Oh Dear. In retrospect, it was predictable. There is a new source of "outrage" among conservatives (e.g. Melanie Phillips, Jennifer Rubin). Barack Obama's intention to give Mary Robinson a Presidential Medal of Freedom. It used to be that only Iraq War worthies got such things. It seems the main beef is with her activities as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights which in their mind put her in charge of anti-Israeli activities ("Durban Queen"). Among the more preposterous complaints is this one from Bush White House health veteran Tevi Troy --
Robinson’s awful record, which also included a stint as president of Ireland while the European Union gave $9 million in salary support to Palestinians engaged in terror
Got that? She was President of Ireland at the same time that the EU was giving aid to the Palestinian administration!!! Who knew that the President of Ireland had much micro-control over the EU budget? Apparently this control is especially strong when the country has the rotating presidency of the EU Council, as Ireland did in 1996, according to Michael Rubin! ("Mary Robinson, War Criminal?") You learn something new every day.
Troy continues --
Robinson’s record is well known to most Jews with even a passing familiarity with the Jewish media. It cannot be a surprise that honoring Robinson in this way would be anathema to the Jewish community. In addition, I know from having worked in the White House that these selections go through extremely careful vetting of public and non-public databases to make sure that they would not embarrass the president in any way.
So he's not embarrassed by this? --
General Tommy Franks was raised in Midland, Texas -- nothing wrong with that. (Laughter.) I didn't know him then, but Laura and he went to the same high school. In those days, some people in Midland wondered about Tommy's future. It sounds familiar. (Laughter.) At a recent high school reunion, Tommy's old principal told the General, "You weren't the brightest bulb in the socket," to which the General replied, "Ain't this a great country?" (Laughter.)
That was General Tommy Franks getting his Victory in Iraq medal from George Bush -- in December 2004.
UPDATE: Henry at Crooked Timber takes up the cudgel.
FINAL UPDATE: The battle continues.
White House photo by Tina Hager