US: YOU HAVE THE FREEDOM TO SHUT THE HELL UP

 

jen psaki state department briefing

I just saw something from the State Department that even tops Joan Walsh’s claim that the Party of No Brains wants to repeal the 20th century—how about the US repealing 200+ years of United States constitutional progress?

The Obama Administration recently tongue-lashed Russia for allowing fugitive NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden to spread propaganda through meetings he’s held with human rights organizations at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

In other words, the US doesn’t want Snowden to exercise his right to free speech!

What’s equally fantastic is the way poor State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki tried to dodge questions during a State Department daily press briefing last week about this curious position taken by the self-proclaimed global vanguard of individual liberties:

QUESTION: So I’m sorry. You’re disappointed that [Russia] let someone into their own airport?

 

MS. PSAKI: Well –

 

QUESTION: I don’t get it.

 

MS. PSAKI: Well, that they facilitated this event, of course.

 

QUESTION: Well, why?

 

MS. PSAKI: Because this gave a forum for –

 

QUESTION: You don’t think that he should have a forum? Has he – he’s forfeited his right to freedom of speech as well?

 

MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, Mr. Snowden –

 

QUESTION: All right.

 

MS. PSAKI: — as we’ve talked about – let me just state this –

 

QUESTION: Okay.

 

MS. PSAKI: — because I think it’s important. He’s not a whistleblower. He’s not a human rights activist. He’s wanted in a series of serious criminal charges brought in the eastern district of Virginia and the United States.

 

QUESTION: Okay. I’m sorry. But I didn’t realize people who were wanted on charges forfeited their right to speech – to free speech. I also didn’t realize that people who were not whistleblowers or not human rights activists, as you say he is not, that they forfeited their rights to speak, so I don’t understand why you’re disappointed with the Russians…

(Laughing) The press briefing went downhill from there. Either the State Department needs a more mentally agile representative, or Psaki needs a bigger loose-leaf notebook when she hits the podium. Needless to say the US is walking a fine line while avoiding constitutional amnesia or not causing diplomatic collateral damage beyond repair.

Watch the video here. Almost all of the first half of the briefing was spent on Snowden. And Psaki’s notes couldn’t help her one bit. A transcript is also available on the page.

Props to Facebook friend Rudi Z. for putting the video on my radar…

song currently stuck in my head: “jade” – hans zimmer

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