Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Journalist Openly Mocks State Department Spokesperson

As she deserves:

QUESTION: This issue has prompted another criticism or more remarks from the Israeli Prime Minister today, and he's specifically asking you and others in the international community: What should we be waiting for? You want us to hold off on doing anything, and we need to know what we should be – how long we should wait?

How do you alleviate those Israeli concerns without some sort of markers in the sand that you won't allow Iran to cross?

MS. NULAND: Well, first, I'm not going to comment today on Prime Minister Netanyahu's statements. But as we said yesterday, we are in continuous consultation with the Government of Israel, with our allies there, on what we are seeing in Iran, on the path forward, and we will continue to do so. But we don't think it's particularly useful to have those conversations in public. It doesn't help the process and it doesn't help the integrity of the diplomacy.

QUESTION: Why is this issue something that needs to be handled privately? With other issues, I mean U.S.-Israeli issues such as settlements you'll make a comment from the podium that's sometimes critical of the Israeli Government's behavior. Why with this one must it be handled privately and not subject to public discussion?

MS. NULAND: Again, to be standing here at the podium parsing the details of the Iranian nuclear program is not helpful to getting where we want to go. But as we have said, we have had incredibly intense, high-level consultations with the Israelis all through this. Certainly, the diplomacy that you saw over the summer with Secretary Clinton there, with Secretary Panetta there, with National Security Advisor Donilon there, speaks to our commitment to this alliance, our commitment to Israel's security, our commitment to working together to ensure, as the President has said, that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon. And that commitment remains absolutely firm.

QUESTION: Could you just clarify why you think – I mean, you mentioned yesterday that it's not necessarily helpful. Why are redlines problematic? What's the problem with issuing them?

MS. NULAND: I think I'm going to hold it today, Brad, at saying that it is not useful to do our diplomacy with Israel or with anybody else in public.


QUESTION: Hold on. More broadly, in that statement that you made just after I walked in here, and said it's not – you don't think it's helpful to do diplomacy with Israel or anyone else in public. What are you doing up here every day, then?

MS. NULAND: I'm explaining our national –

QUESTION: Does that mean that you –

MS. NULAND: I'm not doing diplomacy with you, Matt.

QUESTION: That's not –

MS. NULAND: I'm explaining our diplomacy.

QUESTION: Well, that's doing diplomacy.

MS. NULAND: Is it? Okay.

QUESTION: Yeah, it is.

MS. NULAND: So are you a diplomat now, Matt?

QUESTION: The idea of – no, God no. (Laughter). I'm incapable of

MS. NULAND: I think there was contempt dripping from his voice there.

QUESTION: -- of being that duplicitous.

MS. NULAND: Wow. Wow. Wow.

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