n his excellent article on the unique guilt-by-association standard being imposed on newly elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, my colleague Jon Schwarz references a passage from a 2013 Washington Post article that I want to highlight because of how illuminating it is. That Post article describes the Obama administration’s growing alliance with human-rights-abusing regimes in Africa, which allow the U.S. to expand its drone operations there, and contains this unusually blunt admission from a “senior U.S. official” (emphasis added):
Human-rights groups have also accused the U.S. government of holding its tongue about political repression in Ethiopia, another key security partner in East Africa.
“The countries that cooperate with us get at least a free pass,” acknowledged a senior U.S. official who specializes in Africa but spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid retribution. “Whereas other countries that don’t cooperate, we ream them as best we can.”