Red Dawn in Washington
The WaPo reports on how the ChiComs bought Congress.
3:11 PM, Jan 9, 2010 • By KELLEY CURRIE
Today is one of those days that reminds me why I still have a subscription to the dead tree version of my local newspaper, the Washington Post. The reason: an interesting front-page story by long-time China hand John Pomfret on China's increasingly effective lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill (the Pomfret piece, if anything underplays the growing Chinese presence -- and effectiveness -- on the Hill, especially because it does not get at the various "fronts" the Chinese use as force multipliers), juxtaposed with a column on the op-ed page that reprinted the letter by Vaclav Havel and other former Czech dissident leaders to Chinese President Hu Jintao, protesting the outrageous imprisonment of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who on Christmas Eve was sentenced to 11 years in a Chinese gulag for circulating an on-line petition calling for freedom and democracy.
Václav Havel delivers a letter to the ChiComs.
The powerful letter from the former Czech dissidents stands as a stunning rebuke not only to the kind of legitimacy that China has been trying to buy through fat lobbying contracts with the likes of Patton Boggs, but also to those US legislators who could be influenced to support China's authoritarians. To whit:
In its chapeau to the letter, the Post noted that Havel and company were turned away from the Chinese embassy in Prague when they attempted to hand deliver their letter to the Chinese ambassador there. Havel, incidentally, is the former president of the Czech Republic. I understand that the George W. Bush Institute is planning conference on cyber-dissidents this coming May. Wouldn't it be amazing if, as part of this conference, President Bush and the other living former presidents got together and sent their own letter to Hu Jintao calling for the release of Liu Xiaobo? And if this came to pass, I wonder if the Chinese embassy would have the nerve to turn those guys away at the gate?