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Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

Gore Vidal: Obama ‘Dreadful’ as President

In Global News, Gore Vidal, news, Secretart of State Hillary Clinton, United States on September 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Vidal

Gore Vidal, American literary giant and Democrat insider, is publicly declaring he made a mistake in switching his support during the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama.

I was hopeful,” Vidal says of an Obama presidency. “He was the most intelligent person we’ve had in that position for a long time.” Now, Vidal says in an interview published in the British paper, The Times, he was wrong and Obama is performing “dreadfully” as president.

Vidal says criticisms of Obama are mostly about his Afghanistan policies, which he says show the president is “inexperienced.” He says Obama “has a total inability to understand military matters. He’s acting as if Afghanistan is the magic talisman: solve that and you solve terrorism.”

In his view, the United States should retreat from Afghanistan, and he believes Obama is getting bad military advice because “he believes the generals. Even Bush knew the way to win a general was to give him another star.”

In contrast, he thinks Hillary Clinton would handle military matters better because she is a woman. “Hillary knows more about the world and what to do with the generals,” Vidal
tells The Times. “History has proven when the girls get involved, they’re good at it.

Vidal says terrorism is a government-created fraud.
The “war on terror” was “made up,” he says. “The whole thing was PR, just like ‘weapons of mass destruction.'”

Citing his father Gene Vidal, who founded TWA Airlines, he says of the war on terror: “It has wrecked the airline business, which my father founded in the 1930s. He’d be cutting his wrists. Now when you fly you’re both scared to death and bored to death, a most disagreeable combination.”

On health care reform, Vidal says that Obama mishandled the issue. “I don’t know how, because the country wanted it. We’ll never see it happen.”

Vidal tells The Times he regrets moving back to Hollywood, after years of living in Italy. He says the United States has “no intellectual class” and is “rotting away at a funereal pace. We’ll have a military dictatorship fairly soon, on the basis that nobody else can hold everything together.”

In general, he thinks that the White House is failing because “Obama would have been better off focusing on educating the American people. His problem is being over-educated. He doesn’t realize how dim-witted and ignorant his audience is.


He says that another of Obama’s mistakes is that he “believes the Republican Party is a party when in fact it’s a mindset, like Hitler Youth, based on hatred — religious hatred, racial hatred. When you foreigners hear the word ‘conservative,’ you think of kindly old men hunting foxes. They’re not — they’re fascists.”

In giving advice to President Obama, Vidal cites President Lincoln, who “wrote to one of his generals in the South after the Civil War” ‘I am President of the United States. I have full overall power and never forget it, because I will exercise it.’ That’s what Obama needs — a bit of Lincoln’s
chill.”

At 83 and in a wheelchair, Vidal’s bitterness seems to stem from his own unfulfilled political ambitions. “I would have liked to have been president, but I never had the money. I was a friend of the throne. The only time I envied Jack [Kennedy] was when Joe [Kennedy, his father] was buying him his Senate seat, then the presidency. He didn’t know how lucky he was.

A few excerpts from the Times Online:

“America should leave Afghanistan, Vidal said. “We’ve failed in every other aspect of our effort of conquering the Middle East or whatever you want to call it.” Vidal, a friend of President John F. Kennedy, became an Obama backer because he “grew up in a black city” (Washington) and was impressed by Obama’s intelligence.

On Mr Obama’s plan to reform healthcare, he said: “He f***** it up. I don’t know how, because the country wanted it. We’ll never see it happen.”

Vidal added: “He loves quoting Lincoln and there’s a great Lincoln quote from a letter he wrote to one of his generals in the South after the Civil War. ’I am President of the United States. I have full overall power and never forget it, because I will exercise it’. That’s what Obama needs – a bit of Lincoln’s chill.” He also predicted Obama may be assassinated: “Just one lone gunman lurking in the shadows of the capital.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6854498.ece


If you missed Hillary on FACE the NATION- video here

In Face the Nation, news, Politics, Secretart of State Hillary Clinton, United States on September 28, 2009 at 8:50 am

