Wednesday, August 5, 2009

NYT article: "Clinton Calls for Accountability in Kenya"

In another disgusting display of hypocrisy today, the New York Times reports Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "opened her seven-nation African tour in Kenya with an address to a major United States-African trade conference and other public events on Wednesday, in a visit intended to promote the broad themes of good, trade, food security and women's rights." Following the Kenyan presidential election last year, more than 1,000 people died in post-election violence as the major political factions contested the results. A state-run human rights agency in Kenya released a report implicating more than 200 suspected ringleaders of the violence, including many high-level government officials. Part of Clinton's message was devoted to upholding the rule of law by investigating and prosecuting those responsible for the violence. So far, Kenyan officials have been reluctant to open any type of inquiry into the violence, eliciting this response from Clinton:

"We are waiting, we are disappointed....I know this is not easy; I understand how complicated this is. How do you go about prosecuting the perpetrators without engendering more violence?"

It amazes me every time I read or hear American officials lambasting foreign governments for failing to uphold the rule of law, not governing transparently, and for creating a culture of impunity in which high ranking government officials and those with close connections to the ruling elite are immune from the law of the land. These criticisms, coming from the chief foreign policy representative of a nation in which the previous administration constantly and blatantly broke the law with impunity, are hard to take seriously, especially considering the obvious hypocrisies inherent in the message. How can anyone take Clinton, or Obama for that matter, seriously when high ranking government officials in this country break the law and get away with it?


  1. How can we (the U.S. government) call the Iragis and Afghanis that fight us "terrorists" while we call the hired mercenaries that kill Iraqis and Afghanis indiscriminately private security contractors? Why do we insist on calling our economy a "free market" economy while we simultaneously bail out financial institutions with public funding? Why do we claim to be a nation of free men and women when 1 out of 99 citizens are incarcerated?

    This is a country led by hypocrites. The example of Hilary Clinton is not a rare occurrence--it is the norm.

  2. The double standards so obvious in the rhetoric you hear from Washington are typical and quite pathetic. When will we have any real leaders that will stand up and say enough is enough? I guess there are a few people in Congress- Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders come to mind- that are making their voices heard, but too many are caught up in the "establishment" mindset and perspective of the world. They are in Washington simply to enjoy the lifestyle, bask in the sycophantic environment of the media, and make cynical gestures of real policy making. It's amazing to me that anyone can listen to what Obama, or anyone in Washington for that matter, says about the rule of law and open government and not recognize the hypocrisy and double standards.