This was in response to a taken question in the Office of the Spokesperson of the State Department on August 10, 2011:
Question: Do you have a comment about the French-Vietnamese lecturer and blogger who is currently on trial in Vietnam?
Answer: We are dismayed by Vietnam’s conviction of French-Vietnamese blogger Pham Minh Hoang to three years in prison and three years under house arrest. No individual should be prosecuted for exercising the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Vietnam’s prosecution of individuals for expressing their views contradicts the government’s commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Human rights are and will remain a key component of our relationship with Vietnam.
File away in the press clippings folder; might be useful as Exhibit A when the “Tigers” over at the State Department run after you and your blog.
Of course, it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that the official response did not say anything about the “unless” clause. What’s the “unless” clause? It’s the “no individual should be prosecuted for exercising the right to freedom of opinion and expression” …. unless (INSERT reason here).
The following is a non-exhaustive list of possible reasons, in no particular order:
No individual should be prosecuted for exercising the right to freedom of opinion and expression ….
—- unless your unofficial mockery written during off hours
require cause your State Department bosses to take Xanax.
—- unless your blog tell stories about the leadership and management misimpressions of your boss.
—- unless your blog tell stories about the impression management strategy of your bosses ailing with promotiontitis.
—- unless you write about funny things reported in the media that talks about odd strange foreign policy misadventures and expense.
—- unless you write about a less than perfect life and private pains in your foreign adventures because didn’t you know that a shrink is always better than a blog?
— unless you write about countries with diplomatic relations with the United States.
Not sure the “unless” clause covers Bhutan and Taiwan, but it should should cover Cuba, Iran and North Korea. But before you make fun of Kim Jong Il’s hairdo, be sure to check with the North Korea desk for blanket permission to blog or tweet about the Korean Peninsula’s hair model of the century.
More later …
(This entry was originally posted on 8/17/2011; updated with “unless” clause)