Bill Clinton UNPLUGGED: The Clinton Tapes… Candid, Smart, Funny…

In President Bill Clinton, Washington on September 23, 2009 at 5:15 am

In ‘The Clinton Tapes,’ Bill Clinton Disses Bush, Dowd, Gore and More

The UPS man said he wished everyone were as excited to see him at their door as I was when he put that Teddy Kennedy memoir, “True Compass,” in my hands last week. But it’s just as well that I wasn’t home when he dropped off Taylor Branch’s forthcoming “The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History With the President.” Because having been assigned to write about such historical figures as Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp for The New York Times, my initial reaction to Clinton’s gazillion hours of yakking to Branch was I’ve seen that movie, thanks — and some of it was tedious the first time. Link

Please understand the author of the above article is a Clinton Hater from way back-

Better than the short synopsis and link- the comments from readers are by far the better path for an objective book review-

Comments:

Ren
10:10PM Sep 22nd 2009

I don’t care what a person does or says in their PERSONAL LIFE, period………………………….as long as they do a good work at their job. We all had a little change jiggling in our pockets those 8 yrs. Clinton was in office. God only knows how hard that man worked with that Republican Congress, even with Newt and K. Starr judging and prosecuting him. ($66 million spent doing so) Such a waste of time and money (our money).

President Clinton did try to KILL BIN LADEN, and in transition of the Presidency, he warned W several times about Bin Laden. Plus, he left W a $180 billion surplus, but it was gone with those stupid checks W mailed out to us, trying to win some popularity from the American people which was so low. And also W thought, as President it would be easy, until 9/11 he had planned on playing golf thru his Presidency.

And should he ever been President anyway? Whistle blower was going to testify over voter fraud in the Bush Administration, but was killed in a mysterious plane crash, in Dec. 2008. Read more: http://engforum.pravda.ru/showthread.php?t=235548

But, back to President Clinton: Except for that One thing with President Clinton he was and still is one of the most brilliant President’s we’ve ever had. And except for that One thing, his Presidency was one of the most successful. Even with that One thing, he still may go down in history as one of the greatest Presidents. And President Obama needs to let go of his ego and use President Clinton more. Did you folks know, when Bill Clinton left office, his popularity rate, I think was still at 65%?

The American people could have cared less about that One thing. And when the extreme right wingers judge, they need to remember ALL THE SCANDALS THAT WENT ON IN THEIR PARTY UNDER THE CHENEY/ROVE/BUSH administration.

Even though, I agree Al Gore was a bore, I think 9/11 might have Not happened if a Democrat had won [oh wait they did], because Clinton and Gore had a much better relationship with the Muslim world than did the Bush family. Herbert, 41, left troops in Mecca, Saudi Arabia after Desert Storm, of course for the base and to watch over Kuwait, but with that said/written it infuriated the Muslims. Remember, 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi. And by the way, how come the Saudi government was never held responsible for that? [15 OF 19 folks] The Saudi government ALL HAVE TRILLIONS and trillions and trillions from bleeding the world for their selfish profits.

Hey Saudi government how about sending us a couple of a trillion FREE, we could sure use it NOW to make up for 9/11 and the lousy job W did. AND SAUDI’s REMEMBER ‘W’ HAD THE BIN LADEN OUT OF AMERICA IN 2 DAYS AFTER 9/11 ……………….. and don’t forget your partner Herbert (41) with the Carlyle Group!!! RATE THIS COMMENT:Vote UpVote DownGood (3)

Lana
11:22PM Sep 22nd 2009
Ren, bottom sentence CORRECTION on u’r post.

“Hey Saudi government how about sending us a couple of a trillion FREE, we could sure use it NOW to make up for 9/11 and the lousy job W did. AND SAUDI’s REMEMBER ‘W’ HAD THE BIN LADEN [FAMILY] OUT OF AMERICA IN 2 DAYS AFTER 9/11………………….and don’t forget your partner Herbert (41) with the Carlyle Group!!!

I agree with pretty much everything u wrote, except about Gore, he isn’t given enough credit for all he has done around the world and here in the good ole’ USA. If it had not been for Al Gore, America and the rest of the world would still be apathetic about Global Warmning.

