Obama Erases Pro-Democracy Money for IranNeed I remind readers that Obama recently pledged $900 million in assistance to Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip?
By: Kenneth R. Timmerman
Friday, June 19, 2009
Newsmax has learned that the Obama administration also has zeroed out funding for pro-democracy programs inside Iran from the State Department budget for fiscal 2010, just as protests in Iran are ramping up.
Funding for pro-democracy programs began in 2004, when Congress earmarked $1.5 million of the State Department budget for “educational, humanitarian, and non-governmental organizations and individuals inside Iran to support the advancement of democracy and human rights in Iran.”
The funding ramped up dramatically two years later, when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice requested $75 million for pro-democracy programs. More than half of the $66.1 million Congress finally appropriated went to expand U.S. government-funded Persian language broadcasting services at Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
But no money has been earmarked for such programs in the administration’s fiscal 2010 foreign operations budget request. Congressional sources told Newsmax they doubted that a Democrat-controlled Congress would add it when the budget comes before a committee next week.
"I feel terrible and that is why I will go back to the streets"
Iranian student via Twitter
Meanwhile, the violence and bloodshed in Iran continues.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO
A young woman named Neda, "voice" in Farsi, shot and killed by Iranian government squad.Neda looks directly into the camera moments before blood gushes from her mouth and nose as she lays dying on the street in Tehran. The eyes seem to ask: "What are you doing?"
What was Obama doing while all this was going on? Wordsmith has the story. He was taking his girls out to the Dairy Godmother ice cream store in Virginia.
Patterico at Hot Air arranged this contrast between what was happening on the streets of Iran with what one member of the White House press corps was reporting on Saturday: