Witnesses - An attestation to a fact, statement, or event; testimony. To testify to, bear witness.
Amidst a record expansion of the U.S. federal government to roughly 28% of the GDP, some groups who depend upon largess from this same government are feeling a guillotine applied to their funding.
As the Obama administration races to negotiate with a militant Islamic Iran bent upon fielding nuclear weapons, this same administration seems intent on muzzling or silencing anyone who is willing to document or show the barbarity of this same regime. A case in point can be found nestled next to the Yale campus on the New Haven green. The group is called the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center and it seems. as they were starting to get a grip on how brutal and lethal the Iranian government has been against its own people this summer, their funding has been terminated. The excuse given by the State Department on why the funding was cut was because they had transferred responsibility of such Iranian projects from their Near Eastern Affairs Bureau to the US Agency for International Development.
Talk about a transparent bureaucratic maneuver in an attempt to deflect blame. This is one of those old games. Group A has submitted a request for funds to Bureau C, but someone in a position of authority does not like Group A so they move the function to Bureau G. But all of Group A's paperwork is addressed to Bureau C and can not be transferred over. And since Bureau G has less funding than Bureau C, Group A gets no funds because their paperwork arrived after other groups and thus they go out of business.
Is this an isolated incident? The Boston Globe goes to some extent to paint it as such by regaling the reader with stories of an Iranian dissident who helps lead this group and his efforts to help his fellow Iranians still trapped in Iran. But at the end of the article, the newspaper admits there are three other similar groups who have also been cut off from funding including the Boroumand Foundation which works to eliminate the death penalty in Iran.
Thankfully Senator Joe Lieberman has decried this whole sorry mess. Lets add our voices to his so we can never forget all those Iranians who have died in the name of the tyrannical mullahs. As that German story goes, "When they came for the Jews I did not protest for I was not a Jew.... when they came for me, there was no one left to protest."
Update: Roya Boroumand is part of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. The Boroumand Foundation does not receive any federal grants. Roya and Ladan Boroumand recently won the Lech Walesa Prize. My apologies for any confusion.