Monday, December 17, 2007

My Big Problem W/AFP's "Qatif Girl" Pardon Story

Apparently French news agency AFP story broke this story.

I take great exception with how AFP mischaracterized
the US response to this woman's increased sentence:

The sentence against the 19-year-old girl had drawn criticism of the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom from key ally President George W. Bush.
Nothing could be further from the truth (see Our Leader's Response to Saudi Rape Atrocity). Asked about his recent conversation with King Abdullah, Bush said "I don’t remember if that subject came up." Bush didn't have to broach the subject because Abdullah “knows our position loud and clear.” In other words: "I don't think I have to tell him what I think 'cuz I think he already knows what I think I think." So, in the absence of any sort of diplomacy are we to believe that Bush communicates with King Abdullah (and perhaps other heads of state) telepathically? Bush must have sensed that his comments didn't cut it. As he does with such alarming frequency, Bush veered sharply into the Strange. He turned the subject from the Saudi case to a creepy hypothetical situation involving one of the Bush daughters.

This "telepathic diplomacy" hasn't prevented the Bush Administration from trying to assume some credit for her "pardon." Per AFP (my emphasis in itlalics).
Casey said he was not aware of any specific US contacts with King Abdullah on the move, but added Washington had "made quite clear what our views were on this subject" through its embassy in Saudi Arabia and in its public statements.
In stark contrast to previous administrations, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Rice and Ambassador Fraker said little and did nothing to urge King Abdullah to address this blatant miscarriage of justice. A few weak "public statements" were made not by top Bush officials but rather through their surrogate spokespeople: Dana Perino and Tom Casey. Please. We, the American people, don't take them seriously. There's no reason to believe the King of Saudi Arabia does either.

AFP was lazy. They peddled a perception rather than the truth.