The State Department’s ‘Twilight Zone’

The gap between reality and what the U.S. government says is reality has widened into a chasm with the mainstream U.S. news media usually nodding at whatever absurdity is presented, but the AP’s Matthew Lee is one of the few reporters who challenges the State Department’s “Twilight Zone,” as William Blum notes.

By William Blum

“You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop the Twilight Zone.” (American Television series, 1959-1965)

U.S. State Department Daily Press Briefing, Feb. 13, 2015. Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, questioned by Matthew Lee of The Associated Press.

Rod Serling, host of the iconic television series, "The Twilight Zone."

Rod Serling, host of the iconic television series, “The Twilight Zone.”

Lee: President Maduro [of Venezuela] last night went on the air and said that they had arrested multiple people who were allegedly behind a coup that was backed by the United States. What is your response?

Psaki: These latest accusations, like all previous such accusations, are ludicrous. As a matter of longstanding policy, the United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means. Political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal. We have seen many times that the Venezuelan Government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela. These efforts reflect a lack of seriousness on the part of the Venezuelan Government to deal with the grave situation it faces.

Lee: Sorry. The U.S. has whoa, whoa, whoa the U.S. has a longstanding practice of not promoting What did you say? How longstanding is that? I would in particular in South and Latin America, that is not a longstanding practice.

Psaki: Well, my point here, Matt, without getting into history

Lee: Not in this case.

Psaki:  is that we do not support, we have no involvement with, and these are ludicrous accusations.

Lee: In this specific case.

Psaki: Correct.

Lee: But if you go back not that long ago, during your lifetime, even (laughter)

Psaki: The last 21 years. (Laughter.)

Lee: Well done. Touché. But I mean, does “longstanding” mean 10 years in this case? I mean, what is

Psaki: Matt, my intention was to speak to the specific reports.

Lee: I understand, but you said it’s a longstanding US practice, and I’m not so sure it depends on what your definition of “longstanding” is.

Psaki: We will okay.

Lee: Recently in Kyiv, whatever we say about Ukraine, whatever, the change of government at the beginning of last year was unconstitutional, and you supported it. The constitution was

Psaki: That is also ludicrous, I would say.

Lee:  not observed.

Psaki: That is not accurate, nor is it with the history of the facts that happened at the time.

Lee: The history of the facts. How was it constitutional?

Psaki: Well, I don’t think I need to go through the history here, but since you gave me the opportunity – as you know, the former leader of Ukraine left of his own accord.

Leaving the Twilight Zone: The former Ukrainian leader ran for his life from those who had staged the coup, including a mob of vicious U.S.-supported neo-Nazis.

If you know how to contact Ms. Psaki, tell her to have a look at my list of more than 50 governments the United States has attempted to overthrow since the end of the Second World War. None of the attempts were democratic, constitutional, peaceful, or legal; well, a few were non-violent.

William Blum is an author, historian, and renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, among others. [This article originally appeared at the Anti-Empire Report,  http://williamblum.org/ .]

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7 comments for “The State Department’s ‘Twilight Zone’

  1. Tom Welsh
    February 24, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Well, Ambrose Bierce remarked that war was God’s way of teaching Americans geography. Maybe they could use a few refresher courses in history as well! (And maybe a few complimentary copies of “Maverick Marine” and “The Brothers” wouldn’t hurt).

  2. Bobby
    February 24, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Normally I’d say such an obvious lie should result in immediate job termination, but this would decimate pretty much the entire State Dept and all government spokespeople. Come to think of it that might not be a bad idea after all.

  3. Bill
    February 24, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    I certainly hope that Matthew Lee doesn’t drive a hackable BMW.

  4. worldPeaceWithoutHipocrisy
    February 24, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    I think what Psaki meant is that he ran for his life on his own accord. Technically she is correct.

  5. Rich
    February 24, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    Your list left off several of the Gladio operations in Europe (you included the one in France). Italy was especially notable when CIA operatives kidnapped and killed Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978 and blamed it on the Red Brigades.

  6. dannyc
    February 25, 2015 at 2:01 am

    The news source of longstanding at State is Brian Williams and NBC.

  7. Hersch
    February 26, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Ms. Psaki does some sort of Q&A on Twitter:

    #AskJen Psaki: @StateDeptSpox Answers Your Questions on Twitter – See more at: http://blogs.state.gov/stories/2015/02/13/askjen-psaki-statedeptspox-answers-your-questions-twitter#comment-29813

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