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Monday, 18 May 2009

Comments from US Vice-President on Iraqi gay pogram

UPDATE: A friend of mine works for [Los Angeles] Council member Rosendahl and was able to talk to Vice President Biden this morning about the torture. This is his account:

I was part of a group of 15 or so people who got to spend 45 mins with the veep this morning. After the handshake and photo opp, I asked him if I could ask a question. I mentioned the UN report, the call for action by Amnesty Intl, and the reports of horrible anal glue torture. I asked him what the US govt could do.

He gave me a very long and detailed answer, condemning not just the attacks on gays, but also marital rape l rape in Iraq and Afghanistan. He conceded the answer he was going to give me would not please me, and went on to explain that the Iraqi and Afghani government is either too ineffectual to act, or is afraid of offending the religious zealots who perpetuate the attacks.

He said that last time he was in Iraq the Us military intervened to stop an attack on a man who was being assaulted for being gay. He assured me the US military would continue to act, but it is virtually impossible to know of the events as they are happening, let alone prevent them.

His comments were sobering and quite discouraging -- although I was mildly encouraged that such a high-ranking US official was clearly aware of the details of the issue. The noise being made has not totally fallen on deaf ears.

Later, as he ended the Q&A session and was preparing to leave, he turned back to me, looked me in eye, and told me he wanted me to know he would not forget the issue, and what the administration would not let it go.

More noise and continued attention to this and other human rights abuses, not just against the LGBT community, is imperative.



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