State Department affirms Israel’s impunity– abandoning ambassador who said Israeli investigation of Corrie killing was unsatisfactory

A new low point in the history of American protection for Israeli impunity: State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland yesterday refused to criticize the Israeli court decision saying there was nothing wrong with an Israeli army tank crushing an American protester to death while she was trying to protect children in a Gaza house in 2003. 

A reporter asked Nuland specifically about the statement ascribed to American ambassador Dan Shapiro:

Israel’s investigation into the death of American activist Rachel Corrie was not satisfactory, and wasn’t as thorough, credible or transparent as it should have been, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told the Corrie family this week.

And Nuland seeks to retract this statement, implying that it was simply a form of “private” “support,” like grief therapy:

QUESTION: An Israeli court today ruled against the family of Rachel Corrie, the American who was killed by a bulldozer in Gaza. Is the U.S. satisfied with that investigation, and is the U.S. disappointed that the Israeli military hasn’t taken responsibility for her death?

MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, we reiterate our condolences to the Corrie family on the tragic death of their daughter, Rachel. As you know, we’ve worked with the family all through this process, and we will continue to provide consular support. We understand the family’s disappointment with the outcome of the trial. Under Israeli law, the family has the right to appeal the verdict, and we’ve seen reports that they are considering doing that. So we will see how this proceeds going forward.

Please.

QUESTION: Can I follow up on that?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: There are reports that her family at a press conference said that Ambassador Dan Shapiro told them that he found the – he was finding the investigation not to be transparent. Do you have any comment on that?

MS. NULAND: I was asked this question earlier this week. Beyond saying that we have met with the family regularly, that we have provided consular support, I’m not going to get into our private discussions with the family.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

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  1. just says:

    It’s surreal in the extreme. Victoria wife of neocon and Romney advisor Kagan.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Have to wonder how the Corrie family will respond to Nuland’s claim “we have met with the family regularly, that we have provided consular report”

    Have the Corrie’s ever made statements about the US state dept? I thought they had said something about not feeling supported or satisfied with the U.S. state dept

    Phil Amy Goodman talked with the Corrie family yesterday. Interview is heartbreaking

  3. Les says:

    Integrity is not what is expected of any State Department mouthpiece, no exceptions! That’s how they earn their keep.

  4. seanmcbride says:

    Victoria Nuland is a member of the same group of Israel-centric neoconservatives who engineered the Iraq War in the Bush 43 administration. What is she doing in the Obama administration? (She seems to be yet another Israeli op inside the US government.)

    # Victoria Nuland
    adviser to=Dick Cheney
    affiliation=Brown University
    affiliation=Bush 43 administration
    affiliation=CFR (Council on Foreign Relations)
    affiliation=Choate Rosemary Hall
    affiliation=National War College
    affiliation=Obama administration
    affiliation=US State Department
    brother-in-law=Fred Kagan
    category=born 1961
    category=Jewish neoconservative
    category=neoconservative
    category=US ambassador to NATO
    category=US State Department spokesperson
    ethnicity=Jewish
    father-in-law=Donald Kagan
    father=Sherwin B. Nuland
    husband=Robert Kagan
    Mitt Romney link=Robert Kagan
    PNAC link=Robert Kagan
    publisher=Washington Post
    religion=Jewish
    school=Brown University
    school=Choate Rosemary Hall

    • ChasMarks says:

      most interesting thing about Nuland is that she was US ambassador to NATO in Sept 2001. Bobbie got most of his material for a book or two while living with the little lady in Brussels, on the government’s dime.

      but beyond that catty bit of gossip — when NATO was created, a number of nations resisted joining because they did not want to have to come to the defense of ‘those fighting Europeans’ again. That’s what the pact required: if a NATO country is attacked, NATO allies must come to its aid.

      It turns out in all its years, NATO had NEVER been called to aid an European ally. The first time the “come to the aid” clause was acted upon was on the evening of Sept 11, 2001, when, unbidden, NATO sent warplanes to overfly Washington DC, and a week later, NATO planes ‘protected’ the skies over California (US has huge nuclear facilities in CA environs).

      Nuland would have been the one who requested/dispatched those planes.

    • Kathleen says:

      Real Obama change with her appointment

    • hophmi says:

      ” Israeli court decision saying there was nothing wrong with an Israeli army tank crushing an American protester to death while she was trying to protect children in a Gaza house in 2003. ”

      No, Phil, the court said that she was not run over purposely. This was a civil case, and civil cases are about determining who was responsible. No one said it’s OK to crush American activists with bulldozers. Claiming that they did say that is a lie, and a transparent one, borne of your hatred for the average Israeli.

      If you operated less on hate and more on facts, you would accomplish more with your site.

