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State Department Spent 4.5 Million for Embassy Art, Had No Money for Benghazi Security

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On December 2, 2012 @ 11:30 pm In The Point | 18 Comments

Remember Benghazi only happened because the State Department had no money for security. And the military had no money for planes. And Obama had no money for his campaign and had to rush to Vegas to fundraise with Beyonce.

Things that the State Department did have money for? Mosque renovations, promoting environmental awareness in Baghdad, and 4.5 million for Art in Embassies.

The New York Times reported in 2009 that Art in Embassies spends about $4.5 million a year for permanent art acquisitions; chief curator Virginia Shore said at the time that artists and dealers support the program via favorable pricing; for the embassy in Beijing, an outlay of $800,000 yielded works with an appraised value of $30 million.

So… maybe we can sell some of that as a profit and pay for bodyguards. Or we could just hand out medals to the artists in exchange for favorable pricing. Yes, let’s do that.

On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will give the U.S. State Department Medal of Arts to five artists who have shown “an enduring commitment” to the effort: Jeff Koons, Cai Guo-Qiang, Shahazia Sikander, Kiki Smith and Carrie Mae Weems.

It’s the first time the award has been given – and its future will likely depend on whether Clinton’s successors want to make it a tradition.

Let’s make it a tradition. Even if we have to strip security from all our embassies in war zones. This stuff, unlike human life, is really important.

There is of course a certain irony in that Clinton ordered the arrest and imprisonment of the Mohammed filmmaker, but is now honoring “controversial” artists who may offend Christianity, but don’t offend Islam.

Like every regime, the Obama regime has artists that it honors and artists that it imprisons. And the artists that it hands out medals too, like their Soviet counterparts, are delegitimized by their placement as the pet artists of a repressive regime.

Kiki Smith, one of the artists honored by Secretary of State Clinton, offended Catholics with pieces such as, “Virgin Mary,” a female figure stripped of her skin, with her tissues and muscles exposed. Another exhibit features Mary Magdalene growing fur on her body.

If Kiki Smith had depicted Mohammed that way, she would be in hiding and maybe in prison, depending on how many embassies Muslims burned afterward. But since she depicted a religion that Obama and his cronies hate, she’s getting her art placed in embassies and getting a medal instead. That is how things work in repressive regimes.

And just as a reminder that this isn’t art, it’s regime propaganda, here’s one of the “paintings” from the Art in Embassies exhibit in Stockholm. “Paul Rusconi, Barack Obama, 2008.” Sold for $20,000. You can see it up above. The new symbol of America. But I offer my own “artistic” take on Rusconi’s piece. One that might be better representative of what America under Obama truly stands for.


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