Obama kills funding for Iranian human-rights watch agency

posted at 11:36 am on October 6, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The Iran Human Rights Watch Documentation Center can be excused for thinking that this year might make them more indispensable than ever.  After all, the Iranian mullahcracy rigged a presidential election and brutally suppressed widespread protests and demonstrations against the ruling elite.  Their Basiji irregulars murdered and maimed people in the street.  The State Department’s agency for documenting such human-rights abuses in that country would have to work overtime in the next several weeks just to catch up on all of the data they need to review from the last eleven weeks.

Instead, they’re going to pack their bags and go home next May, thanks to a decision by Barack Obama to kill their funding as a sop to the mullahs:

“If there is one time that I expected to get funding, this was it,’’ said Rene Redman, the group’s executive director, who had asked for $2.7 million in funding for the next two years. “I was sur prised, because the world was watching human rights violations right there on television.’’

Many see the sudden, unexplained cutoff of funding as a shift by the Obama administration away from high-profile democracy promotion in Iran, which had become a signature issue for President Bush. But the timing has alarmed some on Capitol Hill.

“The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center is at the forefront of pioneering and vitally important work,’’ said Senator Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, in a statement yesterday. “It is disturbing that the State Department would cut off funding at precisely the moment when these brave investigations are needed most.’’

Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington-based think tank, said, “It is a shock that they did not get funding.’’ A reason, he asserted, may be that “the Obama administration is so focused on engaging Iran that they don’t want this information to get in the way.’’

If anything, the response of the Iranians should have underscored the need for documentation of their human-rights abuses.  After all, this office does not set policy or launch covert programs aimed at undermining the mullahcracy.  The IHRDC keeps records of the actions of the Iranian government, which is a critical set of data when attempting to determine whether the Iranian mullahs keep their word on any agreement to liberalize their policies.  Without any tracking of these abuses, the State Department will have no evidence on which to base recommendations for diplomatic action.

This is truly a breathtaking step.  Obama has signaled that he doesn’t care at all about human-rights abuses, and that he in fact cares more about making the ruling mullahs happy than in how they treat the subjects of their oppression.  After all, the mere documentation of abuses doesn’t constrain Obama’s policymaking choices; it merely informs them.  He can choose any direction he wants, but one would expect an American President to make those choices on the basis of intelligence and research.

Instead, Obama has made it clear that those issues won’t even enter into his calculations, and will stop spending money on collecting that data.  That will save us a few million dollars a year, but will cost us much, much more in credibility in the long run.  It’s a setup for appeasement.

Glenn Reynolds agrees, saying, “They’re planning a sellout[.]”   Obama keeps talking about outstretched hands to the mullahs, but this is an outstretched finger to Iranians looking for freedom from oppression.  (via The Corner)


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Comment pages: 1 2

God forbid he “annoy” the Iranians.

Buy Danish on October 6, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Rywall wants to send State Department employees into the cold by firing them.

Heartless…just heartless.

SteveMG on October 6, 2009 at 12:18 PM

I guess that means I’m pro-homeless.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2009 at 12:20 PM

omg omg omg

Catching sarcasm isn’t one of your better skills.

SteveMG on October 6, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Rywall, if you were a true “liberal” or “progressive” you’d universally, unconditionally, and always be for freedom, independence and liberty. Alas…

Schadenfreude on October 6, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Buy Danish on October 6, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Hell, we sided with the Iranians on a UN vote on Israel’s nukes.

lorien1973 on October 6, 2009 at 12:22 PM

Makes perfect sense. Obama doesn’t identify with the common folk. He sees more similarities with Ajad and wants so badly to be loved by people who’ve historically not liked us that he wants his actions to shout, “Hey, I’m like you! We can be friends!” A cynic would see these actions – the backing of Zelaya (and Chavez and Castro, by extension) and the grabbing of the ankles to Russian discomfort over our missile shield not as naive accidents, but as intentional proof of solidarity with communism, despots and dictators who don’t like America.

cpr on October 6, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Quote of the Day

nyx on October 6, 2009 at 12:23 PM

I guess that means I’m pro-homeless.

Well, you’re not pro-staying-on-topic at-hand.

SteveMG on October 6, 2009 at 12:23 PM

After another year the American public will need Human Rights assistance.

workingforpigs on October 6, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Freedom to the left is nothing more than a catchy phrase. Maybe at one time the left of America really believed in it. Today, it is just word to help you get elected into power. Just like Iraq and Afganistan.

TexasDude on October 6, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Obama hasn’t freed a single person, and won’t. He is a Thug in Chief, for thugs of the world, but he ’smiles’ nicely.

p.s. yes, I know it’s a repeat.

Schadenfreude on October 6, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Hey everyone, the Iran HRDC is a .ORG, not .GOV

Which means every one of us should be ponying up some dough to make up the difference the Obama administration just made.

It’s tax deductible if that makes a difference to your charitable giving.

I can’t think of a better way to show the people of Iran, that the people of the USA are behind them in their dreams of liberty.