      • American says:

        @ hoppie

        Suppose the US ‘accidentally’ killed Israelis?
        Suppose we ‘accidentally’ torpedoed one of their subs or shot down several of their planes as they buzzed around the ME.
        Suppose the police accidentally shot some pro Israel Jewish protesters in the US.
        Suppose this happened repeatedly.

        • hophmi says:

          “Suppose the US ‘accidentally’ killed Israelis?”

          If it was an accident, I’m sure Israel would understand, and I’m sure if the Israeli citizen was in Iraq protesting US military action by chaining herself to a house in Fallujah, the US Army would not reveal every detail of the investigation.

          “Suppose we ‘accidentally’ torpedoed one of their subs or shot down several of their planes as they buzzed around the ME.”

          Rachel Corrie was run over by a bulldozer.

          “Suppose the police accidentally shot some pro Israel Jewish protesters in the US.”

          Yeah, suppose. But it wouldn’t happen, would it? Because pro-Israel supporters are not trying to impede the work of the US military in theater. Rachel Corrie was trying to keep the IDF from shutting down Palestinian smuggling tunnels. Gonna sit there today and continue to deny that the tunnel don’t exist?

      • eljay says:

        >> … the court said that she was not run over purposely.

        That’s correct.

        >> … borne of your hatred for the average Israeli. If you operated less on hate …

        And, well, that’s just stupid. Kind of funny, though, coming from a Zio-supremacist.

        • hophmi says:

          “And, well, that’s just stupid. Kind of funny, though, coming from a Zio-supremacist.”

          LOL. I, unlike you and Phil, do not assume that everything Palestinians do is done with bad intentions. You assume that if an Israeli does it, there is a nefarious purpose.

        • eljay says:

          >> LOL. I, unlike you and Phil, do not assume that everything Palestinians do is done with bad intentions.

          LOL. I wasn’t aware that Phil and I assume that everything Palestinians do is done with bad intentions.

          >> You assume that if an Israeli does it, there is a nefarious purpose.

          No, only if a Zio-supremacist does it.

  5. pipistro says:

    This sounds like a warning to all in the USA. The Government is simply willing to undersell a US citizen’s life to please the Israel lobby. By the way, there were plenty of ways to avoid such a repugnant declaration. But snakes don’t need diplomacy.

    • MLE says:

      The only time the US really intervenes on behalf of a citizen is when they’re trying to prove a point with a state with which we have poor relations. Most of the time, they come and visit you and say, we’ll give you a list of attorneys who speak English.

      There’s a short list of countries where you can get arrested and they’ll make a huge deal about it and you can bet we don’t like their government.

      • Theo says:

        Or, like in N.Korea a few years ago, where american journalists, who really worked for an intelligence outfit and illegally crossed a border, must be freed before they start talking. In that case an ex-president will come to bail you out, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of taxpayers´ dollars.

  6. Walid says:

    “… that we have provided consular support, I’m not going to get into our private discussions with the family.” (Nuland)

    Same State Dept BS double-talk when asked about Munib Masri Jr, another American permanently handicapped when shot in the back by an Israeli sniper as he walked away from the fence on Nakba Day 2011 at Maroun al-Rass. Same BS when another American, Furkan Dogan was murdered by Israeli soldiers on the Marmara. So many Americans getting killed or maimed by Israeli soldiers and all these ever get from the US government because the criminals involved are Israelis is “consular support”.

    • American says:

      ” I’m not going to get into our private discussions with the family”…Nuland

      My gut reaction to that is the same as every time I hear any statement like it….WHO DO THESE PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE?
      That they believe Americans don’t have a right to know everything our government says and does?

      • MLE says:

        Well really they can’t unless the families say that they have permission to speak to the press about their case. Usually they’ll mention relieved or thrilled when they’re able to accomplish something but refusing to give any hint about what the reaction of the family probably means the reaction was poor.

        • American says:

          “MLE says:

          Well really they can’t unless the families say that they have permission to speak to the press about their case””

          Not true. The State Department can state the US position/reaction to the verdict.
          The DOS is not the legal representative of the Corrie’s case against Israel.

  7. radkelt says:

    I believe the late Tom Lantos, D-California, was responsible for quashing
    a bill to investigate Corrie’s death.

  8. American says:

    I know someone posted a link to Greenwald’s column on this.
    But this is the larger point he made and goes beyond the Rachel example to the real big picture:

    ”the perversion of the justice system and rule of law as nothing more than a weapon to legitimize even the most destructive state actions, while severely punishing those who oppose them. The US and its loyal thinktank scholars have long demanded that other states maintain an “independent judiciary” as one of the key ingredients for living under the rule of law.
    But these latest episodes demonstrate, yet again, that the judiciary in the US, along with the one in its prime Middle East client state, is anything but “independent”: its primary function is to shield government actors from accountability.”

