盛顿邮报》上周报道说,美国政府对利比亚散布虚假信息,以达到颠覆穆阿迈尔卡扎菲政府的目的。卡尔布今天既没有证实也没有否认发生过这样的行为,但他说,报道损害了美国的信誉。国务院对卡尔布辞职不加以评论。


Section Two: News in Detail

Last week the Washington Post reported that top-level officials had approved a plan to generate real and illusionary events to make Libya's Colonel Muammar Quddafi think the United States might once again attack. Bernard Kalb's resignation is the first in protest of that policy. A similar resignation occurred at the White House in 1983 when a deputy quit to protest misleading statements given to the press shortly before the American invasion of Grenada.

NPR's Bill Busenberg has more on today's announcement. Bernard Kalb had been a veteran diplomatic correspondent for CBS and NBC before being picked two years ago by Secretary of State George Shultz to be the Department's chief spokesman, officially an Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. His brother, Marvin Kalb, is still with NBC. Today, Bernard Kalb surprised his former colleagues in the news media by, quitting over the issue of the administration's disinformation program. Kalb would not confirm that there was such a program, but he said he faced a choice of remaining silent or registering his dissent. And even though the issue appeared to be fading from the news, Kalb grappled with it privately and decided he had to act.
“The controversy may vanish, but when you are sitting alone, it does not go away. And so I've taken the step of stepping down.”

Bernard Kalb

The State Department has reportedly been involved in the disinformation issue, but Kalb said his guidelines have always been not to fie or mislead the press, and he has not done so. Kalb went out of his way today to praise Secretary Shultz, a man, he said, of such overwhelming integrity that he allows other people to have their own integrity.

“In taking this action, I want to emphasize that I am not dissenting from Secretary Shultz, a man of credibility, rather I am dissenting from the reported disinformation program.”

Kalb's comments suggested Shultz perhaps did not go along with the disinformation program, but in public, the Secretary of State has defended the administration's policies against Libya, saying in New York last week: 'I don't have any problems with the little psychological warfare against Quddafi." He also quoted Winston Churchill as saying, 'In time of war truth is so precious, it must be attended by a bodyguard of lies.' Shultz was asked about the disinformation effort last Sunday on ABC.

“I don't lie. I've never taken part in any meeting in which it was proposed that we go out and lie to the news media for some effect. And if somebody did that, he was doing it against policy. Now having said that, one of the results of our action against Libya, from the intelligence we've received, was quite a period of disorientation on the part of Quddafi. So, to the extent we can keep Quddafi off balance by one means or another, including the possibility that we might make another attack, I think that's good.”

In a sometimes emotional session with reporters today, Bernard Kalb said that neither he personally nor the nation as a whole can stand any policy of disinformation.

I'm concerned about the impact of any such program on the credibility of the United States. Faith, faith in the word of America, is the pulse beat of our democracy. Anything that hurts America's credibility hurts America. And then on a much, much, much lower level, there's the' question of my own credibility, both as a spokesman and a journalist, a spokesman for a couple of years, a journalist for more years than I want to remember. In fact, I sometimes privately thought of myself as a journalist masquerading as a spokesman. In any case, I do not want my own credibility to be caught up, to be subsumed in this controversy."

The timing of Kalb's action today is likely to add to the controversy over government deception. And it comes at an awkward moment for the Reagan Administration, just days before an important pre-summit meeting with the Soviets in Iceland and in the wake of official denials about a downed guerrilla re-supply plane in Nicaragua. One American was captured and others were killed in that action, but officials have said the flight was in no way connected with the US government. Kalb said his resignation today had nothing to do with any other incident. I'm Bill Busenberg in Washington.

