This week our senior Senator, Patrick Leahy, was justifiably angry when it came out that the A.I.D. had been sponsoring an illegal social media platform in Cuba in an effort to undermine the Cuban government.
As if we didn't already know that AID was a CIA front, right?
Still, there are a bunch of reasons that this was a terrible idea.
First, when the U.S. government funds anti-government activities in other countries it gives the governments of those countries a legitimate basis to claim that even legitimate pro-democracy efforts are no more than a tool of the United States imperialists.
Second, to the extent that the AID carries out and promotes legitimate humanitarian assistance, linking it to CIA programs like this gives governments a sound basis to reject that assistance.
Third, did it even occur to them that the Cuban Twitter users might be exposed as anti-government activists to the Cuban government?
“Whose idea was it for this specific program? I’ve read the legislation. The legislation doesn’t say anything about setting up a cockamamie idea in Cuba with Twitter accounts and all on something that the Cubans would be so easy to discover,” Leahy said.