Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tu quoque

“Those societies that believe they can be closed to change, to ideas, cultures, and beliefs that are different from theirs, will find quickly that in our internet world they will be left behind,” Hillary Clinton said in Brasilia at the hilariously named "Open Government Partnership" conference. She pointed out that
When President Rousseff and President Obama launched the Open Government Partnership last fall on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, six other founding governments and eight civil society organizations were present. At that time, President Obama made clear that the purpose of the Open Government Partnership was to advance specific initiatives to promote transparency, fight corruption, and energize civic engagement and to leverage new technologies so that we strengthen the foundation of freedom in our own countries while living up to ideals that can light the world.
Nonetheless, Clinton's (and Obama's) State Department routinely denies visas to foreigner filmmakers and activists - particularly Muslims - who criticize the US, while refusing to discuss those denials or in fact any part of the government's activities in the Endless War. For instance (via Gleen Greenwald), the young Pakistani creator of 'The Other Side', an award-winning short film that "identifies the problems faced by families who have become victims of drone missiles, and it unearths the line of action which terrorist groups adopt to use victimised families for their vested interests."

The US may be in Open Governments, but that doesn't mean the US government is open to criticism.

(And that's not even going into the routine criminalization of free speech that supports anyone the US government doesn't like. Latest example: the Executive Order aimed at those who "directly or indirectly" obstruct transition of power in Yemen, after the recent one-candidate-election (a new, US-approved spin on "one man, one vote"). As a State Department spokesman rather candidly said: "This is a big umbrella set of authorities that can be used as necessary." But hey, at least it's not assassination, right?)

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