Sports Illustrated has a wonderful slide show of the closing ceremony. In many respects it was the best Olympic Games ever. From the world records set to the smooth organization to the sheer spectacle of the opening and closing ceremonies. But what are we to think about the quashing of protesters? Wasn't China a bit heavy handed in dealing with things like that? The absense of even a hint of trouble was proof enough. One can imagine what went on behind the scenes. One of the stories that did surface was this one on CNN. A small group of Americans unfurled a "Free Tibet" banner. The demonstration didn't last long.
Chinese law allows police to hold foreign nationals in jail for up to two weeks before pressing formal charges, but most other foreign protesters that China detained were held for only a few hours before authorities deported them.
Nick Snyder, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing was naturally asked to comment on this delicate situation. Mr. Snyder of course, comes from the country which produced the Patriot Act and legalized wire-tapping of its citizens. This is the same country which is considering granting the FBI much more power, to "allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion." That's from the NY Times, via our commenter Thomas. How Mr. Snyder was able to make the following statement with a straight face is beyond me, but I guess he takes his cue from his superiors in the State Department.
"We urge China to take positive steps to address international and domestic concerns about its record on human rights and religious freedom," Snyder said.
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