Reactions to the sentencing of a Saudi woman who was gang-raped to 200 lashes and six months in jail…
The Bush Administration:
On Tuesday, the State Department voiced "astonishment" at the sentence, but stopped short of calling for it to be changed.
Asked if the US government was reluctant to condemn an important Arab ally ahead of a conference aimed at reviving Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said: "No, that's not it at all.
"These kinds of decisions are going to have to be decisions that the people of that country -- in this case, Saudi Arabia -- are going to have to take for themselves," he said.
Sovereignty for Nations That Want to Torture and Jail Victims of Gang Rape + No Sovereignty for Nations That Don't Threaten Us But That We Want to Invade for their Oil and Strategic Position = Serious Neoconservative Foreign Policy Philosophy.
Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth:
Three Frontrunners for the Democratic Party Nomination for President:
Former vice presidential nominee and 2008 candidate John Edwards branded the sentence an "appalling breach of the most fundamental human rights."
"I am outraged that President Bush has refused to condemn the sentence," Edwards said in a statement.
"We need a president who will reengage with the world and restore our moral authority --- only then will we be able to lead other nations in protecting the basic rights and human dignity of every person on this planet."
"That the victim was sentenced at all is unjust, but that the court doubled the sentence because of efforts to call attention to the ruling is beyond unjust," Obama wrote.
"I strongly urge the Department of State to condemn this ruling."
"This is an outrage," front-runner Hillary Clinton said in a statement, condemning the Bush administration for declining to call for a reversal of the sentence, on the grounds that it was an internal matter for its Saudi ally.
"I urge President Bush to call on King Abdullah to cancel the ruling and drop all charges against this woman. As president I will once again make human rights an American priority around the world," Clinton said.