I googled George H.W. Bush and his ties (Carlyle Group) with the Saudi government, interesting to say the least. We’ll never know the truth about all the corruption under the G.W. Bush Administration, will we? SAD
RATE THIS COMMENT:Vote UpVote DownBad (-12)


Laurent
1:29AM Sep 23rd 2009

Best President ever. Remember Kennedy, Onasis, and the blonde Marilyn, nothing said nothing done. Well Tawny, I guess if you were with a willy and doing your job as brilliant as President Clinton you wouldn’t want the world to know about your private parts, orgasms, and private life. Your statement more distaste than mine. Get a life.
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garry402
8:08AM Sep 22nd 2009

He got one thing right, Al Gore is still living in Neverland.
RATE THIS COMMENT:Vote UpVote DownVery Good (99)

Stella
8:18AM Sep 22nd 2009

Al Gore’s defeat was best for America. He would have been a horrible president–worse than Obama.
RATE THIS COMMENT:Vote UpVote DownVery Good (36)

Lizzie
3:15PM Sep 22nd 2009

Stella, but he will make BILLIONS of the cap and tax, a present from the democrats and Pres. Obama. He is laughing all the way to the bank and thanking all the gullible american people.
RATE THIS COMMENT:Vote UpVote DownVery Good (28)

WestsideMtnBiker
10:37PM Sep 22nd 2009

[Al Gore’s defeat was best for America. He would have been a horrible president–worse than Obama.] heh heh…I love the warm feeling of superiority I get whenever anyone admits to still thinking that Bush was a good president.
RATE THIS COMMENT:Vote UpVote DownBad (-3)

ciguana
10:58PM Sep 22nd 2009

Ren,
You hit on the nose man, President Clinton was the best president this counntry ever had in this day and age. He was respected all over the world, and when he does something, he does it well and with a smile. How about those who voted for Bush JR twice? what does that tell our Republican friends? was there anyone watching?
RATE THIS COMMENT:Vote UpVote DownBad (-16)

mesaman
11:19PM Sep 22nd 2009
WESTSIDEMTNBILKER; That warm feeling you have was from wetting yourself, try again.
RATE THIS COMMENT:Vote UpVote DownBad (-1)

arttidesco
11:20AM Sep 22nd 2009
Sounds to me like the 2000 election was for run for village idiots is there nothing in Washington to filter these folk out of the system so that a fit and proper person gets elected ?
RATE THIS COMMENT:Vote UpVote DownVery Good (37)

reidgator
11:53AM Sep 22nd 2009

Artti – I’m not picking on you; just responding to your post. Any criticism here is directed at ALL OF US! Given the perspective and tone in our media, can we realistically expect any “honest, intelligent, and caring” person to run for public office? Would such a person subject their own family to such an abuse?


The politician lives his/her life in a fishbowl. Their every move and decision is scrutinized, second-guessed, and criticized. In a diverse society, no decision is going to please everyone. It is understood that the media has to report the dissenting opinions, but, the media needs to provide comprehensive coverage. Instead, the media sensationalizes the situations by overemphasizing the extreme positions. If a typical reporter interviewed 10 people (one left-wing extremist, one right-wing extremist, and the balance are centrists), 80% of the reporter’s article would cover what the two extremists had to say. The media overemphasizes the discord and disharmony in our society. People are asking “What happened to civility?” Well, the media drove it out by ignoring it. Like Obama said, the media encourages rudeness!!

This perverted perspective extends o the politician’s personal life. The media dissects their background and their family looking for any “dirt” they can find. The media, especially the paparazzi, salivate at the thought of catching a politician/celebrity making a mistake or doing something embarrassing.

