Originally published January 2 2014
U.S. government thugs engage in barbaric strip-search of Indian diplomat
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Whether it is spying on our allies, allowing our ambassadors to be gunned down and dragged through the streets like dogs or treating their diplomats like criminals, clearly the Obama administration has no clue how to properly conduct foreign policy.
The latest outrage: thuggish behavior towards a visiting Indian official, and at a time when the administration is attempting to improve relations with the world's most populous democracy.
As reported by Britain's Independent:
The arrest of an Indian diplomat amid claims she had lied on a visa form for her domestic worker has turned into a major row between Washington and Delhi with India's national security adviser calling her treatment "despicable and barbaric."
India [on Dec. 17] summoned the U.S. ambassador and announced that it was withdrawing a series of diplomatic privileges to U.S. officials. It also reopened a road that runs past the U.S. embassy in Delhi but which for several years has been blocked off for security reasons. Several Indian officials declined to meet with members of a visiting U.S. delegation.
Kerry: 'We understand your frustration'
"It is despicable and barbaric," National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon told the Press Trust of India news agency.
And, diplomatically incorrect, I might add.
The dust-up follows the arrest earlier in December of Devyani Khobragade in New York. She is India's deputy consul general in the city and has been accused by U.S. officials of visa fraud and of making false statements on her application for her housekeeper to work in the United States.
According to Indian officials, Khobragade was taken into custody - and handcuffed - as she dropped off her daughter at school. They further state that the consul was strip-searched and kept in a cell with drug addicts before being made to post a $250,000 bond.
Later, The Associated Press reported that a senior Indian official confirmed the strip search had occurred. At press time, the U.S. embassy had yet to issue any statements. But a day after Khobragade's arrest, the State Department issued a statement:
[Secretary of State John Kerry] understands very deeply the importance of enforcing our laws and protecting victims, and, like all officials in positions of responsibility inside the U.S. Government, expects that laws will be followed by everyone here in our country. It is also particularly important to Secretary Kerry that foreign diplomats serving in the United States are accorded respect and dignity just as we expect our own diplomats should receive overseas.
As a father of two daughters about the same age as Devyani Khobragade, the Secretary empathizes with the sensitivities we are hearing from India about the events that unfolded after Ms. Khobragade's arrest, and in his conversation with National Security Advisor Menon he expressed his regret, as well as his concern that we not allow this unfortunate public issue to hurt our close and vital relationship with India.
Indian government may respond in kind
Published reports say prosecutors in New York claim Khobragade, 39, said she paid her Indian maid $4,500 a month but was actually paying her less than the U.S. minimum wage. She has pleaded not guilty and will challenge the arrest on grounds of diplomatic immunity, her lawyer has stated.
Needless to say, the arrest has infuriated the Indian government. Indian officials in New Delhi say that government emissaries have, for years, taken their domestic workers abroad with them and that thus far, host governments have had few problems with the practice. The majority of Indian middle-class households employ several domestic workers and often at low wages.
"They treated her like al-Qaeda had come to Manhattan," said analyst and former diplomat K.C. Singh.
Indian analysts and experts say the Indian government should respond in kind to U.S. diplomats living there who may be violating some Indian laws.
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