第二节 详细新闻 美国国务院发言人伯纳德卡尔布辞职











Section Three: Special Report

The history of Jews in Poland is not always thoroughly told in that country. And the story of the World War II freedom fighters in the Jewish ghetto of Warsaw is one of the saddest chapters. The Nazis took hundreds of thousands of Jews to their deaths, and seven thousand more died defending the area when the Germans invaded. Dr. Merrick Adelman is one of the very few who survived. A book called Shielding the Flame is his story. It was written in Poland ten years ago by Hannah Krall*. It is now available in this country in English. Yohannes Toshimska is one of the translators. She says that Merrick Adelman's view of the ghetto uprising is regarded as unconventional.

Shielding the Flame by Hannah Krall.

“He doesn't use the language, or even he doesn't have the attitude people usually have to the holocaust and to the ghetto uprisings. One thing he's consistently talking about is the fact that people thought was the arms in the ghetto. It wasn’t heroic; it was easier than to die going to the train cars. And that people who participated in the ghetto uprising were actually, in a sense, lucky. They had arms; they could do something about what was going on while those hundreds of thousands who were led to the train cars were equally heroic, but their death was much more difficult.”

“Dr. Adelman was stationed ... he was working in a clinic; he was not a doctor then; but he was working in a clinic that was nearby the train station where the Jews were taken to go off to the concentration camps.”

“Yes. He had an amazing position. He was standing at the gate to the Hmflat Platz, which was the place from where the Jews were taken into the train cars. He was a member of the underground in the ghetto, and he was choosing the people who were needed by the underground. They were perhaps one or two in many thousands of them led every day to the cars. And he would pick these people up, and then young girls who were students at the nurses' school would disabilitate these people. He describes in the book, it's a very powerful scene, how these girls, who were wearing beautiful clean white uniforms of nurse students, would take two pieces of wood and with these two pieces of wood would break legs of the people who were supposed to be saved for the Jewish underground. But the Germans, to the last moment, wanted to maintain the fiction that people who were taken to the trains were being taken for work. And obviously a person with a broken leg couldn't work. So breaking a leg would temporarily save that person from being taken into gas.”

“So he saw in all, I believe he says four hundred thousand people, go aboard the train.”

“Yes. He stood there from the very beginning of the extermination action to the end.”

“With regard to what you were saying earlier, there's a dialogue that develops in the book between an American professor who comes to visit the doctor many years later, and is critical of what happened. He says of the Jews, 'You were going like sheep to your deaths.' The professor had been in World War II; he'd landed on a French beach, and he said that 'Men should run, men should shoot. You were going like sheep.' And Adelman explains this, and let me quote him. 'It is a horrendous thing when one is going so quietly to one's death. It is infinitely more difficult than to go out shooting. After all, it is much easier to die firing. For us, it was much easier to die than it was for someone who first boarded a train car, then rode the train, then dug a hole, then undressed naked.' That's difficult to understand, but then Hannah Krall says that she understands it because it's easier for people who are watching this to understand, when the people are dying shooting.'

“It is something probably easier to comprehend because the kind of death most of the people from the ghetto encountered is just beyond comprehension.”

“Explain the context of the title for Shielding the Flame; it comes up a bit later on. It has to do with the reason that Dr. Adelman becomes a physician, a cardiologist, after the War, is that he wants this opportunity to deal with people who are in a life-or-death situation.”

“He says at some point that what he was doing at Hmflat Platz and what he was doing later on as a doctor is like to shield the flame from God who wants to blow this little tiny flame and kill the person, that what he was doing during the War and after the War was, in a way, doing God's work or doing something against God, even if the God existed.”

“Do you think this book is going to be accessible to the Western reader reading it in English? It is a bit free in form and in style. It lacks a chronology; certain details are not there or are pre-supposed that one knows.”

“This book is a little bit like a conversation of two people who aren't that much aware of the fact that someone else is listening to it. And they don't care about this other person who might be listening to it. They don't help this person to follow it. I had a hard time even when I read it for the first time in Polish. However, for me, it has magnetic power and, despite the confusion, I always wanted to go back and to go on.”

Yahannes Tashimska, the translator, along with Lawrence Weshler, of Shielding the Flame by Hannah Krall.

第三节 特别报道:介绍新书《庇护的火焰》

















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