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Diversity of Opinions Unwelcome

It looks like one blogger is getting a taste of how Bill Richardson’s most ardent supporters deal with dissenting opinions. In a nutshell, they are unwelcomed.

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In all of Gov. Richardson’s travels to North Korea, did he ever ask his hosts about Camp 22? Does he know what goes on in there? Do you? There are 50,000 men, women, and children in Camp 22 and up to a quarter of them die there each year. Most die from hunger, disease, and abuse, but not all. Here’s what happened to one family:

‘I witnessed a whole family being tested on suffocating gas and dying in the gas chamber,’ he said. ‘The parents, son and and a daughter. The parents were vomiting and dying, but till the very last moment they tried to save kids by doing mouth-to-mouth breathing.’

Hyuk has drawn detailed diagrams of the gas chamber he saw. He said: ‘The glass chamber is sealed airtight. It is 3.5 metres wide, 3m long and 2.2m high_ [There] is the injection tube going through the unit. Normally, a family sticks together and individual prisoners stand separately around the corners. Scientists observe the entire process from above, through the glass.’

There are 200,000 men, women, and children in North Korea’s concentration camp system. Camp 22, the worst of these camps, stands alongside Mauthausen and Tuol Sleng as one of human history’s greatest crime scenes. Americans may wonder whether Bill Richardson raised this subject to the North Koreans who (as you suggest) hold him in such great esteem, and with whom he holds such influence. Does he realize just what his amateur diplomacy is legitimizing and perpetuating? What do the words “never again” mean to Bill Richardson? The answers to these questions say much about the kind of person he is, and the kind of president he would be.

Last time I raised this question, you chose the cowardly option of deleting this post and avoiding the issue. But you raised this topic. You’re boasting about the value of Bill Richardson’s warm relationship with these killers. This time, instead of just deleting my post, how about just asking Bill Richardson if he has any plans to mention Camp 22 next time he shakes hands with the men who run the gas chamber?

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Deleting comments that are neither lewd or crude is wrong. Deleting comments that are relevant to a post just because they present an alternate view is downright un-American. And, that is precisely the behavior being exhibited over at the America for Richardson blog.

What is most troubling is that America for Richardson is censoring someone who appears to be VERY knowledgeable about North Korea. According to his site, Joshua Stanton, the author of the One Free Korea Blog, was the U.S. Army Judge Advocate in Korea, 1998-2002. He has advocated the human rights of the North Korean people to ambassadors, including Ambassador John Bolton, and testified before the House International Relations Committee regarding the state of the U.S.-South Korean alliance in 2006.

We’re not talking about a political spin doctor here folks. I’m wondering if maybe the good folks over at America for Richardson are taking one too many pages from the North Koreans when it comes to public discourse? It doesn’t make for a very pretty picture of America Under Richardson.

UPDATE: America for Richardson has now reposted the deleted comment from One Free Korea on their front page. I’m glad they did. It was the right thing to do.