Welcome to the age of Obama, where we’re happy to let enemy nations scroll through our secrets, but we go out of the way to keep the American people in the dark.
A FISH ROTS FROM THE HEAD: State Department admits tampering with video of tough Fox News question.
Now here’s an interesting evolution: When the State Department was first pressed on why a tough question from Fox News correspondent James Rosen was missing from a Dec. 2, 2013, press briefing, a spokeswoman attributed the matter to a “glitch.” “There was a glitch in the State Department video,” said State’s Elizabeth Trudeau at a briefing in mid-May.
A different story issued today from the State Department’s podium. Asked about the situation, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs John Kirby said that an internal probe into the matter had revealed that a “specific request was made to excise” the video.
Given the circumstances of the disappearance, that is not a shock.
To review the facts: In February 2013, Rosen posed a prescient question to then-State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland: Was the U.S. government engaged in “secret, bilateral” discussions with Iran? No, came the response from Nuland. By December of that year, rumors surfaced that such Iran-United States talks had indeed been ongoing. . . .
After Samuels’s story kicked up a Washington mediastorm, Rosen asked a colleague to check for the video of Psaki answering his question about diplomatic mendacity. The colleague came back with an eerie response: The exchange was gone from the videotape, replaced by a flash of white light. The gap was evident not only on the State Department website, but also on its YouTube page. State Department officials, in a series of briefings, struggled to explain the matter.
Let me suggest again a simple way of dealing with runarounds and disappearing records; when it can’t be determined who is responsible, the responsibility becomes the direct, personal responsibility of the person in charge. It does not disappear into a fog of “duh!”