Keith_Indy on October 6, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Our country and the planet are going to rue the day they ever heard of this criminal Marxist scum.

elduende on October 6, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Quote of the Day

nyx on October 6, 2009 at 12:23 PM

In simpler terms – “a thug, for thugs”.

Schadenfreude on October 6, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Typical Odumbo actions. Ignornant or turns a blind eye. His I don’t know or not fully aware excuses are getting old. Then he always wants to make things clear. Intentionally ignorant.

I hope people start calling him out on his feigned stupidity.

meMC on October 6, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Priorities, where are this administration’s priorities? He cuts funding to a watchdog group, but provides funding to foundations run by members of the Qaddafi family.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/09/administration_giving_400k_to.html

CBP on October 6, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Fascists like to cover each other against the populace.

Hening on October 6, 2009 at 12:29 PM

I hope people start calling him out on his feigned stupidity.

meMC on October 6, 2009 at 12:28 PM

He isn’t stupid. He knows exactly what he is doing. The old excuse that he just finds himself in racist churches and hanging out with domestic bomb throwers is all part of the hoax. He is a dangerous man, hates this country as it was invented by the Founding Fathers and wishes to ally himself with terrorists both domestic and foreign that will help him dismantle this nation as fast as possible.

Hening on October 6, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Just another step in the backdoor process of destroying Israel. This is the grand plan, of which an Iranian role is an indispensable component.

rrpjr on October 6, 2009 at 12:00 PM

This is the ultimate goal. It is the primary goal of the Islamists, to which Zero is highly….”sympathetic” shall we say. The other side of the same coin is the systematic dismantling of the superpower status of the USA, piece by bloody piece.

infidel4life on October 6, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Obama is going to stop appointing Czars and start appointing Viziers, and remove all doubt about his true affiliations.

Terry_Dyne on October 6, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Disgusting. Absolutrly disgusting.

Sekhmet on October 6, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Schadenfreude on October 6, 2009 at 12:26 PM

By the thugs, for the thugs, of the thugs.

MrScribbler on October 6, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Obama loves the little tyrants,
All the tyrants of the world!
Commie, fascist, Islamite –
They are precious in his sight
Obama loves the little tyrants of the world!

Crawford on October 6, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Finished it for you.

Daggett on October 6, 2009 at 12:42 PM

By the thugs, for the thugs, of the thugs.

MrScribbler on October 6, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Perfect!

Schadenfreude on October 6, 2009 at 12:43 PM

This nightmare is 20% over…

Akzed on October 6, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Appeasement is clearly the gameplan.

AnninCA on October 6, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Not too surprised to see drywall now on the side of the mullahs.

Akzed on October 6, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Time for a Congressional earmark. Say to the tune of $10 million, just to show what happens when you try this kind of move.

Greg Q on October 6, 2009 at 12:49 PM

In the name of transparency, Obooba’s transparent excuse for this shamelessness is, “Um, I know, uh, let’s say… we just don’t have any more money!”

Akzed on October 6, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Thinking ahead, can Barry pardon himself in January 2013?

Vashta.Nerada on October 6, 2009 at 12:51 PM

…one would expect an American President to make those choices on the basis of intelligence and research

.

Remember who we are talking about here. Research is for chumps.

“I won”

loudmouth883 on October 6, 2009 at 12:56 PM

So he has a hard time with water boarding a few terrorists, and calls for investigations, and trials, for those bad ass CIA criminals, but is offing millions of innocent citiznes, fighting for their freedoms, and rights, as human beings?

The future for this country looks bleak. Very , very bleak!

capejasmine on October 6, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Can’t piss off the mullahs, now, can we?

ctmom on October 6, 2009 at 1:04 PM

0-Bama sigher, hundreds died…..(or were raped)….

dmh0667 on October 6, 2009 at 1:10 PM

I’m sure it was all a mistake.

It could be that the WH thought the US was funding the Iranian version of Human Rights Watch, and thought it was a bad idea to give Iranian propogandists taxpayer money.

I’m sure when he learns it was a US group that kept track of human rights violations committed by Iran, the funding will be restored.

V/R

Gibbs

BobMbx on October 6, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Obama finally found something he can cut besides Gitmo and citizenship requirements for public benefits

entagor on October 6, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Obama has signaled that he doesn’t care at all about human-rights abuses, and that he in fact cares more about making the ruling mullahs happy than in how they treat the subjects of their oppression

.

Quelle surprise. He wasn’t concerned about the possibility of genocide in Iraq if America prematurely withdrew.

Basilsbest on October 6, 2009 at 1:17 PM

I’d like to turn those people loose on his ass!

Eyvonne on October 6, 2009 at 1:26 PM

In the world of Obama, if the govt doesn’t document something, it didn’t happen.

So the best way to improve Iran’s human rights record, is to stop looking at it.

MarkTheGreat on October 6, 2009 at 1:33 PM

If I am not mistaken, isn’t ACORN opening an office in Tehran?

Claimsratt on October 6, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Finished it for you.