Why do we find it necessary to tear our politicians apart? Are we so jealous, insignificant, and insecure, that we can not stand the thought of someone being revered or honored more than ourselves?
RATE THIS COMMENT:Vote UpVote DownVery Good (34)

jerdow
8:30PM Sep 22nd 2009
Apparently not; we have Obama don’t we.
RATE THIS COMMENT:Vote UpVote DownBad (1)

jculter
12:08AM Sep 23rd 2009
Right on. Gore or Bush? I wrote myself in on the 2000 ballot.
RATE THIS COMMENT:Vote UpVote DownBad (-2)


FLECKSTER
8:41AM Sep 22nd 2009
umm, the writer of this article actually bought that Ted “killer” Kennedy book…and is bragging??
RATE THIS COMMENT:Vote UpVote DownVery Good (29)

Fat boy
10:10AM Sep 22nd 2009
I bet it wasn’t any of Mary Jo’s family. Only in America if you are a drunk womanizing killer will you be rememberd as a “Lion” after your death. God have mercy on this awful nation.
RATE THIS COMMENT:Vote UpVote DownVery Good (46)


alinosof
8:52AM Sep 22nd 2009
For those who don’t know,  (the author of this article)  Melinda Henneberger is a long time Clinton hater. So whatever she says about anything Clinton, take it with a grain of salt. Just do a Google search with her name and Clinton, it’s all old music to my ears. This article continues the pattern.
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For more dysfunctional hilarity, click here: LINK

Video of Hillary at Four Freedoms Awards (in it’s entirety in Eng)

In Four Freedoms Awards, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news on September 14, 2009 at 7:14 pm

(ht/Videos courtesy of our friends at Hillaryis44.org

Dutch News with Clip of Hillary at Four Freedoms Ceremony

In Four Freedoms Award, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, United States on September 13, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Vodpod videos no longer available.

You can read her speech in it’s entirety below:

Submit a Question to BILL CLINTON:

In Global News, Health Care, Human Rights, news on September 13, 2009 at 9:33 am

Now-now, be thoughtful and polite and maybe your question will be chosen.

Hillary’s remarks Upon Receipt of the Roosevelt Institutes’s Four Freedoms Award

In Award, news, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on September 12, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Hillary’s remarks Upon Receipt of the Roosevelt Institutes’s Four Freedoms Award

at the Roosevelt Institute’s Four Freedoms Medals Gala Dinner

Hillary new

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf-Astoria
New York City
September 11, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you so very much. Oh, what an evening and what inspiration I certainly have derived from the stories and the words of our four honorees. I am deeply grateful for that very kind introduction, Dick. I thank everyone associated with the Institute, particularly Anne Roosevelt, who has been a friend for a number of years. I am also pleased that my successor and friend, Senator Gillibrand is here somewhere in the ballroom, along with another wonderful friend and colleague, Representative Jerry Nadler. And it is only fitting that we would be graced by the presence not only of their Royal Highnesses, but also of my colleague, the foreign minister, and so many friends and supporters of the Institute and the work that it has done during this special week where we celebrate 400 years of our relationship with the Netherlands.

So this is, by all accounts, an extraordinary moment, and especially for this event to be held at the end of a long and emotional day for our city, our state, and our country. But I often believe that it is moments like this that are not only, as Dick said, about yesterdays, but about tomorrows. And Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were all about tomorrows. They embodied American leadership at its best. The exemplified the true partnership that they brought to our nation’s challenges. They, in effect, demonstrated the real power of principle being a driving force for change and challenge. They mobilized the might of our nation at a time when their leadership and understanding was especially needed. And it is a great honor, and I am deeply touched to receive this Four Freedoms Medal.

I am an admirer, I think as we all are, of both of these great Americans. As some of you might remember, I used to have imaginary conversations with Eleanor. (Laughter.) And she gave me a lot of really good advice. (Laughter.) I often remarked about how there was nothing I did as First Lady that Eleanor had not already done. I would go to a place in New York or a place in India, and be greeted by some excited person saying, “Oh, we haven’t had a First Lady here since Eleanor Roosevelt.” I discovered that she had blazed trails that were not only unique for her time, but really stood the test of time. But when she visited, it was not just a simple drop-in. She would listen, she would learn, she would bring that information back to her husband, and she would continue to push for the kinds of changes that were absolutely necessary.

And of course, President Roosevelt and the Four Freedoms speech and the declaration, the real call to action that what he said still resonates through the years, shaped much of the work that Eleanor did on her own as she chaired the drafting committee for the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that enshrines the Four Freedoms in its preamble. So when leaders from around the world gather for the UN’s General Assembly in about ten days, we will do so in part as inheritors of her work and wisdom.

