Friday, November 21, 2008

Daily Press Briefing of November 18, 2008

A really pathetic State department press briefing demonstrating how this administration is completely cross-eyed when it comes to knowing the difference between credible engagement versus appeasement.

Read on and thank God these Bush bums are being thrown out in few weeks otherwise Osama Bin Laden will be their next guest.

As these bums get evicted from their offices, watch and see how this US-Gaddafi relationship will start to crumble like a house of cards.


Middle East Digest -- November 18, 2008
Bureau of Public Affairs
November 18, 2008

The Middle East Digest provides text and audio from the Daily Press
Briefing. For the full briefings, please visit daily press briefings.

From the Daily Press Briefing of November 18, 2008

View Video

QUESTION: Has the Secretary met the – Qadhafi’s son yet, Seif

MR. MCCORMACK: No, she has not. David Welch has met with him. He is here on
a private visit. And people have inquired as to, well, what are they going to
talk about. Well, he’s a person that has an interest in Libya’s future and
where Libya is headed. He’s going to have a variety of meetings here. You can
check with the Libyan Embassy. I believe that ranges from – all the way from
meeting with members of Congress to NGOs to Executive Branch officials.

QUESTION: But you have no plans for the Secretary to meet –

MR. MCCORMACK: No, I expect she probably will.


MR. MCCORMACK: She will. I’ll – again, I’ll check. You know, I didn’t look
at her schedule that closely, but you know, she will – it’s this week. It’s
this week. It’s either today or tomorrow. We’ll let you know exactly when it’
s –

QUESTION: When it’s happened?


QUESTION: And also, if you could ask specifically the question of whether
she raises human rights concerns with him.

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, it’s a private meeting. I’ll see what she wants to say
about the meeting afterwards. She has raised human rights issues when she
visited Tripoli. We as a government have and continue – and will continue to
raise human rights issues.

Look, the relationship with Libya has come a long way. But it has a long,
long way to go, specifically in terms of freedoms, universally recognized
freedoms in Libya. We’re going to continue to work on those issues. And I know it’
s come up. Various individuals said, well, you know, you’ve given up a lot by
having the Secretary visit Libya, you’ve given up a lot in terms of
establishing normal diplomatic relations with Libya. Well, Libya has done much of
what we have asked it to do to change the relationship. And in making these
kinds of decisions, you have to say, can you effect change more by having a more
normal relationship and thereby, you know, having a more reasonable
expectation of success in terms of human rights, in terms of
having those universal freedoms in Libya or not. The decision that was made
by the President and the Secretary in – you know, in part, that you can
effect change more by having that more normal relationship. And Libya has
demonstrated through its actions that it is willing to take tough steps in order to
change the relationship.

QUESTION: Sean, just a –


QUESTION: You know, since she’s already met with the leader himself and it’
s not really that much of a surprise that she would see his son, but surely
you have a better reason for her meeting him than he’s a person who has
interests – who has an interest in Libya’s future.


QUESTION: Presumably, all Libyans have an interest and she’s not meeting
with every (inaudible) –

MR. MCCORMACK: Sure. Look, of course, well –

QUESTION: Why? (Inaudible) more specifically, you know –

MR. MCCORMACK: He’s here – look, he’s here on a private visit. You can talk
to –

QUESTION: And can you tell us what –

MR. MCCORMACK: Hold on, hold on.

QUESTION: He doesn’t have any official position, so –

MR. MCCORMACK: No, he does not.

QUESTION: Right. So –

MR. MCCORMACK: No, he does not.

QUESTION: But surely, there’s got to be a – there’s got to be another
reason than he’s certainly a person who has an interest in Libya.

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, of course. Of course. He is the leader of Libya’s son.
Now, he does not hold an official government position. He’s head, I think, of
the Qadhafi Foundation. So one would reasonably expect, given just those two
facts, that he will have some influence over the course that Libya as a state
pursues over the – you know, over the next period of time.

QUESTION: So always an open door.

MR. MCCORMACK: There we are.

QUESTION: Speaking of Libya.


QUESTION: Did the Libyan Government pay the $1.5 billion into the fund –
compensation fund?

MR. MCCORMACK: Yeah. I think it’s all there.

QUESTION: Halloween?


MR. MCCORMACK: What’s that?

QUESTION: It happened on Halloween, or that’s when you announced it.

MR. MCCORMACK: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

QUESTION: That’s not what you’re asking.

QUESTION: Oh, oh, excuse me. You’re right. You’re right.

QUESTION: I’m asking whether the Libyan Government paid the $1.5 billion.

MR. MCCORMACK: The money is all there.


QUESTION: You raised the issue – you said that, you know, there’s still a
long way to go with Libya in terms of human rights and other issues.


QUESTION: What about the case of Fathi al-Jahmi that the Secretary raised
when she was there?

MR. MCCORMACK: We’re going to keep raising it. We’re going to keep raising
it and try to affect the situation. It’s a – it’s one that is – certainly
has her attention. She’s going to keep working on it.

QUESTION: But how far has she got in terms of – I mean, he’s still being
held in a hospital room. Apparently, the conditions in the hospital room are
quite dire, according to his brother. You know, cockroaches on his bed, he’s
not allowed out.


QUESTION: It’s apparently a very difficult situation.


QUESTION: Do you have an update on the conditions he’s being held in, for
example? Have you been inquiring?

MR. MCCORMACK: I don’t. I don’t, Sue. And you know, there are lots of
people around the world who are activists for all the right things, for greater
freedoms for people in their countries, who are – who suffer terrible
injustices. And the United States is a beacon for those people, and we very often give
voice to those people when they don’t have a voice. And we have a strong
record going back over administrations, Republican and Democrat, for being that
voice. And we’re going to continue being that voice for those people, and to
work not only to improve their personal conditions, but also to further the
causes that they are sacrificing for.

QUESTION: But did David Welch raise that particular case, for example, and

MR. MCCORMACK: I didn’t talk to him about the contents of the meeting.

QUESTION: Could you ask that, please?

MR. MCCORMACK: Sure, sure.

QUESTION: Where do things stand on Mr. Cretz’s nomination to be ambassador
to Libya and on the funding for purchasing the land?

MR. MCCORMACK: Still pending up on the Hill. The Senate is in session for a
brief period of time this week. They have a lot of business that they’re
dealing with. And, obviously, what they deal with is their prerogative. We
certainly hope that we can move Mr. Cretz’s nomination and associated issues
forward. We’ll see.

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