The Washington Post reports: The State Department acknowledged Wednesday that someone in its public affairs bureau made a “deliberate” request that several minutes of tape be cut from the video of a 2013 press briefing in which a reporter asked if the administration had lied about secret talks with Iran.
The embarrassing admission by State Department spokesman John Kirby came three weeks after another spokesperson insisted that a “glitch” had caused the gap, discovered only last month by the reporter whose questioning had mysteriously disappeared.
“This wasn’t a technical glitch, this was a deliberate step to excise the video,” Kirby told reporters.
Kirby said he had not been able to learn who ordered the deletion, which appeared as a jarring, undisguised white flash on the archived video posted on the State Department’s website and in its YouTube video.
“The recipient of the call doesn’t remember anything other than the caller, the individual who called this technician, was passing on a request from someone else within the public affairs bureau,” Kirby said, explaining the faulty memory by adding, “This happened three years ago.”
The curious gap in an old video of a public briefing is not of the same ilk as the famous 18 1/2- minute gap in audio tapes of President Nixon’s Oval Office conversations during the Watergate coverup. The official written transcript of the State Department briefing always carried the full exchange.
But it is likely to further fuel controversy over the administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, coming amid allegations that the White House duped the press and misled Congress and foreign policy scholars about the Iran nuclear deal that was implemented in January. [Continue reading…]