Radio Free Europe

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which is funded by US taxpayers and charged with spreading American democratic values, is under scrutiny for distributing propaganda in support of authoritarian regimes in Central Asia, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Are we supposed to be surprised? The US government is hardly filled with avatars of democracy these days.

Our leader exchanges “love letters” with the murderous henchman of North Korea, Kim Jong-un; genuflects before Russia’s Vladimir Putin; defends Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman after he’s implicated in murdering Washington Post contributor Jamal Kashoggi and is a fanboy of Egypt's Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Caught with its hand in the cookie jar, RFE/RL reportedly has aksed the State Dept. to investigate its programming favorable to Tajikistan president Emomali Rahmon, his government and family.

In its 2019 World Report, this is what Human Rights Watch says of Tajikistan:

"Tajikistan’s abysmal human rights record deteriorated further in 2018. Tajik authorities jailed government critics, including opposition activists, journalists, and relatives of peaceful dissidents abroad, for lengthy prison terms on politically-motivated grounds. The crackdown on freedoms of expression, association, and religion extended to virtually any manifestation of dissent—even social media users who expressed mild criticism of government policy. Extremely worrying was the emergence of a government registry of persons identified as belonging to the LGBT community, exposing hundreds of individuals to the risk of detention and extortion by police.”

The State Dept.’s IG might want to ask a couple of questions of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is an ex officio board member of the US Agency for Global Media, which is responsible for RFE/RL, about its Tajikistan coverage.

If Pompeo is too busy ironing out details for president Trump’s third summit with Little Rocket Man, the IG might want to check in with other USAGM board members, such as Michelle Giuda, assistant secretary of State for PA and former senior VP-global communications at Weber Shandwick, and Michael Kempner, CEO of MWWPR and a major moneyman for the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama presidential campaigns.