While the homos in Baghdad’s U.S. Embassy were having themselves a gay old time on Friday, an untold number of gay Iraqi citizens were in various forms of hiding, fearing torture and death. So it’s great to see House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recognize the “moral responsibility” the U.S. has in protecting Iraq’s GLBTs. Or is it?
Pelosi’s office issued a brief statement (78 words) on the torture situation in Iraq. So skilled are her press release writers in writing concisely, they managed to not even mention the word gay once!
The Speaker condemns torture whenever and wherever it occurs and believes the Iraqi government should take immediate action to prosecute such acts of hate. These crimes clearly violate international law and have no place in Iraqi society.
And as background, please note that as Ranking Member of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee in the 1990s, she helped secure the first funding for the Torture Victims Relief Act to assist those suffering from the physical and psychological effects of torture.
The only reason we’re even seeing that statement is because Michael Petrelis posted it on his website; it has yet to appear on Pelosi’s press section of her website, even though her office did find time to update the world on what she thinks about a statue and to pat Kathleen Sebelius on the back. And it’s not like Camp Pelosi is a a web novice: She announced House members’ spending of taxpayer dollars will now be posted online every quarter.
Maybe Pelosi is just too busy figuring out what torture is — and whether she’s even aware of it when the United States is involved with it — to spare any more effort for Iraq’s gays.