The Corner

Tax Dollars of Courage

Yesterday, I wrote about Samira Ibrahim, the Arab Springer scheduled to receive (today) a “Woman of Courage” award from the first lady and the secretary of state until Samuel Tadros at The Weekly Standard republished a few of her livelier tweets. Miss Ibrahim initially responded that her Twitter feed had been hacked, but now appears to have abandoned that line:

I refuse to apologize to the Zionist lobby in America regarding my previous anti-Zionist statements under pressure from American government therefore they withdrew the award.

The Standard’s Lee Smith adds:

Now all that’s left is for the State Department to demand that Ibrahim reimburse American taxpayers for her trip to the United States.

With respect, no. What’s left is for American taxpayers to demand the State Department reimburse us for her trip to the United States by firing the boobs who okayed it.

Why is this fiasco Miss Ibrahim’s fault? Why blame a Jew-loathing, Hitler-quoting, terrorist-supporting America-hater for being offered an all-expenses-paid trip to the Great Satan and saying, hey, why not? The screw-up here is entirely on the part of the world’s most lavishly funded bureaucracy. How many layers of pen-pushers did Miss Ibrahim’s honor waft up through from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to the State Department to the White House without anyone checking anything? Why couldn’t the U.S. government find someone to do five minutes of Arabic googling?

Yes, yes, I know. All together with the old State Department motto: What difference, at this point, does it make? But, at a time when the president is ostentatiously canceling public tours of the White House to save $18,000 a week, the Samira Ibrahim story is a small reminder that big government is invariably stupid government.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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