The State Department has announced that CPAC will receive public comments on new requests for import restrictions from Bulgaria and Belize.
For more, see http://exchanges.state.gov/heritage/whatsnew.html
Despite Obama Administration promises of greater government transparency, the public summaries of the requests provide little more than a history lesson about the cultures in both countries and some general information about looting in each country. Nothing at all is said about what particular objects are subject to possible restriction or any particular justifications for such actions.
And once again, the public comment period is exceptionally short, ending on November 2nd.
Accordingly, one must again unfortunately conclude that the State Department and its Cultural Heritage Center really are not looking for informed public comment from the broadest number of stakeholders possible.
And doesn't such a tact merely confirm the suspicions of many that the State Department bureaucracy views CPAC as little more than a rubber stamp for imposing the broadest import restrictions possible?
While I'm sure Bulgaria's former Communist rulers would have approved of such a farce, what does it say about our own State Department's commitment to the democracy it preaches so loudly to others?