By Alden L. Benton
“Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo”
~Ambrose Bierce (American journalist and editor (1842-1914)
In the first two parts of this post, I defined the rule of law and outlined the overall position of the United States regarding human rights. I closed Part 2 with a brief overview of the Child Soldier Prevention Act (CSPA). In Part 3, I discussed presidential memoranda and the president’s recent directive disabling the CSPA. In this fourth and final part, I question the president’s rationale for this memorandum and question whether he may be open to criminal prosecution.
Libya, South Sudan, Yemen, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo — all countries embroiled in turmoil and instability; all countries of oppression who condone or support worldwide terrorism. Of what possible “national interest” could any of these cesspools of poverty and oppression serve that justifies looking the other way as children are pressed into military service?
According to the No. 42 blog on RedState.com, the recent memorandum is part of a pattern of the Obama presidency.
President Obama has robotically issued child soldier sanction waivers in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Yemen, South Sudan, Chad and, since 2012, Burma and Libya have all received the green light to use U.S. aid to enslave children. Obama’s justifications for his sanction waivers have been nearly identical, and his administration has been unable to report progress in the demobilization of child soldiers over the past three years. Instead of using the sanction waivers as a vehicle for change through “the fierce urgency of now,” Obama’s sanction waivers have become a convenient mechanism to preserve the status quo. It is a tragedy that the first African-American President of the United States has also become the first U.S. president to circumvent a Federal law designed to end the slavery of child soldiers.
A companion bill to the CSPA was also signed into law in 2008 — the Child Soldiers Accountability Act (CSAA). The CSAA added Section 2442 to the federal code to provide the following criminal penalties for recruiting child soldiers:
(a) Offense.— Whoever knowingly—
(1) recruits, enlists, or conscripts a person to serve while such person is under 15 years of age in an armed force or group; or
(2) uses a person under 15 years of age to participate actively in hostilities;
knowing such person is under 15 years of age, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).
(b) Penalty.— Whoever violates, or attempts or conspires to violate, subsection (a) shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both and, if death of any person results, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned for any term of years or for life.
According to the No. 45 blog,
This could include U.S. government personnel, contractors, or even the President of the United States. The Senate could have included provisions in the CSAA to shield U.S. government employees and contractors from the reach of its criminal penalties. They did not do so. President Obama should be familiar with these penalties since he was one of the CSAA’s six co-sponsors. He may yet become even more familiar with the CSAA’s penalties as Defendant Obama. It is difficult to imagine a “high crime” more ignominious than aiding and abetting child slavery.
Not only is the president duplicitous in his schizophrenic “support” of the CSPA, as a U.S. Senator he co-sponsored the legislation that provides criminal penalties to enforce it. He cannot feign ignorance.
Barack Obama is more than a hypocrite. According to the legislation he helped to pass, his memoranda overriding key provisions of the CSPA are criminal acts of complicity.
This is but one of many of the president’s assaults on the Constitution and the rule of law. However, this act of hypocrisy endangers the human rights of children around the globe. Additionally, the president has broken the law and by doing so has subjected himself to impeachment proceedings — if Congress musters the resolve to do what is right.
President Obama cannot support human rights by his words and then undermine them with his actions. This is the definition of hypocrisy and yet another reason to remove him from office in November.
America should be the leader in protecting human rights, especially of children. The universal inalienable rights of all must be championed by all nations and the president of the “land of the free” must take the lead.
However, in place of a leader we have a self-serving hypocrite in the person of Barack Obama. Securing the human rights of child soldiers is one more Obama policy failure — a failure responsible for misery and death around the world.
Obama is not the leader I want, nor is he the leader America, or the world’s child soldiers, need.
“Hypocrisy in anything whatever may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it may be disguised”
~Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy Russian novelist (1828-1910)
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