The Obama Administration's Version Of Fiscal Discipline

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on October 6, 2009

This is how we are going to practice frugality on the governmental level?

For the past five years, researchers in a modest office overlooking the New Haven green have carefully documented cases of assassination and torture of democracy activists in Iran. With more than $3 million in grants from the US State Department, they have pored over thousands of documents and Persian-language press reports and interviewed scores of witnesses and survivors to build dossiers on those they say are Iran’s most infamous human-rights abusers.

But just as the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center was ramping up to investigate abuses of protesters after this summer’s disputed presidential election, the group received word that – for the first time since it was formed – its federal funding request had been denied.

“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 surprised, because the world was watching human rights violations right there on television.’’

Wow. We saved a whole . . . um . . . under $3 million, by engaging in a funding decision that helps us and the world turn a blind eye to human rights abuses in Iran. Really impressive, that. And I am sure that the Islamic regime won’t draw the conclusion that we just don’t care about the abuses that go on in Iran, and that the regime can feel free to continue to perpetrate those abuses. How dare anyone even suggest that this action might give a green light to future brutal political crackdowns in Iran?

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