Mr President, answer Matthew Lee of the AP: ‘Why is it beneath the United States to come out and say something about this practitioner of nonviolence?’

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Please just watch this. If you don’t do anything else today, watch this. Promise me. Then send it to your friends. Words escape me this is so brilliant. It breaks my heart with moral urgency and sorrow. Awake America. Matthew Lee of the Associated Press stands up for days on end for imprisoned Palestinian civil disobedience leader Abdallah Abu Rahmah, at the State Department. 

This is better than David Gregory going after Tony Snow, better than Michael Wolff’s fabulous meltdown in Qatar. Because there is no selfishness in Lee’s questions, there is only charity and human concern, and career risk too.

Crowley: “I haven’t yet got a satisfactory answer.” Lee: “What does that mean? It was too informative?”.. A day or so later. “I’ve been asking for several days now…” Other members of the Quartet have spoken out, Lee says. Later: “One more time.. to shake something loose from you.. what does that mean to monitor closely… [angrily at last] you monitor the weather in Beijing closely. Why is it beneath the United States to come out and say something about this person who is a practitioner of nonviolence?” When will the networks give this man the oxygen of attention that he needs.

Something else important. You might think from watching Crowley’s stumbling responses, asking for days to figure out an answer, that this was the first time State Dep’t folks were asked about Abdallah.


From Code Pink, Rob Mosrie of the US Campaign to End the Occupation, and Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace. Please note the date:

October 26 – Representatives from four US human rights groups met with State Department officials on Friday, October 22nd, and delivered a letter addressed to Secretary of State Clinton signed by more than 5,000 individuals calling for the US government to demand that Israel free Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a leading Palestinian nonviolent protest organizer.
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