Transcendental Bloviation

Politics, Space, Japan

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Noise Machine rolls on

Watch those quotes. Former Dartmouth student Charles Trumbull didn't, as the LA Times reveals. What was his punishment for putting out-of-context words in Castro's mouth, in an undergraduate paper he wrote in 2001? The poor guy: the words Trumbull admits were an unrepresentative rendition of something Castro said ended up being quoted by G.W. Bush:
The regime in Havana, already one of the worst violators of human rights in the world, is adding to its crimes. The dictator welcomes sex tourism. Here's how he bragged about the industry. This is his quote, "Cuba has the cleanest and most educated prostitutes in the world." He said that because sex tourism is a vital source of hard currency to keep his corrupt government afloat. My administration is working toward a comprehensive solution of this problem: The rapid, peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba. (Applause.) We have put a strategy in place to hasten the day when no Cuban child is exploited to finance a failed revolution and every Cuban citizen will live in freedom.
Cuba is financing itself in part with child prostitution?? Oh, boy. And how did Trumbull slip up? I accept his excuse, lame as it is.
"I don't know why I don't have a footnote for that. That was before I was in law school and understood that you have to have a footnote for everything."
After all, how did he know he'd be putting words in an American president's mouth as well? As for Bush's excuse ... we will soon be hearing from Bush about how he went to Yale Business School, not Yale Law?

How did this colossal screwup come about? Blame that porn-saturated, liberal-media-channeling Internet. According to an unnamed Bush administration official:
A quick search of the Internet turned up Trumbull's paper; the official said there was inadequate time to find the original source for Castro's quote.
Well, then, WHY DID THEY USE IT? And what did Castro say originally, anyway? Well, here you have it, courtesy of the BBC, which seems to be able to locate a Spanish-English translator, where the Cuban-exile-leaning Bush administration could not.
"There are hookers, but prostitution is not allowed in our country. There are no women forced to sell themselves to a man, to a foreigner, to a tourist. Those who do so do it on their own, voluntarily ... We can say that they are highly educated hookers and quite healthy because we are the country with the lowest number of AIDS cases."
Well, I guess that's what you get when you let your supreme leader ramble for six or eight hours at the podium.

How bad is child prostitution in Cuba, and trafficking in forced sexual labor? You might be interested in the State Department's 2003 Country Report on human rights in Cuba. See Section 5 under "Children" and section 6(f), Trafficking in Persons. It doesn't look good.

But now compare the State Department's view of Cuba with its view of Columbia -- a country in which they consider FARC, because it bombs oil pipelines, an International Terrorist Group, and therefore much worse than the right wing militia group AUC, which is merely "terrorist" because it restricts its mayhem to the use of chainsaws on hapless villagers. (AUC has recently been offered amnesty by the Colombian government.) How bad is child prostitution and human trafficking in Colombia? It will chill your blood.
According to [Colombia's Administrative Department of Security] Colombia was the second most common country of origin for trafficking victims in the Western Hemisphere, with an estimated 45,000 to 50,000 victims overseas. The vast majority of trafficking victims were young women, although children and young men were also at risk. Female trafficking victims were a high risk for sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, and forced abortions.

Many traffickers were honest about the sexual nature of the work they offered, but lied about working conditions, clientele, and compensation. Others disguised their intent by portraying themselves as modeling agents, offering marriage brokerage services, or operating lottery or bingo scams with free trips as prizes. Recruiters reportedly loitered outside high schools, shopping malls, and parks to lure adolescents into accepting phantom jobs abroad. Most traffickers were well-organized and linked to narcotics or other criminal organizations.
And how many times to Bush mention Colombia in his Eleven Words speech?



At 10:11 AM, Blogger servant said...

LoL! Good find Mike! Thanks.

It's not the President's fault that people keep giving him bad information, now is it?


I don't use Trackbacks either, but this article gives me cause. Ressentiment picked up on this one.


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