I think that so much that President Roosevelt said and did during another challenging time in American history stands very large today. Looking at what was done with economic and other difficulties here at home, the rallying of a nation to continue to believe in itself, the optimism that marked everything he did, and the vision that he articulated that helped Americans transcend their personal problems and the troubles of a nation provided a lodestar for every succeeding generation as to how to move forward in the face of adversity.

We bear that responsibility today. And we are called to respond as courageously, as he and his generation did. We therefore should ask ourselves now, as you’ve heard from our four honorees, just what the Four Freedoms mean. Times have changed. Circumstances have certainly altered. But the fundamental truth of the Four Freedoms stands as a stark reminder of what is expected of us. So that even though the circumstances may be different, our response and how we are guided in acting remains the same.

Freedom of expression, for example, is no longer just defined by whether citizens can go to the town square, or the town hall, and criticize their government without fear of retribution. Advances in technology, from email and blogs to Twitter and text messaging, have opened up new forums for exercising free speech, and created new targets for those who would suppress the open exchange of knowledge and ideas.

Often, as we deal with these problems in the State Department now, we see that human rights defenders, civil society advocates, bloggers, and journalists are now being targeted for harassment and prosecution, even murder.

We see the continuing imprisonment of Aung San Suu Kyi, the recipient in absentia of the Freedom from Fear Award in 2006. We see the murders of journalists in Russia who are trying to expose the truth of criminal activity and governmental misconduct. We see Iran using arbitrary arrests to detain nearly 4,000 people for voicing or reporting complaints about the conduct of recent elections. And then we see the consequences of what happens in Venezuela or China, or elsewhere, when people believe that they are just exercising the universal right to speak and be heard.

Just weeks ago, an award-winning journalist and human rights activist was abducted and shot to death while investigating human rights violations in Chechnya. And while I welcome Russian President Medvedev’s pledge to foster independent media, actions speak louder than words. Dozens of journalists have been killed in Russia in the last decade. Most of the murders are unsolved. Those responsible for such crimes should be brought to justice. And we in the United States have to stand firmly on the side of those who speak out. (Applause.)

We will continue to form partnerships with those who share our values, like the Government of the Netherlands. On Monday, the United States will take its place as a returning member of the UN Human Rights Council. When I made the decision that we would rejoin the Human Rights Council – (applause) – there were those who questioned that. How can you be part of something that is so contrary to the values that we espouse, that we wish to uphold, not only here at home but around the world? Well, we are going in to the arena. One of our priorities will be upholding universal standards for freedom of expression as we combat intolerance and discrimination everywhere it rears it head. (Applause.)

And we are reinvigorating the Global Internet Freedom Task Force as a forum for addressing challenges to internet freedom around the world, and we are urging United States media companies to take a proactive role in challenging foreign governments’ demands for censorship and surveillance of their citizens. (Applause.)

President Obama and I are committed to defending the Freedom of Expression on the new terrain of the 21st century so that, someday, people everywhere will have unencumbered access to the flow of information and the tools of expression – tools which are more abundant and more powerful today than at any time in history.

Similarly, we wish to stand firmly on the side of the freedom of religion. As President Obama noted in his historic speech in Cairo, faith should bring us together. That’s why we have welcomed international efforts such as Turkey and Spain’s leadership in the Alliance of Civilizations. It’s one of the reasons that on my first trip as Secretary of State I visited Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim country and a secular democracy. It’s why we are encouraging people of different religions to come together not only in dialogue, but in service. In projects ranging from Malaria prevention in Africa to disaster assistance in South Asia, we are laying a foundation for good works – and good relations – among the world’s religious communities.

Learning to respect the faith of our neighbors should be the price of admission into the 21st century. Now, in some cases, threats to religious freedom come from authoritarian regimes. Some Eritreans have been imprisoned in shipping containers for seeking to practice their non-violent beliefs. In others cases, bias and discrimination by majorities toward minority faiths or hateful ideologies can threaten the freedom of belief. So we must speak out forcefully against these wrongs wherever they exist.

