George W. Bush Spurned Chi-Coms – Met Chinese Dissidents in White House


President Bush welcomed to the White House three human rights activists from China, including one whose Internet blog was blocked by Chinese authorities after it was nominated for two top international awards. The three – author Yu Jie, law professor and blogger Wang Yi and legal scholar Li Baiguang – are active in the house church movement, an independent movement of Protestant organizers who have been hit for months by a government crackdown in which many movement leaders have been arrested. The movement’s name reflects its reliance on people’s private homes for services, not churches, which are banned unless approved by the government. (ZoneEuropa)

Will Inboden, former Senior Director for Strategic Planning for the National Security Council under President Bush, was on NPR’s The World today to discuss the latest national embarrassment.

Inboden says the Obama administration could have done much more for dissident Chen Guangcheng, and could still do more for Chen and his family. And Inboden also revealed what George W. Bush did when three Chinese dissidents came to visit him at the White House.

This is what Will Inboden shared with “The World”.

Let me share an anecdote of a similar case I worked on when I worked with President Bush in the White House that gives one or two illustrations of ways I think the Obama Administration could have done more, and maybe still could do more. In 2007, President Bush arranged to meet in Washington in the White House with three prominent Chinese dissidents who were visiting the US for just a week and they were planning on returning to China.

Shortly before the meeting the Chinese government sent a very nasty threat to the White House saying that if these guys returned to China their safety could not be guaranteed. In other words, they were going to be arrested. So before President Bush met with them he sent a back channel message to the Chinese government saying, “I, President Bush, am personally invested in the welfare of these three dissidents and if anything happens to them then this would cause a severe disruption in US-China relations.” We then followed up by having our embassy in Beijing send diplomats to meet the dissidents at the airport in Beijing when they returned, escort them to their apartments and keep in very regular touch with them. And for the next year and a half, during the duration of the president’s administration, they were left alone.

So, I hope the Obama Administration…for this to work President Obama and Secretary Clinton are going to need to get personally involved. They’re going to need to relate to Hu Jintao and the leader in waiting that they are personally committed to the welfare of Chen Quangcheng and to see that his rights are honored.

It’s a shame Chen Guangcheng waited until now to risk an escape. Barack Obama is no George W. Bush.

More… Chen Guangcheng spoke live via telephone today at an emergency Congressional hearing in the U.S. House about his situation and how he desires to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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