• State Department Tries to Send Embarrassing Press Video Down the Memory Hole

    June 7, 2016

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Embassy/State

    jen psaki.resized

    Last week the State Department revealed that an unknown official within its public affairs office ordered the scrubbing of roughly eight minutes from a video of a State press briefing, which included a discussion about negotiations related to the Iran nuclear deal.


    In the deleted portion, then-spokesperson Jen Psaki (above) was asked whether her predecessor lied when she said secret bilateral talks with Iran had not yet begun, when later U.S. officials said they were already ongoing at that point.

    A few days later, after the news broke of the deletion, Secretary of State John Kerry said that whoever called for deleting the several minutes of video was being “stupid, clumsy and inappropriate.” Kerry emphasized that he intends to find out who was responsible, adding that he didn’t want someone like that working for him.

    No One is Responsible

    However, on the same day Kerry issued his intention to find the responsible person, the current State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said the investigation to determine who ordered portions deleted from a video was over.

    “We believe we have conducted an inquiry into this incident,” Toner told reporters. “We have exhausted our efforts to look into the incident and responsibility.”

    According to State, the investigation learned that the technician who made the cut from the YouTube video did so on orders from someone in the public affairs office, but that no one remembered who. Despite no one remembering who gave the order, State was clear that its investigation ruled out former spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

    Toner also added in his briefing to reporters that there was no rule or regulation barring such editing, and it was thus allowed. Toner’s statement mirrors almost exactly the language Hillary Clinton has used to justify her use of a private email server while Secretary of State.

    When the editing was first uncovered by a journalist at Fox News, the State Department blamed the missing minutes on a technical “glitch.”



    Anything Familiar Here?

    We have become all-too-used to government lies; they are now expected and quickly dismissed as business as usual. Still, State’s actions deserve special note for their utter contemptuous nature.

    To begin, the deletion was actually not that big of a deal. The statements cut out were made in 2013, and the video itself was buried on YouTube. The events have passed, and the false statement could have easily be brushed away as necessary during secret negotiations. In the broad scope of things, they really didn’t matter, yet State felt compelled to hide them anyway. Even the hiding was crude, a simple edit of an event witnessed by a room full of journalists. Not exactly subterfuge.

    That contempt was carried forward into 2016, when State tried to blow the whole affair off by claiming it was a technical glitch. When they got caught in the lie, the next step was a faux-investigation that revealed nothing, except to purport to clear the senior person involved in the mess and the one who presumably had the most to gain from the deletion (Psaki now works in the White House.)

    The State Department then doubled-down with new lies, allowing Secretary Kerry to demand resolution while simultaneously announcing the issue is closed and no further “resolution” is going to happen, absent a Congressional inquiry that will no doubt be stymied by slow responses from State and cries that it is all just another political attack by the Republicans.

    Any of this sound familiar?


    BONUS: The White House was also caught this week deleting an embarrassing line from the official transcript of a press briefing on the same topic. Probably just a coincidence…



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  • Recent Comments

    • rich bauer said...

      1

      Hillary: Okay, you got me. It was me. What difference does it make? Americans don’t care if I lie -which I do ALL THE TIME. I just won the nomination.

      06/7/16 8:57 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      2

      06/7/16 9:41 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...

      3

      1984 : I P$AK You; you P$AK I !

      06/7/16 3:15 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      4

      06/7/16 3:15 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      5

      “That the Democratic Party nominating process is declared to be over in such an uninspiring, secretive, and elite-driven manner is perfectly symbolic of what the party, and its likely nominee, actually is. The one positive aspect, though significant, is symbolic, while the actual substance — rallying behind a Wall Street-funded, status quo-perpetuating, multimillionaire militarist — is grim in the extreme. The Democratic Party got exactly the ending it deserved.”

      Correction: the Wall Street War Party, bought and paid for

      06/7/16 3:18 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      6

      Rich,
      Re: Clinton admitting that drone killings of family members are a war crime. This is the same Hillary Clinton who arranged the destruction of Libya and laughed when Ghaddafi was murdered at our behest. But let’s also not forget it was the US that was in charge during the whole “R2P intervention” – which was supposed to be only a no-fly zone (i.e., NATO was supposed to target the airforce command centers) – and that early in the “intervention”, we knowingly dropped missiles on a family residence, killing Ghaddafi’s youngest son and three grandchildren (aged 1 to 4 years old). We did this within a few hours of Ghaddafi asking for a cease-fire and the start of negotiations. We also dropped bombs on schools, orphanages, food storage facilities, television stations, the main water facilities of the country, and deliberately hit a government complex in Tripoli that housed a commission for women and children, along with the staff offices of some members of Libya’s parliament in that same building. Of course, the targeted assassination attempts on Ghaddafi himself were against international law.

      We are a rogue nation with no ethics and no moral compunction apparent in any of our politicians and “leaders”. War-pig Clinton is well suited to run the place. She may even get us all killed in her zeal to show her toughness (as though we didn’t already get it by now – okay, we confess, you are a tough-ass bitch, now go the fuck away), which is NOT to say I am happy about her coronation.

      The PTB aren’t even pretending this is a democracy any more. Clinton and Trump is what we get.

      06/7/16 4:24 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      7

      “We are a rogue nation with no ethics and no moral compunction apparent in any of our politicians and “leaders”. War-pig Clinton is well-suited to run the place.

      Well, they say Karma is a bitch.

      Amerika, Good Night, and Good Luck.

      06/7/16 6:21 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      8

      As Ambassador Stevens learned the hard way, only idiots put their life in the hands of another idiot- that would be US, The Dumbest Country on the Planet. Hillary’s SMART WAR plan (insert laugh track here) decapitated Libya, which created the conditions for the rise of the militias that killed Stevens. That’s what Hillary and her whores were so desperate to hide from US. They didn’t have to worry. The idiots would vote for her anyway, apparently.

      You do see where this is going, right?

      06/7/16 7:42 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      9

      teri said..

      quote”The PTB aren’t even pretending this is a democracy any more. Clinton and Trump is what we get.”

      rich bauer said…

      quote”You do see where this is going, right?”unquote

      Yes Rich, I do. After all,………. Revelations told us. And it IS coming to pass. Regardless of your rolling eyes.

      06/7/16 8:27 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      10

      btw.. think about this…

      https://www.lawfareblog.com/trump-and-powers-american-presidency-part-ii

      And then tell me I’m wrong.

      06/7/16 8:30 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      11

      So, Clinton is officially the Democratic nominee (one might note the absence of the word “presumptive”, which would be the correct terminology until the convention is held), according to the media.

      Trump is the Republican presumptive nominee (the adjective is always used in his case). And then he promptly goes full retard. As opposed to incoherent and stupid, which is his usual schtick.

      They might as well start calling Clinton “Madame President”. Just how close are the Clintons and the Trumps, anyway? I suspect for some reason that this is a joint operation to get her on the promised throne. Call it Operation Whore of Babylon.

      06/8/16 6:58 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      12

      The Babylon Towers were the first to go down the black hole:

      http://www.unz.com/article/silencing-america-as-it-prepares-for-war/

      06/8/16 9:26 AM | Comment Link

    • Michael Murry said...

      13

      Simple:

      “Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” George Orwell, 1984

      06/8/16 2:45 PM | Comment Link

    • Sokollu said...

      14

      I support the Iran deal and I also understand that some negotiations do need to be carried out in private.

      BUT it’s the spokesperson’s job to be able to say “no comment,” repeatedly if necessary – not to lie and then tamper with a public record to cover up the lie.

      06/8/16 7:30 PM | Comment Link

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