Now, some claim that the United Nations can best protect the freedom of religion by adopting what is called an “anti-defamation” policy that would restrict the freedom of expression and the freedom of religion. I, obviously, strongly disagree. An individual’s ability to practice their religion should have no bearing on others individuals’ freedom of speech. The protection of speech about religion is particularly important since persons of different faiths will inevitably hold divergent views on religious questions. And these differences should be met with tolerance, not suppression of discourse. And the United States will stand against the idea of defamation of religion in the United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. (Applause.)

Even in a century of unprecedented plenty, Roosevelt’s third freedom – the freedom from want – is elusive for millions of families in our own country, and tens and tens of millions around the world. This freedom must be central to our foreign policy. We advance our own security, prosperity, and values when we work to improve the material conditions of people everywhere. Our development efforts provide a platform for collaboration with new partners, not only with other governments but with the private sector, the not-for-profit sector, with citizen groups and civil society. And we have a lot of work to do to address hunger, climate change, and disease.

President Obama and I are committed to elevating and integrating development as a core component of our global agenda. We have to produce results for people. People have to believe that moving away from extremism, moving toward democracy, moving toward more openness in their societies, will put food on the table, and will provide education for their children and healthcare in their time of need.

Because many people suffer in unspeakable conditions without the basic necessities of life, the President asked me to lead a whole-of-government effort to tackle hunger, poverty and under-nutrition by encouraging agricultural-led growth. We are working toward new solutions that can improve agricultural productivity, expand markets, and deliver millions from hunger and undernourishment that stalk the world’s poor.

Central to this challenge, like so many others, will be our campaign to achieve equal opportunities for women, who are the key drivers of economic growth and social stability in every successful country in the world. Societies where women are accorded their rights and provided with opportunities for basic services – education, health, gainful employment – make progress and expand prosperity. (Applause.) In nations where these rights are denied, stagnation, decay, and corruption are often the rule.

Now, in order to address the challenges, we are focusing on women, as you heard Dick say. It has been, of course, a longstanding passion and commitment of mine, but it is also the smart approach for our foreign policy. So we are training women entrepreneurs through an initiative in Latin America, and we’re supporting micro-credit lending in Africa and Asia, and we’re helping women gain access to global financial and trade networks.

Freedom from want has to be a particular commitment that really engages our citizens. There are so many ways each and every one of us can make a contribution.

And finally, freedom from fear, which was the most immediate concern to President Roosevelt’s audience in 1941. As the war ravaging Europe edged closer to the United States, fear returned as a tangible feature and led to such regrettable decisions as the internment of Japanese in our country.

Today, of all days, we are reminded that our citizenship and residence on this continent do not grant us immunity from the vagaries of history. But rather than becoming prisoners of fear, we know that we can rise to the challenge if we stay true to ourselves. We can think about how President Roosevelt would have summoned us to really follow our better selves as we took on an enemy that showed no respect, no conscience, no humanity.

Even as FDR exhorted the American people in his time to escalate weapons production, he envisioned a post-war world of greatly reduced armaments where international peace would rest on a foundation of freedom. And President Obama shares that vision. We are committed to working with concerned nations throughout the international community to reverse the spread of nuclear weapons and to do much more to prevent their use. (Applause.) We are acting in concert with countries to isolate and defeat violent extremists. And we are working within the international community for the resolution of deadly conflicts that hold millions in fear and misery. And I want especially to thank the Government of the Netherlands for their stalwart partnership and for their alliance with us in Afghanistan, where American and Dutch soldiers fight side-by-side and even die side-by-side.

Violence and conflicts often exact a disproportionate toll on women and children. I saw that recently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I’ve seen it in my travels across the world. But meeting with survivors of rape, which is now used increasingly as a tool of war, was shattering. The atrocities described to me distill evil to its basest form. And the United States and our partners throughout the world will not just condemn these attacks and all those who commit them and abet them, but work harder to try to find ways to prevent them. It’s why I thank the foreign minister and the Government of the Netherlands for coming up with the idea of having a forum about how to prevent violence against girls and women that we will be co-sponsoring during the UN General Assembly. (Applause.)

