State Dept: We’re Not Consistent on Human Rights Violations in Middle East

John Glaser, July 07, 2012

Following news that Israel is refusing to cooperate with UN investigations into illegal settlement building in the West Bank, this illustrative exchange between State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland and AP reporter Matt Lee (via Mondoweiss)

VICTORIA NULAND:

Listen, before we leave Syria, I just want to take the opportunity, if you didn’t see it, to draw your attention to the Human Rights Watch report that was released today that identifies some 27 detention centers that Human Rights Watch says Syrian Government intelligence agencies have been using since the Assad crackdown on pro-democracy protestors. The report found that tens of thousands of Syrians are in detention by regime security and intelligence agencies and that the regime is carrying out inexplicable, horrific acts of torture, including – well, I’m not going to repeat them here, but I’ll leave it to you to read the report. And in many cases, the Human Rights Watch asserts that even children have been subject to torture by the Assad regime.

MATT LEE: Do you see that report as credible and solid, and you’re putting – you’re endorsing it? I mean, you’re saying —

MS. NULAND: We have no reason to believe that it is not credible. It’s based on eyewitness accounts, and they’re reporting from a broad cross-section of human rights figures inside Syria.

QUESTION: So the next time Human Rights Watch comes out with a report that’s critical of Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians, I’ll assume that you’re going to be saying the same thing, correct; that you think that the report is credible, it’s based on eyewitness accounts?

MS. NULAND: As —

QUESTION: And you’re not going to say that it’s politically motivated and should be dismissed?

MS. NULAND: Matt, as you have made clear again and again in this room, we are not always consistent.

QUESTION: So, in other words, anything that Human Rights Watch says that is critical of someone you don’t like, that’s okay; but once they criticize someone that you do like, then it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on?




50 Responses to “State Dept: We’re Not Consistent on Human Rights Violations in Middle East”

  1. Vicky speaks truth. Wow and go figure. "We are not consistent." Yeah and State is not especially rational either.

  2. Slam dunk of an Israel apologist, nice!

  3. Not to mention the fact that Syria is a rendition country for the CIA. Naturally, "Human Rights Watch" left this little tidbit out of their well-timed propaganda piece, which tells us nothing we didn't already know.

  4. Bravo to Matt Lee for asking the hard questions, instead of the little fluffy ones usually reserved for govt mouthpieces. The truth has become so rare that it is a delightful surprise nowadays when it comes pouring out.

  5. unfortunately, HRW is also not consistent.

  6. Not being aware of Ms. Nuland's politics…this strikes me more of her acknowledging that she is a tool of her employers and not necessarily an advocate of the policy. She is a "spokesperson" and not a policy maven. Have to give her credit for stating it publicly.

  7. How did anti war get accreditation ? Could whatreallyhappened get accreditation ? Could theuglytruth get accreditation ?

  8. Yeah, but Nuland's politics are no doubt neocon. You see, her husband is the eminent Israel-Firster Robert Kagan (of the infamous Kagan family of chickenhawk neocons).

    LewRockwell.com also has an item on reporter Matt Lee's questioning of Nuland: http://lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/115281
    Good man, Lee!

  9. Thanks..I actually remember knowing that – synapses just weren't firing in sequence yesterday.

  10. MATT LEE: Do you see that report as credible and solid, and you’re putting – you’re endorsing it? I mean, you’re saying –

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