- The capture of two US reporters of Chinese descent, who
worked for Al Gore, and their subsequent rescue from North Korea's clutches
by former President Bill Clinton was a setup from the beginning. Nothing
reported about this story comes close to the real truth. As I covered the
story in a prior brief, the initial capture of the reporters on the frozen
Yalu River (where no one could prove which side of the China-NK border
they were really on) was a predictable tactic used by North Korea to obtain
secret concessions from the US. The two women were railroaded into a North
Korean court and sentenced to hard labor in one of NK's notorious prison
camps. This was done for the shock effect to illicit horror around the
world. In reality, they never suffered a day of hard labor. The harsh sentence's
only purpose was to stimulate world pressure on the US to do something
to gain their release. The secret concessions NK would demand for their
release had to be kept secret by the US, and trotting out Bill Clinton
was the perfect cover.
- While this started out as a ploy by NK, the story that
this release mission was a totally private effort by Bill Clinton, not
sanctioned by the US government, is an outright lie. USA Today had this
to say after Obama's public praise for both Clinton and Gore's role in
the mission, "As Obama spoke, aides went out of their way to say that
Clinton's mission was a private one, and in no way represented a new U.S.
diplomatic initiative toward North Korean over its nuclear program."
- That's absolutely bogus, and that is precisely why the
aides went "out of their way" to make the point. They even emphasized
the fact that "Obama talked with Clinton this morning -- but not before
his trip to North Korea," as if this trip could have been arranged
through government channels without Obama's personal OK. "'This was
a private, humanitarian mission,' said White House press secretary Robert
Gibbs," echoing the disinformation line.
- So paranoid was the White House about giving the impression
of some quid pro quo in this release that "Gibbs disputed a North
Korean state media report that the former president apologized on behalf
of the two reporters. 'There wasn't a message that was passed,' Gibbs said.
'If there wasn't a message, there certainly wasn't an apology.'" Clinton
spoke for over three hours with Kim, and there was no message? This is
simply not credible.
- The White House is trying to give the impression that
ailing NK dictator Kim Jong-il, who suffers from terminal pancreatic cancer,
was willing to release the reporters merely for the privilege of having
a photo opt with former president Bill Clinton--no messages, no deals,
no promises--just a sudden thaw in an otherwise frosty relationship.
- Anyone familiar with the past and current history of
North Korean tactics knows this release-without-conditions was a total
charade with a pre-agreed upon script. It was at once a propaganda coup
for Kim Jong-il, coming across as the benevolent grantor of clemency, and
a publicity stunt for media hungry Bill Clinton and Al Gore.
- But the reality is that no such private mission to NK
is even possible. You can't even file a flight plan into NK without a special
government waver granted by the White House. Slowly additional truths have
leaked out about the role of the National Security Advisor in coordinating
this mission. Hillary Clinton, who as head of the State Department, would
have been the normal one to vet this trip, but she was shunted aside so
as to avoid the charge of making this a family affair.
- To further the private mission claim, Dow Chemical and
wealthy Hollywood movie producer Steve Bing were tapped to provide the
transportation. Naturally, a deep insider newspaper like the Washington
Post had the lion's share of the partial truths while still maintaining
the myth that this was totally private:
- "Foulkrod [Marc J. Foulkrod, chairman of Avjet in
Burbank, which manages the plane for Steve Bing] said the trip was especially
difficult to arrange because Federal Aviation Administration regulations
prohibit U.S.-registered aircraft from landing in North Korea... and that
it took 'an unprecedented level of cooperation' from the FAA and the State
Department to secure the necessary legal and diplomatic approvals in time
for Monday's departure [not to mention the coordination with NK itself,
which no private individual could have done].
- "The administration had wanted to send former vice
president Al Gore to North Korea instead of Clinton [a tacit admission
that this wasn't Clinton's idea at all]; Gore is a co-founder of Current
TV, which employs the journalists who were detained. But North Korean officials
hinted that they wanted an envoy of Clinton's stature, sources said [even
the juvenile mind of Kim Jong-il knows Gore has no real celebrity clout].
- "The breakthrough in the standoff over the journalists
-- who were sentenced in June to 12 months of hard labor after being seized
near the Chinese border in March -- came on July 18, when the reporters
told their families in a phone call that North Korean officials had clearly
stated that they would be released if Clinton came to Pyongyang."
Think about that statement. The two reporters are sentenced to a labor
camp and suddenly they have permission to telephone their families and
give a "hint" that they would be released if Bill Clinton simply
shows up in Pyongyang! This has "high political maneuvering"
written all over it.
- "US officials immediately began to verify that statement
with North Korean counterparts, and on July 24 national security adviser
James L. Jones asked Clinton to consider making the trip [another admission
that this was instigated from the White House, not by Clinton]. One senior
administration official said full assurances from Pyongyang were not secured
until Sunday, the day the former president left Burbank on Bing's jet.
At the time of departure, U.S. officials knew that Clinton was scheduled
to have a rare meeting with Kim [Lies, and more lies. This is disinformation
to maintain the fiction that the White House wasn't totally in the loop.
They knew exactly how this was going to come off. When dealing with an
unstable leader like Kim, every detail of every meeting has to be scripted
weeks in advance so he is guaranteed not to lose face].
- Frankly, this whole story would have been more credible
if the administration had not bent over backwards trying to convince us
that only Clinton's charismatic presence was necessary to secure the journalists'
release. At a minimum a major public apology by Clinton would have been
necessary to help Kim save face (probably shown only on NK television),
but also deep secret concessions on the issue of sanctions. As I pointed
out in prior briefs, the weapons inspection sanctions on North Korean shipping
already lacked teeth, after the UN agreed, at China's insistence, that
NK ships could not be boarded without NK's permission. However, the financial
and banking sanctions were tight.
- One thing is for sure: The US gave NK some significant
concession in return for the release of the reporters. My best guess would
be that it involved loosening the financial and banking sanctions imposed
on NK because these could be undone without the rest of the world knowing.
- The reason for all the denials and secrecy is that Obama
has made a big issue of the fact that the former US secret policy of rewarding
NK for its continual violation of agreements would stop with his administration--though
it clearly hasn't. So the administration has to go to extensive lengths
to avoid the appearance of being permissive with NK.
- Obama often uses the tactic of acknowledging past US
policy mistakes and falsely pledging change. His bold acknowledgment of
past US mistakes and hypocrisy is enough to convince the average person
that surely Obama would never engage in this same conduct after criticizing
it so forthrightly. That, then, becomes the perfect cover, as people are
reluctant to believe that someone would blatantly deceive them in public
statements. In fact, the Obama regime is continuing all the bad policies
of the Bush administration even while decrying them--an essential dimension
in the art of the "big lie."
- End Excerpt
- World Affairs Brief - Commentary and Insights
on a Troubled World.
- Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution
- Cite source as Joel Skousen's World Affairs Brief http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com