Thank you. I knew something was missing…

Crawford on October 6, 2009 at 2:27 PM

But, it’s not really Obama’s fault. He is what he is, and we all knew it.

“Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions. … Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the “new, wonderful good society” which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to an “more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.”

– Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 – 43 B.C.)

SoonerMarine on October 6, 2009 at 2:39 PM

But, it’s not really Obama’s fault. He is what he is, and we all knew it.

SoonerMarine on October 6, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Well…not all of “us”.

The right knew. The leftwing media knew. The left knew. But the MSM’s pet faux conservatives, the independent voters, and the RINO middle were all beguiled by the idiotic blather of hopenchange. They think O’Bozo is a post-partisan moderate…or at least they did. Hopefully they’ve woken up.

Jaibones on October 6, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Yet we can give aid to HAMAS:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today that a $900 million U.S. aid package for the Palestinians was meant to foster regional peace and would not fall into the hands of the Hamas terrorist organization.

But the aid is slated to be received both by a U.N. agency that openly employs Hamas as well as by the Palestinian Authority, which is in talks to create a unity government with Hamas
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=90576

lovingmyUSA on October 6, 2009 at 3:13 PM

I am honestly ashamed that these are our elected leaders.

Cylor on October 6, 2009 at 3:58 PM

Did they offer to put an office on the South Side of Chicago?

IlikedAUH2O on October 6, 2009 at 4:03 PM

I wonder if they thought it would be ok? Jews voted in great numbers for The One.

IlikedAUH2O on October 6, 2009 at 4:04 PM

Ed, by your own calculation regarding China/Tibet, if Obama can get any friendly gesture from Iran by repudiating Persians for human rights, it’s worth it.

feckless

maverick muse on October 6, 2009 at 4:23 PM

I am ashamed of this president. First he treats the Iranian pro democracy people as if they were a bother, and then he actually betrays them. Obama is a disgrace.

Terrye on October 6, 2009 at 5:30 PM

Billions for BS and waste, but 2.7 million over two years in support of freedom? Forget it. I’ll bet Acorn has spent more goverment money in the past two years on whorehouses alone.

cjk on October 6, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Hey everyone, the Iran HRDC is a .ORG, not .GOV

Which means every one of us should be ponying up some dough to make up the difference the Obama administration just made.

It’s tax deductible if that makes a difference to your charitable giving.

I can’t think of a better way to show the people of Iran, that the people of the USA are behind them in their dreams of liberty.

Keith_Indy on October 6, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Donated $10, it’s all I can spare.

The_Livewire on October 6, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Hey everyone, the Iran HRDC is a .ORG, not .GOV

Which means every one of us should be ponying up some dough to make up the difference the Obama administration just made.

It’s tax deductible if that makes a difference to your charitable giving.

I can’t think of a better way to show the people of Iran, that the people of the USA are behind them in their dreams of liberty.

Keith_Indy on October 6, 2009 at 12:25 PM
Donated $10, it’s all I can spare.

The_Livewire on October 6, 2009 at 5:41 PM

GREAT idea. I’m sending some $$ too. This should go viral; maybe someone who is really adept – Paging Steven Crowder – could youtube this. Help the desparate Iranians and burn Obama by going WE THE PEOPLE.

btw, have we signed over the 900 million to Hamas yet? And in what universe do we hand terrorists anything, let alone this kind of huge money? Whose idea was this?

tigerlily on October 6, 2009 at 7:11 PM

A cynic would see these actions – the backing of Zelaya (and Chavez and Castro, by extension) and the grabbing of the ankles to Russian discomfort over our missile shield not as naive accidents, but as intentional proof of solidarity with

anyone who would help him destroy America.

Friendly21 on October 6, 2009 at 8:01 PM

Just another step in the backdoor process of destroying Israel. This is the grand plan, of which an Iranian role is an indispensable component.

rrpjr on October 6, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Israel is a feint , America is the real TARGET…

huckelberry on October 6, 2009 at 10:01 PM

http://www.veteranoutrage.com

I told you obama would betray all freedom loving americans
I told you democrats would help betray all of our alies
and here we are not even 10 months into their new
vision and sure enough

they are abandoing all of our alies and others so fast
i wouldnt be surprised if obama and the democrats
contacted the russian and chinese secret police
to begin rounding up undersireables..

veteranoutrage on October 6, 2009 at 10:34 PM

veteranoutrage on October 6, 2009

His “outstretched finger” goes to any and all freedom-loving people; especially Americans. The guy must see himself as invincible.

SKYFOX on October 7, 2009 at 8:47 AM

Lest we forget wozname um Bill Ayers (how quickly we forget what we should never forget), note that the Ayers plan includes concentration camps and a major loss of freedom for the people of the United States of America. According to the Ayers plan we will soon have a government not unlike Venezuela or even Iran itself.

Keep all the ducks in a row here and remember the overall game plan. Obama IS the Ayers plan’s point man today.

{^_^}

herself on October 7, 2009 at 8:55 AM

Comment pages: 1 2