Patterico's Pontifications

3/1/2019

Deep Irony: Planned Parenthood Director Believes Separating A Child From Their Parent Causes Harm

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:34 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Dr. Leana Wen loves her *some* babies:

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Painfully revealing her hypocritical underpants, Dr. Wen uttered these truthful words without batting an eye and with a complete and utter lack of self-awareness. Because when you’re in the very business of forcibly removing children from their parents, well, the only fitting response is, #HowDareYou indeed, Dr. Wen.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Clean Hands: President Trump Gives Kim Jong Un A Pass In The Death Of Otto Warmbier

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:08 pm



[guest post by Dana]

While still in Vietnam, President Trump was asked if he had discussed college student Otto Warmbier with Kim Jong Un. The 22-year old had been detained in North Korea after being convicted for stealing a propaganda poster. He was released after a year, only to return home in a comatose state and dying shortly thereafter.

Talking in Vietnam on Thursday about Kim’s role in the fate of Warmbier, who died in June 2017, Trump said: “He felt badly about it. He felt very badly.” He added that the two leaders had discussed Warmbier’s death privately. He added: “He tells me that he didn’t know about it and I will take him at his word.”

Moreover, claiming that he didn’t believe leadership knew about it, he claimed that it would not have been in Kim’s interest to so severely wound an American:

…Trump told reporters he believed Kim’s denial in part because it would not be in Kim’s interest for Warmbier to wind up in a coma.

“I don’t think that the top leadership knew about it,” Trump said. “I don’t believe that he (Kim) would have allowed that to happen.”

Earlier in 2017, President Trump expressed his belief that Warmbier was “tortured beyond belief by North Korea.”

As a reminder, during the summit in Hanoi, the president had referred to the murderous leader as a “friend”.

Responding to the president’s belief that Kim Jong Un was unaware of Warmbier, his parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier rebuked Trump, saying:

We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that.

As a result of the backlash for Trump’s comments, Kellyanne Conway did cleanup duty on Fox News earlier today:

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway clarified in an interview Friday on Fox News, however, that the president agrees with the family and holds North Korea “responsible.” She said Trump was only saying there’s no indication Kim knew what happened at the time.

“Of course he holds North Korea responsible. He has deep affection and shares the grief of the Warmbier family. That will never end,” she said.

Jerry Dunleavy points out that when compared with the testimony given by expert witnesses at the evidentiary hearing, Trump’s belief that Kim Jong Un was not aware of Otto Warmbier doesn’t hold up:

Sung-Yoon Lee, a Korea specialist at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and David Hawk, a consultant for the Committee on North Korean Human Rights who teaches at the University of South Florida, both testified that the North Korean government was responsible for the torture and death of Otto.

Sung-Yoon Lee said: “North Korea had been planning to conduct various provocative weapons tests all along, and to have a young American detainee would have provided North Korea not only with an added layer of security, a security blanket, but have a useful pawn with which North Korea could compel the U.S.” He added that “hostage-taking is a very well-honed craft and tool of North Korea’s diplomacy.”

Lee said Otto’s detention was a strategic decision by the North Korean government: “I see calculated provocation, hostage taking as North Korea is preparing for a major provocation like its first nuclear test in three years, its first long-range missile test in three years.”

Lee also agreed with the judge’s statement that “North Korea seized and maintained custody of Otto in order to further its policy goals.” He said that Otto was seized during a presidential election year in the United States and at a time when North Korea hadn’t tested a nuclear weapon in three years.

Yet “just four days after detaining Otto Warmbier, North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Jan. 6, which is two days shy of Kim Jong Un’s birthday.” And the “show trial and confession” of Otto was “very much a staple mode of operation in the North Korean system.”

Lee said: “Kim Jong Un is the Supreme Leader… In Korean culture, Korean history, the man on top has always held supreme power, the Korean kings of the past.” North Korea was “the most advanced, most perfected totalitarian state in world history” and had a unique ability “to coerce, to control, to terrorize people, and to invade their private realm.”

David Hawk spoke about the “systemic and regularized torture in the initial places of detention and interrogation” in North Korea. He was clearly being interrogated, and they wanted a confession from him. And he was obviously in his testimony scared for his life if he didn’t confess to hostile acts taken on behalf of the U.S. government.”

Further:

Lee told the Washington Examiner: “The notion that Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of the nation with the most rigidly vertical power hierarchy in history, was uninformed of the hostage-taking, torture, and extrajudicial killing of Otto Warmbier … is ludicrous.”

He added that Trump’s comments “challenge the letter and spirit of the landmark ruling by a federal judge in the case of Warmbiers vs DPRK” and “unwittingly empower the criminal regime of Kim Jong Un.”

This would be consistent, given President Trump’s admiration for strongmen. (See: Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Xi Jinping, among others.)

As I was finishing this post, I checked once more to see if the President had tweeted about the matter, given the backlash he has faced. Sure enough:

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Interestingly, he doesn’t specifically call out Kim Jong Un as being responsible for the death of Warmbier. Instead, he sticks with “North Korea,” essentially still giving Kim Jong Un a pass.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana


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