Trump Regime Literally Phones it in on Human Rights Report
by Mark Sumner –
The release of the annual report on human rights by the US State Department is an event watched around the world. The report, which represents information on human rights collected by US embassies and consulates, is closely studied by governments, non-profits, and businesses. It is presented each year by the Secretary of State. Or, when an emergency keeps the secretary away, by a senior State Department official.
Except this year. This year, not only did Rex Tillerson blow off the report, here’s the level of treatment the report on human rights was given under Trump.
Nor did any senior State Department official make on-camera comments that are typically watched around the world, including by officials in authoritarian countries where abuses are singled out in the report.
Instead, a senior administration official talked to reporters by phone and only on the condition of anonymity.
“The report speaks for itself,” the administration official said. “We’re very, very proud of it. The facts should really be the story here.”
They’re so proud of it that the person speaking on the phone would not even allow use of his name.
What kind of regime feels the need to say, “we deliberately want to send a message that we’re taking human rights less seriously.” One that also blew off ethics courses.
Because if they spend time on things like ethical behavior and defending human rights, how are they ever going to get down to the things that make America great? Like ripping apart families.
Does personally presenting the report matter? Previous Secretaries of State certainly thought so.
In the past, secretaries of state have taken the attitude that their presence in unveiling the report lends weight to its findings. John F. Kerry delayed its release twice because he was traveling and wanted to present it himself. Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright all showed up for the release in their first year in office. Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice missed the first year but made personal appearances in subsequent years.
Human rights abusers around the world can now clearly see the weight that the Trump regime puts on the topic: None. Less than none.
Oh, and add Tillerson’s name to those who lied in their confirmation hearings.
During his confirmation hearing, Tillerson was questioned by senators probing his commitment to human rights. Tillerson assured them he would speak out forcefully.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos