Thursday, May 03, 2012

Clinton to Release Human Rights Report,
According to NY Times Correspondent

Steven Lee Myers, the New York Times reporter who wrote yesterday's story on the Obama administration complex relationship with China including its human rights policies, has responded to my concerns expressed here that he should have mentioned the tardiness of the State Department's annual human rights report.

I'm pleased to learn more about what Myers found out about the pending report, and the fact that the delay has to do with Hillary Clinton wanting to be engaged when it's published later this month. Having Clinton again participating in the department's presentation of the latest report will add much importance to the findings in it.

Many thanks to Myers for providing me with this additional information. I very much appreciate having these sort of exchanges with Times reporters and all writers. Here's the entire note that he sent:

Thank you for writing and for your kind words.

I was aware the report was late and so checked on when it would be released when I mentioned it in the article you cited. As you noted, it has come out at different times in previous years despite the Congressional deadline – in April last year.

[The State Department's bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor] told me that it was a matter of coordinating the schedules of Secretary Clinton and the assistant secretary, Michael Posner, because she wanted to be involved in the unveiling of this year’s, as she has in the past.

State has notified Congress of the delay, and as far as I know at least, no one in Congress has objected. I don’t think the date has been finalized and thus is still subjected to change, but I was told that it would come on May 15. I did not think that the delay or the explanation for it warranted mention in this article, given its focus on the broader balance the administration has struggled to find.

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