Tuesday, October 28, 2014

State's Psaki Avoids It: Terror

And over at the State Department:-

QUESTION: You called – late on Friday you issued a fairly strong statement in your name calling for a speedy and transparent investigation into the killing of a U.S. citizen apparently by – or your statement said by the Israeli Defense Forces. It’s been 48 hours since – more than that, actually – 60 hours, say, since you issued that statement. Have you yet seen a speedy and transparent or speedy or transparent investigation by the Israelis?

MS. PSAKI: Well, Arshad, I don’t have a day-to-day evaluation of the investigation. We remain closely engaged with authorities. Our consulate-general in Jerusalem is in contact with the family, but obviously, we want to see that investigation rapidly concluded.

...QUESTION: Could you take that one for us? Because you asked --
MS. PSAKI: I will let you know if there’s more that we can convey.
QUESTION: -- publicly for a speedy investigation. More than two days has gone by. A U.S. citizen is dead, and it --
MS. PSAKI: I’m well aware. That’s why we put out the statement on Friday.

...QUESTION: Is the U.S. Government involved in the investigation? Have any – is the FBI involved in any way, or if this is the Israeli Defense Force --
MS. PSAKI: Local authorities have the lead, Elise. Not that I’m aware of.
QUESTION: Well – but, I mean, usually in the killing of an American citizen – I mean, usually the FBI or some other kind of U.S. law enforcement agency would be involved in the investigation. You’re just leaving it up to the Israelis to investigate these – supposed Israeli killing of an American citizen?
MS. PSAKI: I will check to see if there are any U.S. officials involved.
QUESTION: Jen, there was another U.S. citizen who was killed in – last week as well, a child. And you put out a statement --
MS. PSAKI: We did.
QUESTION: -- about that as well, Actually, a baby, I guess, is the correct --
MS. PSAKI: Yes. A three-month-old baby.
QUESTION: Yes. How is the investigation into that going?
MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any updates on the investigations. I would encourage you all to ask the Israeli authorities that question.

...QUESTION: Hold on, Elise [Labott, CNN]. Several months ago, there was a shooting – there was an incident involving a shooting of some Palestinian youths. They weren’t Americans, but you called at that time for an – this was the video, the one that was captured on videotape. Are you aware of the results of that Israeli investigation?

...QUESTION: In the case of the Palestinian American teenager who was killed on Friday, are you – do you know the circumstances under which he was shot?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any more details.

QUESTION: There are – okay. The reason I ask is because there are reports out there that he was throwing Molotov cocktails at cars on a highway. And I’m wondering, if that is the case, would you have still been so speedy in putting out a statement and offering your condolences to the family? The argument that is being made by some in Israel is that this kid was essentially a terrorist. And you don’t agree with that, I assume, but I don’t know, so that’s why I’m asking.

MS. PSAKI: Correct, we don’t. I don’t have any more details on the circumstances now.

QUESTION: So you – does that – that would apply even if he was throwing Molotov cocktails?

MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to speculate. I don’t have details to share.

...QUESTION: Well, I’ve got – I’ve got to get one more on this and then I’m done. There is a photograph of this teenager’s – this teenager being buried today, and he’s wearing a Hamas headband. It was put on him, obviously. Is that of concern at all to you guys?

MS. PSAKI: I just don’t have any more on this particular case.

QUESTION: Back to the baby. Can you – I mean, supposedly it was by Palestinian militants or whomever, not by the Israelis. Could you say or check whether – that the U.S. is involved in the investigation into the killing, into that car accident?

MS. PSAKI: I will see if there is U.S. involvement in either of the cases.

QUESTION: Thank you.

(Matt Lee was in there, too)

Okay, and what do you think of Ms. Psaki?

Let me go over that:

QUESTION: To go back to Matt’s question about – were you aware when you put out the statement on Friday night that there were allegations that the Palestinian American teenager had been throwing – our story said a Molotov cocktail and it was – it had run before your statement came out. So didn’t you – did you know at the time when you put out the statement that there were allegations that he was engaged in violence?

MS. PSAKI: Well, there were media reports, Arshad.


MS. PSAKI: Beyond that, I don’t have anything to read out for you.

QUESTION: Right, no. But I just wanted to get on the record that you knew about those reports when you put out the call for the speedy investigation.

QUESTION: Matt – I mean Arshad, I’m happy to talk to our team and see if there’s more --

QUESTION: But just to clarify what Matt was saying, and you said – you kind of said something but it was just very short --

QUESTION: But just to clarify what Matt was saying, and you said – you kind of said something but it was just very short --

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: -- you do not believe that this teenager was throwing Molotov cocktails. Is that right?

MS. PSAKI: That’s – I don’t have any more to outline or confirm for you in terms of the circumstances.

QUESTION: No, he said that you don’t believe that to be the case.

MS. PSAKI: That’s not what I said.

QUESTION: Do you? And you said no, you – no.

MS. PSAKI: He asked me if we thought he was a terrorist, and I said no.

QUESTION: Oh, okay.

QUESTION: Is that no longer the case? Do you think you were too precipitous, perhaps, in issuing that statement condemning --

MS. PSAKI: I think we’re going to have to move on now.

P.S.  and the video at 31:50.


No comments: