The Cable

The Cable goes inside the foreign policy machine, from Foggy Bottom to Turtle Bay, the White House to Embassy Row.

Briefing Skipper: David Goldman, Jamaica mon, Khartoum, Liu Xiaobo

In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of today’s briefing by Department Spokesmen P.J. Crowley and Mark Toner: Staffers at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia and the Consulate in Rio de Janeiro have been up all night providing support to David ...

In which we scour the transcript of the State Department's daily presser so you don't have to. Here are the highlights of today's briefing by Department Spokesmen P.J. Crowley and Mark Toner:

Staffers at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia and the Consulate in Rio de Janeiro have been up all night providing support to David Goldman, who seems like he is finally going to be reunited with his son Sean after 5 years of separation. The State Department gave David a U.S. passport for Sean to help expedite his return. There were 76 Americans on the plane that overran the runway in Kingston, Jamaica. No Americans died on the flight but four were seriously injured. Crowley was asked about the pretty strong statement put out yesterday condemning Sudan's NPC leadership for passing an election law that wasn't what the southern Sudanese had agreed to. How will the U.S. Get Khartoum to do the right thing? "Further discussions," Crowley said. I'm not even going to find a way here to bring up Special Envoy Scott Gration's proposal to use cookies and gold stars. Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson (hey oh!) is also heavily involved in this process as is Michelle Gavin at the NSC, according to Crowley. Carson will go to Sudan early next year, as will Gration, who goes there a lot. State Department is "concerned" about the murder of Gennadi Pavlyuk, the Kyrgyz journalist who was thrown out a window on December 16th in Almaty. Strong criticisms of China and their prosecution (persecution?) of Liu Xiaobo, the dissident accused of "state subversion." Crowley said the timing was meant to bury the news of the expected conviction on Christmas day and he lambasted the manner in which the trial is being conducted. "These are not hallmarks of the kind of government that is likely to be successful in the dynamic world of the 21st century," he said. He didn't stop there. "As China evolves, its political system and its institutions and its fundamental relationship with its people will have to change as well. And I mean, these kinds of actions are clearly a political trial that will likely lead to a political conviction is uncharacteristic of a great country," Crowley said. Is the State Department bitter about Chinese intransigence at Copenhagen? Hard not to be when you read this.

In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of today’s briefing by Department Spokesmen P.J. Crowley and Mark Toner:

  • Staffers at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia and the Consulate in Rio de Janeiro have been up all night providing support to David Goldman, who seems like he is finally going to be reunited with his son Sean after 5 years of separation. The State Department gave David a U.S. passport for Sean to help expedite his return.
  • There were 76 Americans on the plane that overran the runway in Kingston, Jamaica. No Americans died on the flight but four were seriously injured.
  • Crowley was asked about the pretty strong statement put out yesterday condemning Sudan’s NPC leadership for passing an election law that wasn’t what the southern Sudanese had agreed to. How will the U.S. Get Khartoum to do the right thing? "Further discussions," Crowley said. I’m not even going to find a way here to bring up Special Envoy Scott Gration‘s proposal to use cookies and gold stars. Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson (hey oh!) is also heavily involved in this process as is Michelle Gavin at the NSC, according to Crowley. Carson will go to Sudan early next year, as will Gration, who goes there a lot.
  • State Department is "concerned" about the murder of Gennadi Pavlyuk, the Kyrgyz journalist who was thrown out a window on December 16th in Almaty.
  • Strong criticisms of China and their prosecution (persecution?) of Liu Xiaobo, the dissident accused of "state subversion." Crowley said the timing was meant to bury the news of the expected conviction on Christmas day and he lambasted the manner in which the trial is being conducted. "These are not hallmarks of the kind of government that is likely to be successful in the dynamic world of the 21st century," he said.
  • He didn’t stop there. "As China evolves, its political system and its institutions and its fundamental relationship with its people will have to change as well. And I mean, these kinds of actions are clearly a political trial that will likely lead to a political conviction is uncharacteristic of a great country," Crowley said.
  • Is the State Department bitter about Chinese intransigence at Copenhagen? Hard not to be when you read this.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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