Saturday :: Aug 20, 2005

A New Player From The Cheney-Bolton Cabal Emerges To Badger Pyongyang

by Steve

Even though we have no ambassador to Pyongyang, and even though we are at a delicate stage in the six-party talks with North Korea, Bush found time Friday to name a special envoy on human rights for North Korea. The administration claimed that the appointment of Jay F. Lefkowitz was in the works for some time, and was the result of the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004, but once again the Cheney White House gets its chance to derail progress with the North by raising an issue that is outside the current negotiations being handled by the State Department, which as we know were centered on getting the North’s nuclear program back under international supervision. So now we have decided to provoke the North on a separate issue. By the way, does Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and some of our new allies in Central Asia have as good a human rights record as we are about to hold Pyongyang to?

Well, at least we are introducing an internationally-known expert on North Korea and human rights into this job at this time, right? He is someone of immediate credibility on this subject, right?

Well, no. It appears that Mr. Lefkowitz’ claim to fame is that he is from the highly-connected Beltway law firm of Kirkland and Ellis, has no previous background in international law, North Korea, or human rights outside of anti-Semitism (how many oppressed Jews are there in North Korea?), and is where he is now because he spent only two and a half years as counsel for OMB and as head of Bush’s Domestic Policy Council before deciding he wanted the big bucks again and returned to Kirkland and Ellis. Almost all of his work in the government lately dealt with domestic policy. Yet this is the guy that Cheney wanted dropped into Pyongyang’s lap at this time, even though he is more comfortable talking about how to get more of the Jewish vote for the GOP, defending drug companies from consumer lawsuits, or defending Michael Milken than he is talking with any authority about North Korea. But at least the fundamentalists here at home are happy, because there will be someone badgering the North about religious freedom at a time when we can’t stop Pyongyang from selling nukes to Osama.

Steve :: 9:33 AM :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!