At a joint press conference with Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia, Major Garrett asked President Obama why he hadn’t yet discussed human rights on his visit to the nation, and specifically why the President had not yet met with jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. “The fact that I haven’t met with Mr Anwar is not indicative of a lack of concern,” said the President. “There are a lot of people I don’t meet with,” he added. He went on to say that both nations had work to do on human rights.
(via digitas daily)
“I think the Prime Minister is the first to acknowledge that Malaysia’s still got some work to do. Just like the United States, by the way, has some work to do on these issues. Human Rights Watch probably has a list of things they think we should be doing as a government.”
National Security Adviser Susan Rice is scheduled to meet with Anwar Ibrahim this week during the Malaysian visit.
This is the first time a sitting President of the United States has made a state visit to Malaysia in almost fifty years. However, the last time the President bad-mouthed the United States in a foreign country is far more recent. From France to Mexico to Afghanistan and Egypt, the President has made a habit of negative assessments of the United States while traveling abroad.
It is especially ironic that a free press was on the list of human rights concerns that President Obama said Malaysia and America need to work on, given the many and increasing reports from White House reporters and the usually sympathetic mainstream press about his administration’s mistreatment and bullying of reporters.
The apology tour. Just one more aspect of this
campaign administration we all wish would at long last end.