    I just want to know what anyone thinks can be done about it inside the democratic process. ‘Our law’ is now something that protects government and politicians from ‘the law’. They changed the Laws, made it over to put themselved above any laws.
    How are we going to take it back? That’s the billion dollar quesiton.

    • MLE says:

      It’s tough because a political opponent can use an officials lackluster attempt to get an American saved as being soft on foreign policy. No politician wants to be confronted by images of crying and concerned parents. Or be accused of having an “Iranian hostage crisis” on their hands. Unfortunately for the Corrie’s situation, there is a very vocal group of Americans who blame the whole thing on Rachel, and the officials just end up shrugging their shoulders and saying what can you do. I think the child sex tourists in East Asia are the only ones who get less public sympathy than Rachel Corrie-

      Also, a lot of Americans really do believe that the government can just come in and rescue them whenever they get in trouble. Like Midnight Express or that series on National Geographic Channel, Locked Up Abroad, where Westerners discover that when it comes to breaking the law, they don’t get special treatment by the authorities. Americans who don’t travel outside the country also tend to hide their jealousy by blaming the person for getting themselves in that situation or traveling to somewhere so unsafe (why bother when Epcot center has that exhibit with all the different countries)

    • Sumud says:

      R e v o l u t i o n

      They must learn again that they serve us, not the other way around.

      I’m still gobsmacked that Obama has granted himself the right to kill any American citizen without a shred of judicial oversight (and practically no-one has protested). I’m not even American and his action offends me.

      • American says:

        They must learn again that they serve us, not the other way around.”…….Sumud

        Yes they must. Somewhere along the way politicians started to think they were put in office to ‘rule’ instead of represent.
        It infuriates me to listen to them campaigning on how they are’ going to act on what their beliefs are”. They aren’t there to act on their own personal beliefs, they are there to represent the majority and protect the minority.
        Throw them all out.

  9. RE: “A new low point in the history of American protection for Israeli impunity: State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland yesterday refused to criticize the Israeli court decision . . . ” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: ‘Tis the (campaign) season! ! !

  10. Theo says:

    What do you expect from our State Department, it is totally in the hand of the zionist mafia.
    Example: go into the Middle East Section responsible for Israel, Lebanon, Syria and all other states in the area, and what do you see: not a single arab, but all jewish employees, israeli flags and pictures all over. I would call it a detached section of the israeli government.

  11. Kathleen says:

    Wonder how often Nuland speaks with Netanyahu or other Israeli officials? When you think about Obama appointing Geithner, Bernanke, Summers old guard then Dennis Ross, Nuland others who were not going to let anything at all change..you really wonder why Obama chose to play it this way

    • American says:

      “you really wonder why Obama chose to play it this way”…kathleen

      Money honey. You hire and appoint who your big donors they tell you to, especially when the money is from zionist or ‘organized Jewish groups’. Take a look for instance at how Ambassdors get appointed these days. One of Obama’s biggest donors was a woman from Calif, with no experience in anything other than raising political money, who was appointed Amb to some country and was so bad and incompetent the embassy staff threatened to all resign if she wasn’t removed, …she finally resigned herself.
      I’ll see if I can find the news article on it later.

      • American says:

        Here it is.

        Democratic Financier Cynthia Stroum Flames Out After Brief Stint as Barack Obama’s Ambassador to Luxembourg
        By Michael Beckel on February 4, 2011 4:14 PM

        Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on favoritesShare on print|More Sharing ServicesMore
        A new report from the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of State slams the tenure of U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg Cynthia Stroum, one of the top fund-raisers for President Barack Obama and a prolific Democratic donor. Obama appointed her to the post in 2009.

        “Most employees describe the Ambassador as aggressive, bullying, hostile and intimidating, which has resulted in an extremely difficult, unhappy and uncertain work environment,” the new report states (see a .pdf file of the 66-page report here).

        Some staffers even requested transfers to U.S. embassies in Iraq and Afghanistan to get away from Stroum’s “confrontational management style.”

        Stroum, pictured right, is a philanthropist and venture capitalist from Seattle. She actually resigned from the post of ambassador in mid-January, ahead of the report’s release.

        She stands among the most bountiful bundlers to be rewarded with ambassadorships, a spoil commonly doled out by Democratic and Republican presidents alike.

        According to research by the Center for Responsive Politics, Stroum bundled at least $800,000 for Obama’s committees, including a minimum of $500,000 to assist his 2008 presidential campaign and $300,000 to help pay for his inauguration in January 2009.

        No other bundler-turned-ambassador has funneled more money Obama’s way, the Center finds, although bundling disclosure practices paint only a partial picture.

        Presidential candidates are not required to disclose their bundlers’ names or the amounts bundled. The information that was voluntarily disclosed in 2008 was often only in broad ranges, such as “more than $500,000″ — the category used to describe Stroum’s activities, as well as about four dozen other people’s.

