Mark Silk pays much closer attention to these issues than I do, so pay attention when he notes some interesting tensions between the State Department and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Liberty. I have long been suspicious of the State Department ever since I learned about their distressing attempts to frustrate U.S. support for the creation of the State of Israel after World War II. Their track record has been uneven on a host of issues from Suez to Latin America to Bosnia to Syria. That said, I am also suspicious of groups like USCIRL which tend to attract people who most care about a given issue, and who, consequently, may lack a sense of countervailing interests and values. It will be curious to see how this plays out and readers are well advised to turn to Silk to explain it.
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