On Thursday, the General Assembly elected 14 members to its top human-rights body, the U.N. Human Rights Council. U.N. human-rights policymakers now include Libya, Angola, Malaysia, Qatar, and Uganda. On a secret ballot, a whopping 155 countries, or 80 percent of U.N. members, thought Libya would be a great addition.Naming names is not constructive? Just ask Attorney General Eric Holder, when questioned on "radical Islam"?
Obama’s diplomats, sitting in the General Assembly Hall throughout the election, made no attempt to prevent the farce or even to object. On the contrary, Ambassador Susan Rice left the hall before the results were announced in order to hightail it to the microphone. Attempting to spin what was a foregone conclusion, she refused to divulge those states which the U.S. supported. When pressed, she said only that the Obama administration regretted some states on the ballot, but “I am not going to name names. I don’t think that it’s particularly constructive at this point.”
SMITH: Let me go to my next question, which is -- in -- in the case of all three attempts in the last year, the terrorist attempts, one of which was successful, those individuals have had ties to radical Islam. Do you feel that these individuals might have been incited to take the actions that they did because of radical Islam?Transparency in action.
HOLDER: Because of?
SMITH: Radical Islam.
HOLDER: There are a variety of reasons why I think people have taken these actions. It's -- one, I think you have to look at each individual case. I mean, we are in the process now of talking to Mr. Shahzad to try to understand what it is that drove him to take the action.
SMITH: Yes, but radical Islam could have been one of the reasons?
HOLDER: There are a variety of reasons why people...
SMITH: But was radical Islam one of them?
HOLDER: There are a variety of reasons why people do things. Some of them are potentially religious...
SMITH: OK. But all I'm asking is if you think among those variety of reasons radical Islam might have been one of the reasons that the individuals took the steps that they did.
HOLDER: You see, you say radical Islam. I mean, I think those people who espouse a -- a version of Islam that is not...
SMITH: Are you uncomfortable attributing any other actions to radical Islam? It sounds like it.
HOLDER: No, I don't want to say anything negative about a religion that is not...
SMITH: No, no. I'm not talking about religion. I'm talking about radical Islam. I'm not talking about the general religion.
HOLDER: Right. And I'm saying that a person, like Anwar Awlaki, for instance, who has a version of Islam that is not consistent with the teachings of it...
HOLDER: ... and who espouses a radical version...
SMITH: But then is -- could radical Islam had motivated these individuals to take the steps that they did?
HOLDER: I certainly think that it's possible that people who espouse a radical version of Islam have had an ability to have an impact on people like Mr. Shahzad.
SMITH: OK. And could it have been the case in one of these three instances?
HOLDER: Could that have been the case?
SMITH: Yes, could -- again, could one of these three individuals have been incited by radical Islam? Apparently, you feel that that they could've been.
HOLDER: Well, I think potentially incited by people who have a view of Islam that is inconsistent with...
SMITH: OK. Mr. A.G., it's hard to get an answer yes or no, but let me go on to my next question.
UPDATED: In An Obvious but Muzzled Truth, Michael Barone expands the list of avoidance behavior:
Holder is not the only one who wants to shield us from this obvious truth. New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, questioned about the bomber’s motives before Shahzad was identified and caught, said the terrorist might have been acting out of opposition to the health-care bill. Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein said he might have become unhinged by the foreclosure of his Connecticut home.He also has a theory on why people avoid stating the obvious.
Similar dignitaries have advanced similar theories. The Christmas underwear bomber, Barack Obama initially said, was an otherwise unspecified “isolated extremist.” Fort Hood killer Nidal Hasan, we were told by journalists, may have been a victim of post-traumatic-stress disorder -- although he never saw combat. Back in the George W. Bush years, we were told that the gunman who started shooting at the El Al counter at LAX had just chosen his target at random, and the New York Times found nothing significant when the Mumbai killers targeted a Jewish community center.
Technorati Tag: Susan Rice and Eric Holder.