Hillary Clinton’s Justice

Following the fall of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s “Coalition of the Youth of the 25 January Revolution” refused an invitation to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “due to her negative stance towards the revolution during its inception and the approach of the US Administration towards the Middle East Region” that rendered her subsequent invitation hypocritical and opportunist.

We should learn something from their remarks.

Hillary Clinton, as I suppose is part of her job description, has been repeatedly criticized for hypocrisy, on topics ranging from Internet freedom, selective prosecution, and the use of cluster bombs (which I wrote about here).

Today we have yet another issue to add to that list: summary execution.

As AP reports, Hillary now supports calls to investigate the death of deposed Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi, as new photos and video emerge suggesting he may have been captured and then executed:

“Clinton says a democratic Libya should begin with the rule of law and accountability, as well as unity and reconciliation. She says investigating Gadhafi’s death is part of the process.”

I’m certainly not disagreeing with the comments themselves – I think the killing should be investigated because I categorically oppose executions, and I believe whoever captured Gaddafi should have made a significant effort to bring him to trial. (I knew from the start that wasn’t likely; Libyans have been rightly enraged had Gaddafi for decades. But that’s the principle I support.)

What’s troubling is that just a few short months ago, Secretary Clinton publicly praised what many believe was the summary execution of Osama bin Laden:

“I know that nothing can make up for the loss of [Bin Laden’s] victims or fill the voids they left, but I hope their families can now find some comfort in the fact that justice has been served.

Second, I want to join the President in honoring the courage and commitment of the brave men and women who serve our country and have worked tirelessly and relentlessly for more than a decade to track down and bring Usama bin Ladin, this terrorist, to justice.”

So for Hillary Clinton, “justice” and the “rule of law” mean investigating executions if committed by Libyans and applauding executions if committed by Americans. Justice indeed. It’s high time to take Clinton’s remarks with much more than a grain of salt.

But we should have known not to take Clinton’s word on Gaddafi’s death seriously, as she herself seemed to find it a laughing matter:

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