Briefing Skipper: Clinton, Mitchell, Abdulmutallab, Blackwater, North Korea
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of Friday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh Friday morning and had lunch with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit and Egypt’s ...
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department's daily presser so you don't have to. Here are the highlights of Friday's briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of Friday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh Friday morning and had lunch with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit and Egypt’s intelligence chief Omar Mahmoud Suleiman, ahead of Saturday’s NSC meeting on middle east strategy. Clinton heads to Hawaii today and then Australia, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand.
- Special Envoy George Mitchell is headed to Europe and then to the Middle East. The problems between the Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas are a problem for the negotiations but their resolution is not the primary issues, according to Crowley. "We recognize the value of a unity government, but we want to see a negotiation begin as soon as possible. So is a unity government a prerequisite to the start of negotiations? It is not."
- The State Department is sticking to its story that the misspelled name of underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was not the reason he was able to slip past all U.S. Checks before boarding his infamous Christmas day flight to Detroit. Yes, the initial search for his visa came up empty because of the misspelling, but the error was corrected in "a couple of days" so no harm done? "We don’t think, in this particular case, it had a specific impact on, you know, judgments that were made, you know, after the error was discovered," Crowley said, "It does not appear, as the White House report said [Thursday], that this affected the risk assessment itself."
- The State Department is warning the case is not closed for the Blackwater guards accused of murder in the Nusoor Square massacre, but won’t say exactly what the next step is. A federal judge dropped the criminal charges last month. "The decision of the judge does not exonerate the defendants or necessarily terminate the proceedings," Crowley said, "The Department of Justice, in consultation with the State Department, will carefully review the judge’s decision and assess all available legal options."
- Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Robert King leaves today for South Korea, where he will stay until Thursday before visiting Japan on Friday. He’s scheduled to meet with officials, North Korean defectors, families of Japanese abductees, and non-governmental organizations. "His role is different than the six- party process," Crowley emphasized.
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 email@example.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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