Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bon Voyage, Mme. Secretary!

I know I broke this news several days ago when the State Department announced it, but I thought I would disturb the peace of the vacation lull with a reminder of the interruption to the Secretary's nice vacation. (I know. I know. It was already disturbed by Irene. I hope she gets back for the long Labor Day weekend at the beach.)

From VOA.

August 31, 2011

Libya Support Group to Convene in Paris

David Gullust | Washington

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and officials from about 50 other countries are set to convene in Paris on Thursday to discuss Libya’s transition to post-Gadhafi democratic rule. The head of Libya’s National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, is expected to outline the NTC’s immediate needs.

France called the meeting a week ago as NTC forces moved into Tripoli. Now, with Moammar Gadhafi's rule at an end, the conference will focus on how to help Libya establish stable democratic governance.

Read more >>>>

And from AFP.

US to sound out Libya rebels on transition needs

By Lachlan Carmichael (AFP) – 1 hour ago

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was to leave Wednesday for international talks in Paris aimed at sounding out Libyan rebels on what US officials call their "enormous" needs in establishing a new government.

What is at stake, US officials say, is how well the rebels bring security to the capital Tripoli and other war-torn areas, restore services like water, deal with fallen but fugitive strongman Moamer Kadhafi, and prepare for democratic rule.

Read more >>>>

Donc, bon voyage, Mme. La Secretaire... encore!

Public Schedule for August 31, 2011

Public Schedule for August 31, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
August 31, 2011

**Note: The next public schedule will be published the first week of September**


12:30 p.m. Daily Press Briefing with Spokesperson Victoria Nuland.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Media Reads on a Hillary Clinton Run: August 31, 2011 Edition

File this under "never a dull moment," never, where Hillary Clinton is concerned. The Secretary of State has been on a little vacation since her awesome Syria statement on August 18, dubbed "presidential" by Sarah Palin and Greta Van Susteren.

As we might have predicted, however, that little Carney-Kinsolving exchange I posted from yesterday's White House press briefing has garnered a small bouquet of opinions on the matter in the media - along with a weed or two.

From the LA Times

She's baack! Hillary Clinton questions return to Obama White House

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

August 30, 2011 | 9:02 am
They've started again -- the Hillary questions.

Will the once-vanquished first lady, who's been the solid voice of administration foreign policy since Day One, challenge White House incumbent Barack Obama for the Democrats' presidential nomination a year from now in Charlotte, N.C.?

Of course, she and everyone will say no, no, no -- until the day they might say, well, actually, yes.

Read more >>>>

From Newsmax

Pressure Grows on Hillary to Challenge Sinking Obama

Tuesday, 30 Aug 2011 03:56 PM

By Martin Gould

Will Hillary Clinton challenge Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination?

She says no, that she never wants to run for office again. But the pressure is growing on her to change her mind as Obama continues to slide in the polls — and as the left bloc of the party and Latino and black voters become more vocal in their disapproval of the president.

From Fox News

Hillary On the Horizon as Obama Challenger?


Published August 30, 2011

Lyndon Johnson won one of history’s biggest landslides in 1964, but four years later he dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The hand-writing was on the wall for LBJ, facing an unpopular war in Vietnam, domestic unrest at home, and discontent among fellow Democrats, who saw him as an albatross around their necks.

Will 2012 be President Obama’s déjà vu? Will it be 1968 all over again? After all, our current president is entangled in not one, but two unpopular wars, domestic unrest about the continuing high jobless rates, uncontrollable budget deficit and soaring debt ceiling, and plummeting approval ratings.

Then party-pooper, David Weigel, strides in and dumps a whole bucket of water over the floral arrangement.

The Wrong Way to Do Mindless Hillary Clinton Speculation

By David Weigel

| Posted Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011, at 2:56 PM EDT

Les Kinsolving asks Jay Carney if Hillary Clinton will primary Barack Obama. "You'd have to ask her," says Carney. That's our cue for pages of baseless speculation about whether or not Hillary Clinton could primary Barack Obama. (My favorite offering in the genre -- Andrew Malcolm's long take that consults the sources in his mind, who are easier to get on the phone than real sources.)

If we're going to be this lazy, we need some insta-data. We need someone to do a poll testing Clinton against the Republican candidates. One poll showing her doing better than him against Romney, or beating Palin by such a large margin that we need to invent another number to describe it, and we can engage in some seriously baseless speculation. But who can do it?

Read more >>>>>

You, of course, can and may discuss this amongst yourselves. The telling thing, though, is that we are not alone!

