Rachel Maddow Condemns 'Bribe' to Palau for Gitmo Prisoners, Then Neglects to Ask Palau President Why He Accepted 'Bribe'

For once I was close to agreeing with Rachel Maddow of MSNBC. Then she had to ruin it by reverting to herself.

Maddow was in self-righteous dudgeon on June 9 about news that the Pacific island nation of Palau agreed to accept Uighur detainees from Guantanamo -- for a whopping $200 million --

MADDOW: Well now, today's news, a potential solution. We may be looking at another round of "Survivor: Palau". This time, though, it's the Uighur edition. No decisions have been made yet apparently, but there are talks underway to have Palau accept our 17 woebegotten, innocent Uighur prisoners in exchange for a ton of money. The AP is reporting that the negotiations for Palau to take these 17 guys may involve a promise of as much as $200 million of development aid and budget support and other inducements to sweeten the deal. That would be roughly $10,000 per citizen of Palau. Or looked at it another way, that would be a payment to Palau of $11,764,705 per Uighur.

So, Palau, our steadfast ally, for every Uighur you take, you get just about $12 million. And you know, actually, I should, I'm happy to announce right here, we'll make a little news right here that if the same terms are offered, the Rachel Maddow Show staff has agreed to take two Uighurs ourselves. And because we are patriots we will even round down the asking price to $23 million for the two Uighurs and you could just credit our account for the amount that the government saved on airfare to Palau.

Alternatively, we as a country could man up and stop trying to bribe other countries to solve our problems that we're too fraidy cat to solve ourselves.|

Two nights later, Maddow was given a golden opportunity to delve into the specifics of this "bribe" when she interviewed Palau president Johnson Toribiong. Inexplicably, Maddow decided not to "man up" and ask about Palau's sudden windfall, apparently being "too fraidy cat" to do so --

MADDOW: Joining us now is President Johnson Toribiong. He joins us by phone from Palau. Mr. President, thank you so much for your time tonight. It's a real pleasure to have you here on the show.

TORIBIONG: Well, you're most welcome and good morning from Palau and good afternoon in the United States.

MADDOW: What has been the reaction among the citizens of Palau to the former prisoners from Guantanamo coming there?

TORIBIONG: Well, it's mixed. I guess the people who are not fully advised of the situation are against it and the people who read newspapers and read my position do agree with me.

MADDOW: Why have you decided to ... 

TORIBIONG: But ...

MADDOW: ... I'm sorry, go ahead, Mr. President.

TORIBIONG: But I think all in all, most Palauans do agree with my position to extend a helping hand to the United States at this time.

Here it comes, I thought, not a snowball's chance in Palau that Maddow lets such boilerplate pass without pushing back. I was wrong --

MADDOW: Why did you make the decision ultimately to accept the Uighurs in Palau? You've expressed that it's essentially a measure of thanks to the United States for the alliance between our two countries. Uh, is that the sum total of it or are there other things that factored into your decision?

Uh, such as the "ton of money" condemned by me all of two nights ago ...? As of her June 11 broadcast, there's no doubt Maddow knew about the Obama largesse bound for Palau. After all, Maddow didn't merely refer to the $200 million on June 9, she tut-tutted about it in apparent indignation, an enduring liberal pastime.

One can also hear Maddow's awareness of money changing hands in the wording of her question -- "Why did you make the decision ultimately to accept the Uighurs in Palau? You've expressed that it's essentially a measure of your thanks to the United States for the alliance between our two countries. Uh, is that the sum total of it or are there other things that factored into your decision?"

Here's how Toribiong responded to Maddow's tepid inquiry before she dutifully moved onto less awkward subjects --

TORIBIONG: Well, my decision was based on the fact that we have close and friendly relations with United States and that United States has been most generous benefactor and partner and a friend over the years, since World War II. And secondly, after being briefed about the status of these detainees, I agreed to accommodate them because I am told they've been cleared from any accusations of being enemy combatants and they should be released, but the only destination which may accept them is their homeland, where they will face possible persecution and even execution.

So even though Palau was not part of the original arrangements, we did agree to help United States accommodate them, to assure that their civil rights are protected, to make sure that United States accomplish its goal of closing Guantanamo Bay, to assure that the justice system in the United States does appear to be friendly, I mean, fair and reasonable in the eyes of the world.

MADDOW: Mr. President, as you indicated, China is a major factor here. China has indicated that they are opposed to the transfer of these men ...

Remember when left-wingers disparaged the Coalition of the Willing cobbled together by Bush to oust Saddam as a "Coalition of the Bribed"?

Why would Maddow fail to ask such an obvious question, especially when the chance was provided on a platter? Nervousness, an honest oversight, a reluctance to embarrass her guest, who knows? I'll hazard a guess it was something else. 

Bush created the Coalition of the Willing to disarm a homicidal, duplicitous tyrant, whose justified removal from the world stage is mourned by a few remaining Baathists and their useful idiots in Western media. 

Obama assembled a Coalition of the Willing in mainstream media more than willing to look the other way to protect Dear Leader from potential embarrassment.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts