Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Biden administration officials to reporters demanding proof: Just trust us

US government officials Thursday twice deflected questions from reporters asking for evidence to support the claims, suggesting that reporters take the government’s word for it.

During a briefing on escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, State Department spokesman Ned Price referred to an intelligence report last month that said Russia was trying to create an excuse to invade Ukraine with its troops. Price said Thursday that the US has intelligence suggesting Russia was planning a “false flag” propaganda video to justify the invasion.

Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked: Where is the evidence?

In a brief rant, Price reiterated that Russia was planning a false flag operation in eastern Ukraine, citing a previous briefing where the plan was discussed.

“What evidence is there that the plan is — I mean, these are really crisis actors?” Lee asked. “It’s like Alex Jones territory that you’re getting into right now. What evidence do you have that in the process of making some kind of propaganda film?”

Price said his comments were “derived from information known to the US government”, prompting Lee again to demand proof from him.

“I need proof that the Russians are doing this,” Lee said.

Later, in a more than five-minute exchange, Price suggested that Lee’s questioning of the US government was playing into Russian hands.

Lee would be right to, as Price put it, “question the credibility” of a government that has been known to lie. For example, officials lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as a pretext for invading the country in 2003. And the US has a history of lying about civilian casualties, as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was reminded by a reporter on Thursday.

After the White House announced the assassination of a senior ISIS leader on Thursday, Psaki answered questions aboard Air Force One, where she was pressed for details about the operation that killed 13 people, including six children and four women. Earlier, President Joe Biden said high-ranking ISIS militant Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi detonated a suicide bomb, killing himself, his wife and his children during the raid.

White House NPR correspondent Ayesha Rasko once again asked a question journalists often ask: Can you present evidence?

“Jen, will there be any evidence or publications to support this idea — I mean, I know that the US has released a statement that, [ISIS] they themselves detonated the bomb,” Rasko said, according to a transcript of a conversation with reporters. “But will the US provide any evidence? Because there may be people who are skeptical about what happened and what happened to civilians.”

PSAKI: Are you skeptical about the assessment of the US military when they went and killed the ISIS terrorist – the leader of ISIS?


PSAKI: That they don’t provide accurate information –


PSAKI: And ISIS provides accurate information?

RASCO: Well, not ISIS, but I mean the US hasn’t always been straightforward about what happens to civilians. And I mean it’s a fact.

PSAKI: Well, as you know, the Department of Defense is going through an extensive process. The President made it clear from the outset, at every stage of this process, that doing everything possible to avoid civilian casualties was his priority and his preference.

I just confirmed, and I think our national security colleague who briefed this morning, also confirmed that the man who was the target blew himself up, killing his entire family.

Given that these events took place less than 24 hours ago, we will give them time for a final evaluation. And they will provide all possible details.

When Roscoe said that the US “doesn’t always talk straight about what happens to civilians,” she could be referring to any number of cases where the US has killed foreign nationals and tried to cover it up.

When the US government makes a statement, the reporter’s job is to ask for evidence. History teaches what destruction can be done if reporters don’t.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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