Today's New York Times has a piece about whether the Obama administration is as committed to a policy of "democracy promotion" as the Bush administration had been. To anyone familiar with US history of inhibiting and undermining democracies, the whole concept must seem rather absurd.
While the only questions regarding Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's prosecution appear to be where and when, things were different when it came to prosecuting the institution that supported what Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton called "the lifeblood" of the Sinoloa Cartel's operations.
It seems inadequate for U.S. media outlets to critique the level of free expression in the country where NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is seeking asylum without comparing it to the level of free expression in the country he is seeking asylum from. While the United States has on paper some of the best guarantees of the right to speak in the world, its practice is considerably more chilling.
"USAID Develops a Bad Reputation Among Some Foreign Leaders," read a May 7 Los Angeles Times headline, followed by the subhead: The U.S. Agency for International Development doesn't just offer aid to the poor, it also promotes democracy, which is seen as meddlesome or even subversive. Fighting poverty and spreading democracy–what's not to like? And so, the report seems to suggest, there's something a little off about foreign leaders, nine in recent years, who've expelled the agency. Why else would Bolivian President Evo Morales expel an anti-poverty group from his "impoverished" country, if he wasn't just a little bit crazy? […]
New Yorker staff writer Jon Lee Anderson has a blog post on the magazine's website (4/23/13) addressing the controversy over his recent coverage of Venezuela (FAIR Blog, 4/17/13): At issue are sentences in three different pieces written in the course of a number of months—two on the New Yorker's website and one in the magazine. Readers pointed out what they saw as factual errors in each. In two cases I agreed, and corrected the sentences; in the third I didn't, for reasons I'll explain. So you expect he's going to explain why he didn't agree that the third alleged factual […]