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White House Responds to Report of UN Investigation of Israel

3:09 PM, Jun 11, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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The White House has responded, on background, to this report by Bill Kristol:

A White House official said the administration continues to support "an Israeli-led investigation into the flotilla incident that is prompt, credible, impartial, and transparent."

"We are open to different ways of ensuring the credibility of this Israeli-led investigation, including international participation, and have been in intensive talks with our Israeli partners in the past few days on how to move forward," said the official. "We know of no resolution that will be debated at the UN on the flotilla investigation next week." [emphasis added]

That doesn't seem like much of a denial at all.  "The response is telling," Jen Rubin writes:

it lets on that, once again, some “compromise” is under consideration. Moreover, it only denies that the UN will not debate the resolution “next week.”

What is missing is any determination to rule out an international investigation. Indeed, it advances the notion that an Israeli investigation would not be “credible.” No mention is made of, and there seems to be no interest in, investigating Turkey or the terrorists.

A simple denial would look something like this: "The United States will oppose any UN investigation into Israel."

But the White House didn't say that. It couldn't even muster an official response on the record. Politico originally included a statement from White House spokesman (and friend of THE WEEKLY STANDARD) Tommy Vietor—"We have no idea what Bill Kristol is talking about, and would surmise that neither does he"—but that quote has since vanished from the blog (it can be seen here).

Maybe Tommy had to ask for his quote to be deleted because it was a tad snarky—given that the administration probably is going to end up supporting (or at least yielding to), and cooperating with, and pressuring Israel to cooperate with, a UN investigation. 

He's also probably on a tight leash after this picture zipped around the Internet this week (for the record, I fully support Vietor's right to drink beer at a bar—and even play beer pong—though he really should keep his shirt on at public establishments, especially on a Sunday afternoon).

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