Video: State Department spokesman has trouble answering question about U.S. embassy’s authority to kill Anwar Al-Awlaki

It’s quite safe to say that State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland would much rather prefer giving a press conference at which AP reporter Matthew Lee’s chair was empty. Such a scenario was not to be on November 28th and the looks Nuland gives while dealing with Lee’s questions practically portray physical discomfort.

At issue…

About six months prior to Anwar al-Awlaki’s death by drone strike, the U.S. Embassy was instructed by the U.S. State Department to persuade al-Awlaki to visit the embassy in an attempt to revoke his passport. There’s a small problem with that; al-Awlaki was on the U.S. kill list at the time. Three questions immediately come to mind:

1.) Why would al-Awlaki honor the request to visit the embassy if he was on a kill list?
2.) Why would State be so interested in revoking his passport?
3.) Would the embassy have killed al-Awlaki if he showed up?

Catherine Herridge at Fox News, who obtained the cable sent to the embassy by State from Judicial Watch, wrote the following:

Al-Awlaki was killed in September 2011 in Yemen by a CIA-led U.S. drone strike. Pulling the passport would have had two effects – it would box al-Awlaki in, limiting his travel, and it would allow the administration to argue the CIA drone campaign targeted a foreign national, not an American citizen. Al-Awlaki was a dual Yemen-U.S. national.

Click here to see the cable.

With all that as a backdrop, check out Matt Lee’s interesting exchange with Nuland. In essence, Lee wants to know if al-Awlaki was invited to the U.S. embassy so he could be killed. Take note at the end of the clip when Nuland refers to Lee’s “premise” as “inappropriate” and not false.


h/t Hot Air


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