On October 29th, the House Foreign Affairs Committee – Chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) – held a hearing on the Next Steps on Egypt Policy. The crux of the hearing had to do with how to deal with that country in light of all that’s happened since the “Arab Spring”. One of the witnesses at that hearing was Elizabeth (Beth) Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Near East Affairs with the State Department. Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) began his questioning of Jones by asking her to identify the group that has been attacking Coptic Christian churches.
Instead of identifying the attackers as what they are (Muslim Brotherhood members or sympathizers), Jones said they were “simply anti-Christian” (big h/t to Bridget Johnson with PJM). The refusal of Jones to identify these attackers is very conspicuous.
Though we were unable to locate video of this short exchange, here is the audio, introduced as EXHIBIT AK of our “Ironclad” Report:
Here is Jones’ written testimony.
If the name Elizabeth (Beth) Jones sounds familiar, it should. Back on May 8, 2013, during testimony in front of the House Oversight Committee by State Department whistleblower Gregory Hicks about the Benghazi attacks, an email by Jones was brought up by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC). We introduced the exchange between Gowdy and Hicks in our “Ironclad” Report as EXHIBIT E.
During that exchange, Gowdy read from an email Jones sent to “…near as I can tell, to almost everyone in the State Department”. Here is the relevant portion of the email:
“I spoke to the Libyan Ambassador… When he said his government suspected that former Gadhafi regime elements carried out the attacks, I told him that the group that conducted the attacks – Ansar al-Sharia – is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.”
Here is EXHIBT E:
The head of al-Qaeda is Ayman al-Zawahiri. His brother Mohammed al-Zawahiri is a prominent figure within the leadership of Ansar Al-Sharia. The first cousin of both men is Rifa’a El-Tahtawi, who was President Mohammed Mursi’s chief of staff.
Gowdy’s revelation during the very high profile testimony of Hicks implicated Jones in a bit of truth telling that was apparently detrimental to the Obama administration. Could it be that she went out of her way to avoid doing the same thing in a Congressional hearing?
That said, it’s quite disturbing that failing to identify the Muslim Brotherhood as the group responsible for attacks on Christians in Egypt, is considered noble by said administration.
Nonetheless, Jones is responsible for her own words, just like Xerxes’ messenger was (yes, it’s a metaphor you hypersensitive libs):