Moral Clarity

Since I had a post earlier today touching obliquely on the Iran Contra scandal, let me quote Steve Benen on an Iran Contra-ish activity by the current administration:

[T]he Bush administration had specifically insisted that North Korea not be able to sell these arms, right up until U.S. officials decided the opposite.

The administration can’t sell arms to Ethiopia, in part because of trade restrictions, and it can’t let North Korea get money from arms deals, because of sanctions. But when push came to shove, the White House could allow both.

It sends an ideal message to any country facing trade sanctions — the United States means what it says, unless we find practical reasons to let secret arms deals go through. The sanctions we demand are apparently flexible — even after we implement them.

Kevin Drum also has a post about Iran Contra-ish activity… it seems the administration may be funneling money to one terrorist organization (Jundullah) and providing military support to another (Mujahedeen-e-Khalq).

I can see the “thought process” now: why leave the training and financing of terrorist organizations to the Pakistanis and Saudis when we can do it ourselves?