Alex Massie marvels at a State Department funding cutoff for a U.S. group that has investigated human rights abuses in Iran since 2004, and has been preparing an inquiry into the post-election crackdown there. This is not some fringe group--it has received more than $3 million from State and its board includes Harvard Law School dean Martha Minow. Alex:

There are excellent reasons for not being seen to fund opposition groups inside Iran since American funding can only prejudice their cause. But this seems a rather different matter. Perhaps there's an innocent explanation but if so it would be good to hear it. Because otherwise this looks shabby and, actually, terrible. Realism is fine but realism doesn't have to be granite-hearted to the point it becomes embarrassed by talk of human rights and the careful documentation of such abuses.

State wouldn't give the Boston Globe an explanation. Alex is right: Let's hear one.