These are crimes against humanity. They don’t just harm a single individual, or a single family, or village or group. They shred the fabric that weaves us together as human beings. This criminal outrage against women must be stopped. And we are going to – your government is going to be providing more funding for medical care and counseling and security and legal support to prevent and respond to the Congo’s epidemic of gender-based violence. (Applause.)

But we also must condemn violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity. (Applause.) In country after country after country, young men and women are persecuted, are singled out, even murdered in cold blood, because of who they love or just based on claims that they are gay. We are starting to track violence against the LGBT community, because where it happens anywhere in the world, the United States must speak out against it and work for its end. (Applause.) Through our annual human rights report, we are documenting human rights abuses against LGBT communities worldwide. And we are seeking out partners at the United Nations such as Brazil, France, Sweden and the Netherlands to help us address these human rights abuses.

We will be pushing for passage of a Security Council resolution on sexual and gender violence at the UN General Assembly, and we hoping many other nations will join this cause.

So these four freedoms are not just a celebration of the past. They are a reminder and a challenge of what is expected of us. Now, after President Roosevelt’s speech, another son of New York, Norman Rockwell, created those four iconic paintings that you have seen on the screen. It took seven months of non-stop work during which he lost 15 pounds. If I had any artistic talent, I would try to follow that model. (Laughter.) And when Rockwell was finished, the Treasury Department sent his paintings on a tour around the country in a successful effort to encourage the purchase of war bonds. And the paintings were accompanied by essays on each of the four freedoms. And one of them sought to remind Americans what they were fighting for. And here’s what it said:

“When we yield our sons,” and we would add today ‘and daughters’ “to war, it is in the trust that their sacrifice will bring to us and our allies no inch of alien soil, no selfish monopoly of the world’s resources or trade, but only the privilege of winning for all peoples the most precious gifts in the orbit of life—freedom of body and soul, of movement and enterprise, of thought and utterance, of faith and worship, of hope and charity, of a humane fellowship with all [humankind].”

Our adversaries and our battles today may be different, but our objectives have not changed. These rights are no less relevant and these freedoms are no less precious. The principles put forward by President Roosevelt are no less deserving of our defense.

In response to President Roosevelt’s call to action, the citizens of the United States went to work. In response to the attacks of 9/11, the citizens of the United States went to serve.

In the future, we will be called to make sacrifices of our own. We may not be able now to foresee what they will be. But let us resolve to summon up that vision that Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt provided for their times which still is as important to our times. Let us forge again our commitment to carry on in service of these four universal and uniquely American freedoms.

Thank you very much.

Where in the World is Hillary today?

In Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Politics on September 10, 2009 at 11:23 am

Secretary Clinton to Deliver Remarks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Dinner Honoring His Excellency, Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China.

27_hillary_lgl

Washington, DC
September 9, 2009

Event to be on September 10, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver remarks at a dinner hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in honor of His Excellency Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China.

Secretary Clinton will join speakers including Chairman Wu, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, and U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue to address the U.S.-China bilateral relationship.

The event will be open to credentialed members of the media. To register, please e-mail Bobby Maldonado at press@uschamber.com or call 202-463-5682. Camera equipment must be placed in dining room between 5:00PM-5:30PM. Print journalists must arrive by 6:30PM.*

*Please note: A press pool will be able to cover the event in-person. A live feed will be provided to overflow press in a filing room equipped with wireless internet at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel
1330 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, D.C., 20024

CONTACT INFORMATION
Office of Press Relations
U.S. Department of State
(202) 647-2492

Bobby Maldonado, US Chamber of Commerce
press@uschamber.com

SOS Clinton will receive the Roosevelt Institute’s Four Freedoms Award

In Crown Prince Alexander, Princess Maxima, Secretart of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, The Netherlands on September 9, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, left,  and his wife Princess Maxima, right, of the Netherlands accept a commemorative bowl from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, second right, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,  aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009 in New York. The royals are in town to participate in the festivities celebrating the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's arrival in New York Harbor in September 1609.(AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, left, and his wife Princess Maxima, right, of the Netherlands accept a commemorative bowl from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, second right, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009 in New York. The royals are in town to participate in the festivities celebrating the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's arrival in New York Harbor in September 1609.(AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

