Romney outsourced Olympic uniforms to Burma dictatorship

This video is called Burma: A Military Dictatorship.

From the blog of Sabrina Siddiqui in the USA:

Mitt Romney-Helmed Olympics Outsourced Uniforms To Burma

Posted: 07/16/2012 7:00 pm Updated: 07/16/2012 11:07 pm

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney was noticeably unwilling Friday to engage in a controversy around the manufacturing of U.S. Olympic uniforms in China, despite criticism from Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike.

Congress was up in arms Thursday over the discovery that the U.S. team’s uniforms for the opening ceremony of this year’s Olympic games were manufactured in China — snubbing the U.S. textile industry at a time when it has yet to recover from the struggling economy.

For the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, who has repeatedly promised on the trail to “get tough” on China, opposing the manufacturing seemed a likely stance, except that while at the helm of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Romney outsourced the production of torchbearer uniforms to Burma.

For Romney, the 2002 Olympics anecdote represents another instance of outsourcing under his stewardship, as President Barack Obama’s reelection team continues to assail him for shipping jobs overseas while at private equity firm Bain Capital. It also exposes an embarrassing oversight in allowing the uniforms to be manufactured in Burma, which until just last year was controlled by a brutal military regime.

Mitt Romney reminds me more and more of his predecessor as Republican candidate for the United States presidency in 2008, John McCain. McCain had a connection to the military dictators of Burma as well.

John McCain, the last GOP presidential nominee, just announced to the world that the present GOP nominee is not as good a candidate as Sarah Palin: here.

According to reports in 2002, the decision to outsource the torchbearer uniforms to Burma caused an uproar among human rights advocates and trade groups. It prompted the head of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions to write a letter to the International Olympic Committee, stating that “No responsible organization or body should make use of products originating in Burma.”

The American Anti-Slavery Group and the Free Burma Coalition launched a campaign to protest the uniforms and called on the IOC to apologize and “promise to never support — indirectly or directly — the Burmese regime.”

Torchbearers, too, were shocked to see the “Made in Burma (Myanmar)” label on their tracksuits. “When I looked at the label for the uniform, I went nuts,” said 2002 torchbearer Susan Bonfield in an interview with the Guardian. “When you are sending work representing the U.S. to a military dictatorship, I have an issue with that.”

More than 10,000 runners wore the uniforms, which are pictured on the Daily Kos, while carrying the Olympic torch to the Winter Games.

Perhaps most embarrassing, after receiving emailed protests from more than 1,000 activists, the media relations department at the Salt Lake Organizing Committee confused Burma and Myanmar as two separate countries.

First, we learn about Mitt Romney not knowing that Czechoslaviakia does not exist any more, and is now two separate countries. To keep the total number of countries in the world the same (?) we now read about a non-existent split between Burma and Myanmar.

“The torch relay clothes were NOT made in Burma. They were manufactured in Myanmar,” the organizing committee responded. “In fact they were made in the exact same factory that produces clothes for GAP, North Face and other major clothing labels.”

Both Gap and North Face denied at the time that they purchase products manufactured in Burma.

After activists correctly identified Burma and Myanmar as the same country, the committee apologized for what it referred to as “misinformation” and confirmed that both the pants and top of the uniform were produced at a textile plant in Burma/Myanmar.

The Romney campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

See also here. And here. And here.

Mitt Romney’s “Hostile Takeover” of Massachusetts Environmental Protections. Mike Ludwig, Truthout: “Forget tailgating, Mitt Romney went all out when the New England Patriots went to the Super Bowl in 2005. Romney, then governor of Massachusetts, diverted $45,000 from the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to hold a send-off rally for the football team at Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium that prominently featured the former governor himself. The 2,500 people who attended the rally failed to fill the stadium, but they did cost taxpayers about $18 a head:” here.

Mitt Romney Dismisses Tax Return Disclosure Calls From Republicans: here.

Mitt Romney Never Thought He’d Have To Release Tax Returns: Bain Sources: here.

Eighteen Prominent Republicans Who Want Romney to Release More Tax Returns Right Now. Annie-Rose Strasser, ThinkProgress: “Mitt Romney continues to resist pressure to turn over more tax returns. In an interview today he said he is ‘simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort, and lie about.’ The call for more information about Romney’s financial past, however, is bipartisan. A poll released today found fifty-six percent of all voters, including sixty one percent of independents, think that Romney should release twelve years of returns”: here.

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: “Being even associated with the word felony sent the Romneys into high dudgeon, since they consider that they have double impunity: they are Mormons chosen by God and also endowed with the divine anointment of being extravagantly wealthy. This arrogance and sense of entitlement was on full display when Ann Romney, in an ABC morning show interview, went into full Marie Antoinette mode”: here.

“I will not cut the military budget” -Mitt Romney: here.

Inside the Investigation of Leading Republican Money Man Sheldon Adelson. Matt Isaacs, Lowell Bergman and Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica: “A decade ago gambling magnate and leading Republican donor Sheldon Adelson looked at a desolate spit of land in Macau and imagined a glittering strip of casinos, hotels and malls. Where competitors saw obstacles, including Macau’s hostility to outsiders and historic links to Chinese organized crime, Adelson envisaged a chance to make billions”: here.

Screw-ups, greedy sponsors and an aggressive security operation are killing the soul of the London Olympic games: here.

The Burmese military regime of President Thein Sein is pushing ahead with what he terms a “second wave” of pro-market reforms to complement earlier “political reforms”. The ex-general indicated in mid-June that his government would allow some privatisation of state enterprises and reduce the role of the state in energy, health and education: here.

Burmese journalists stand up to state censorship: here.

Hundreds of Myanmar Buddhist monks marched today in support of the president’s proposal to pack off members of the Muslim Rohingya minority to another country: here.

Anti-Muslim violence carried out by Buddhist mobs last month left at least 43 people dead and hundreds of homes, shops and buildings razed to the ground in towns in central Burma (Myanmar). Official figures put the number of displaced at 9,000, but other reports put the number even higher, at 12,000: here.

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