        Like Stroum, Nicole Avant, who is serving as the U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas, also bundled a minimum of $800,000 to Obama’s committees, as OpenSecrets Blog previously reported. And so did Charles Rivkin, who is now the U.S. ambassador to France and Monaco.

        As OpenSecrets Blog reported at the time of her nomination, Stroum, along with her daughter, has also directly contributed about $165,000 to federal parties, candidates and committees since 1989.

        Of this sum, 97 percent has gone to Democrats, including $4,600 to Obama and $1,000 to now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Stroum also personally donated $10,000 to Obama’s inauguration committee.

        Here is a table of her other top beneficiaries:

        Recipient Amount
        Democratic National Committee $60,500
        Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee $19,300
        Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) $11,725
        Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) $10,547
        Democratic Party of Washington $10,500
        Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) $9,500
        Barack Obama $5,600
        EMILY’s List $5,000
        ex-Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) $4,300
        Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) $4,250

        Stroum was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Nov. 20, 2009, by a voice vote — not an uncommon practice for confirming appointees.

        This is the second time in a week that an Obama-appointed ambassador made national headlines.

        Read more about Obama’s other ambassador picks who have money-in-politics’ pasts as part of our ongoing coverage here.

        link to opensecrets.org

        OpenSecrets Reports: Ambassadors
        U.S. presidents have long rewarded big campaign donors, fund-raisers and other loyalists with ambassadorships, and Democratic President Barack Obama seems to be no exception. As Obama appoints new ambassadors, OpenSecrets Blog is providing analysis of the nominees’ contributions and fund-raising efforts.

        Sep 2011
        Moody Downgrades, BP Returns and More in Capital Eye Opener: Sept. 23

        Barack Obama To Replace Bundler-Turned-Ambassador in Sweden
        Feb 2011

        Democratic Financier Cynthia Stroum Flames Out After Brief Stint as Barack Obama’s Ambassador to Luxembourg

        Jon Huntsman’s Political Quest, Koch Industries’ Donors Conference and More in Capital Eye Opener: February 1
        Apr 2010

        Top White House Ethics Lawyer Norman Eisen Reportedly Destined for Prague Ambassador Post
        Nov 2009

        Two Dozen Bankrollers-Turned-Ambassadors Bundled At Least $10 Million For Barack Obama

        Capital Eye Opener: Tuesday, November 17
        Oct 2009

        Patton Boggs Partner Anne Slaughter Andrew, Wife of Former DNC Chair, Named Ambassador to Costa Rica

        Barack Obama Nominates Politically Connected Ambassadors for Hungary, New Zealand
        Sep 2009

        Major Obama Campaign Bundlers Nominated for Ambassador Posts in Australia, Luxembourg
        Aug 2009

        Obama Elevates Three More Bundlers & Big Donors in Latest Ambassador Picks
        Jul 2009

        Barack Obama’s Obscure Ambassadors Bring Experience, Campaign Cash

        Philip Murphy, New Ambassador to Germany, Gave Big to Democrats

        Another Batch of Obama’s Ambassador Picks Have Money-in-Politics Ties
        Jun 2009

        Two More Big Donors & Bundlers Nominated for Ambassador Posts

        Obama’s New Ambassador Nominees Gave Big — and Bundled Bigger

        Three More Bundlers Among Obama’s Ambassador Picks
        May 2009

        Big Donors & Bundlers Among Obama’s Ambassador Picks
        OpenSecrets BlogReports

        • seanmcbride says:

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          “Stroum comes from a wealthy, well-known philanthropic Jewish family in Seattle.”

          Elsewhere she is described as “aggressive, bullying, hostile and intimidating” — Pamela Geller comes to mind. :)

          She has also served on the board of directors of the Shoah Foundation and Birthright Israel (one of Sheldon Adelson’s favorite outfits). A “liberal Zionist”? Or just an upfront Likud Zionist? How involved is she in Israeli politics? Apparently another “node” in the Israel lobby’s vast network.

        • hophmi says:

          “Apparently another “node” in the Israel lobby’s vast network.”

          Yes Sean, they’re all out to get you! Just like the cockroaches in the Borat movie.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “Wonder how often Nuland speaks with Netanyahu or other Israeli officials? ”

      I assume that Netanyahoo sticks his hand in a hole in her back and moves her jaws from the inside, like a Muppet. Because every time she opens her mouth, I swear is that fat, balding son of a bitch that’s talking.

      • Blake says:

        Lol. You can almost see the strings attached at the corners of these peoples’ mouths when they speak.

        Reminded me of this: Sarkozy: ‘Netanyahu, I can’t stand him. He’s a liar…’ Obama: ‘You’re sick of him, but I have to deal with him every day…’