Prince of Orange Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima talk with Brig. Gen. Mike Linnington and cadets during at visit at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009.  (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Prince of Orange Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima talk with Brig. Gen. Mike Linnington and cadets during at visit at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will accept the Roosevelt Institute’s Four Freedoms Award, which honors a lifetime of distinguished service and an unwavering commitment to freedom, on Friday, September 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

On January 6, 1941, in one of the most important speeches of the 20th century, President Roosevelt proclaimed four freedoms essential to any flourishing democracy: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

Each year, a single individual is selected for the FDR Four Freedoms Award. Previous honorees have included some of the most distinguished Americans of our time, including Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Carter and Clinton; Coretta Scott King; Elie Wiesel; Katharine Graham; Robert C. Byrd, and Justices William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall. International recipients have included: Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, the Dalai Lama, H.M. Juan Carlos of Spain, Mary Robinson, Desmond Tutu, Shimon Peres, Kofi Annan and Nelson Mandela.

In addition, each year, a Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal representing each of these values is presented to an individual whose life and work embody that ideal. This year, Anthony D. Romero and the ACLU will be the Freedom of Speech and Expression Medal Recipients, Eboo Patel and the Interfaith Youth Core will be the Freedom of Worship Medal Recipient, Vicki B. Escarra and Feeding America will be the Freedom from Want Medal Recipient, and Pasquale J. D’Amuro will be the Freedom from Fear Medal Recipient.

The event will be open to the press. RSVP to awillis@rooseveltinstitute.org by Thursday, September 10. Space is limited.

PRESS CONTACTS:
Office of Press Relations
U.S. Department of State
(202) 647-2492

Roosevelt Institute
Adrienne Willis
awillis@rooseveltinstitute.org

PRN: 2009/884

Clinton outraged by guards’ sexual misconduct

In Afghanistan, Armor Group of North America, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton on September 4, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Hillary US Afgan GuardsWASHINGTON (AP) – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is “genuinely offended” by reports of misconduct by private guards working for the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, a State Department spokesman said Thursday.

Those who engaged in such activities will be dismissed from their posts, spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

Allegations of lewd behavior and sexual misconduct among the private security contractors guarding the embassy surfaced including reports of threats, intimidation and guards and supervisors in various stages of nudity at parties flowing with alcohol.

Clinton “is very displeased that this could have happened and that this could have happened without our knowledge,” Crowley said.

Any employees of ArmorGroup North America who created what a watchdog group described as a “Lord of the Flies” environment at the guard’s living quarters “will be removed and taken out of the country and will find a new line of work,” he said. The “Lord of the Flies” reference is to a novel about a group of British schoolboys stranded on a desert island who try, but fail, to govern themselves in a chaotic setting.

The State Department launched an investigation following the allegations from the Project on Government Oversight, the Washington-based independent watchdog group.

In at least one case, supervisors allegedly brought prostitutes into the quarters where the guards live, a serious breach of security and discipline, the group said.

In other instances, members of the guard force have drawn Afghans into activities forbidden by Muslims, such as drinking alcoholic beverages.

“This violated our values,” Crowley said. “This potentially compromised … the important work of the United States embassy in Kabul.”

The State Department has insisted security at the embassy in Kabul, one of the country’s most important diplomatic outposts, hasn’t been compromised.

ArmorGroup was awarded the $189 million security contract in March 2007 and has been repeatedly warned of performance deficiencies. Wackenhut Services, ArmorGroup’s parent company, referred all questions to the State Department. Spokeswoman Susan Pitcher said the company is fully cooperating with the State Department’s investigation.

Karl Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador in Afghanistan, is actively involved in the inquiry, Crowley said. About 60 people have already been interviewed.

Alcohol has been prohibited at Camp Sullivan, the offsite location near the embassy where the ArmorGroup guards live, and diplomatic security staff have been assigned to the camp, according to the embassy.

On the Net:

Project on Government Oversight: http://www.pogo.org/

U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan: http://kabul.usembassy.gov/

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Besides being awarded the contract in 2007, Armor Group of North America, a subsidiary of Wackenhut , should suffer penalties and a partial refund for breach of  contract providing inferior services not up to US standards as promised in their contract.