re: Another Classified Leak
The Time article to which Kathryn referred this morning raises some key questions. Quoting Edward Djerejian, a former ambassador to Syria and drafter of the Baker-Hamilton report for support, the article states:
“Any American-orchestrated attempt to conduct such an election-monitoring effort could make a dialogue between Washington and Damascus — as proposed by the Iraq Study Group and several U.S. allies — difficult or impossible.”
Perhaps. But should a quest for dialogue give regimes a free pass to conduct fraudulent elections without comment? Does pleasing U.S. diplomats and Old Guard regime apparachiks have a higher value than promoting transparency?
A second question this episode raises is how serious is President Bush about his freedom agenda, which the leak was meant to sabotage. Will Bush walk away, yet again demonstrating the gulf between rhetoric and policy, or will he order an investigation? Will there be accountability? Or will a disgruntled U.S. diplomat who believes him or herself above such inconveniences as oaths and the democratic process perhaps indirectly get away with murder, since the Syrian regime is sure to use the story to target its internal enemies.