This week in Washington, high-level White House officials will sit down with their counterparts from China to discuss a variety of items, including the trade deficit and human rights concerns. The meeting will involve representatives from dozens of government agencies related to trade, finance, and foreign policy. The U.S. team will be led by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Days after telling the American people that a team of U.S. Navy SEALs had killed Osama bin Laden in a daring raid on a fortress where he was holed up in Pakistan, President Obama made the decision not to release images of the dead terrorist leader, claiming the photos would be too graphic and might lead to retaliation by Islamic militants. “In deciding not to make public the pictures of the corpse,” reported Reuters, “Obama resisted arguments that to do so could counter skeptics who have argued there is no proof that bin Laden, who was rapidly buried at sea by U.S. forces, is dead.”
In the wake of the alleged killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. special forces on May 2, some in Congress are beginning to question whether American aid to Pakistan, the country in which bin Laden was found, ought to be terminated. One of those, Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), is actually sponsoring legislation to cut off such aid. Unfortunately, Poe’s bill gives the Obama administration, which has already expressed its desire to continue sending billions of taxpayer dollars to Islamabad, enough leeway that even if the bill passes, the aid is likely to continue.
No matter whether Osama bin Laden was killed this week or, as some claim, years ago, the irrefutable fact is that while he lived, much of his activity for most of his life was supported to varying degrees by the U.S. government.
It seems that people are under much less scrutiny when entering the United States than leaving it inasmuch as the State Department has proposed a new biographical questionnaire as part of the passport application that makes a variety of bizarre inquiries.
The five-page questionnaire poses average questions such as one’s date of birth and employer. However, it goes on to ask questions such as: