Chinese dissident and political prisoner Chen Guangcheng managed to break out of house arrest last week apparently only to be betrayed by the US embassy staff. Tierney Sneed (US News & World Reports) reports:
According to Chen, U.S. officials threatened him, saying that his family would be returned to the site of the house arrest and that his wife would even be beaten to death if he remained at the embassy, claims U.S. officials deny. A statement from Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, criticized embassy for siding with the Chinese, concluding,
The Administration must support Mr. Chen's freedom to choose where he and his family can live in safety. Failing to ensure Mr. Chen's safety would send a negative message to all those around the world struggling against oppression, and make them question whether the United States will stand with them or their oppressors.
Tom Cohen (CNN) reports:
Romney, however, said news reports indicated that U.S. officials may have sped up Chen's decision to leave the embassy "because they wanted to move on to a series of discussions that Mr. Geithner and our secretary of state are planning on having with China."
He also complained that the embassy failed to put in place "the kind of verifiable measures that would assure the safety of Mr. Chen and his family."
"We are a place of freedom here and around the world, and we should stand up and defend freedom wherever it is under attack," Romney said.
It's not a good day or week for Barack.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"