Public Schedule for August 30, 2011

Public Schedule for August 30, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
August 30, 2011

**Note: The next public schedule will be published the first week of September**


12:30 p.m. Daily Press Briefing with Spokesperson Victoria Nuland.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Here is an interesting portion of today's White House press briefing with video released by Real Clear Politics.

Carney Grilled Over Potential Hillary Primary Challenge: "You'll Have To Ask Her"

At today's White House press briefing WorldNetDaily White House correspondent Lester Kinsolving asked Jay Carney if President Obama is "certain" that Hillary Clinton won't primary him. This comes after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said Obama has moved to the right because he has no primary opponent.

Carney said the White House is pretty certain Clinton won't challenge Obama, however he tells Kinsolving "you'll have to ask her.

See the video >>>>

Here is the portion of the transcript released a little while ago by the White House.

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
August 29, 2011

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, 8/29/2011

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

2:21 P.M. EDT

Q Just one. Just one. Just one. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said -- and this is a quote -- “One of the reasons the President has moved so far to the right is there is no primary opposition to him.” And my question: Why is the President certain that Hillary won’t run against him? (Laughter.)

MR. CARNEY: You win the award for originality today.

Q Thank you very much.

MR. CARNEY: The President is focused not on any election -- he’s focused right now on doing his job to grow the economy, create jobs, ensure that Americans who are in the path of this hurricane are taken care of. That's what he’s focused on.

Q I understand. You're running away from this question. I mean, can you guarantee that -- are you sure that --

MR. CARNEY: You’d have to ask --

Q -- Hillary is not going to run?

MR. CARNEY: You’d have to ask her. We’re fairly confident --

Q That she won’t?

MR. CARNEY: -- that we need to focus on the task at hand.

Q All right, thank you.

I see Governors Cuomo and Christie out touring the damage from Irene. Any credit for how well the NY metro area survived this storm goes to the governors and to Mayor Mike. What damage has Obama toured? Certainly that would make a great campaign photo-op. But then again he is busy growing the economy, etc. etc. etc.

Many cannot fathom a challenge, and it will take a strong stomach to do it. I would prefer to see Obama admit his resounding failure of leadership and step aside so that the best leader can step in and start turning this country around. We are way off course and Hillary Rodham Clinton is the best captain to correct it.

I hope beyond hope that Secretary Clinton is giving this very serious consideration. We are all still here, Mme. Secretary. We never left your side and are more than ready to work our hearts out for you!

Secretary Clinton's Travel to Paris

We all knew it was too good to be true. Of course, sooner or later, Libya was going to cut this vacation short. Glad it is later.

Secretary Clinton's Travel to Paris

Press Statement

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 29, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Paris, France September 1 to participate in a senior-level meeting of the Contact Group on Libya. The Paris meeting will build on the productive Libya Contact Group meeting in Istanbul on August 25 and will provide the international community with an opportunity to further coordinate our financial and political support for the TNC. The days and weeks ahead will be critical for the Libyan people, and the United States and its partners will continue to move quickly and decisively to help the TNC and address the needs of the Libyan people. Libya's transition to democracy is and should be Libyan-led, with close coordination and support between the TNC and its international partners. The United States stands with the Libyan people as they continue their journey toward genuine democracy.

Public Schedule for August 29, 2011

I know. I know. No public schedule until next week, but they keep putting this up, so I keep posting it.

Public Schedule for August 29, 2011

Public Schedule
Washington, DC
August 29, 2011

**NOTE: The next public schedule will be published the first week of September**


12:30 p.m. Daily Press Briefing with Spokesperson Victoria Nuland.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Where in the World is Hillary Clinton?

Hillary's followers have been concerned of, course, as to her whereabouts and safety given the storm hammering both the Hamptons and Chappaqua. Well, her loving hubby accommodated all of us with a statement to the NY Post.

Good buy, Hamptons

Fashion sale makes waves as VIPs seek refuge


Last Updated: 3:33 AM, August 28, 2011

"We're staying," Bill Clinton told The Post. "Hillary and I have been watching for the last few days, and we're just doing what we're supposed to do. I'm more worried about the people in the low-lying areas that could get flooding."
We are thankful to know that they are fine and hope everyone in the path of Irene made it through safely andwithout too much inconvenience. Continue to follow instructions from authorities in your area. There is water out there, and fallen trees and poles. Take care!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Slideshow: Hillary in the Rain

I first posted this on a gloomy Saturday in June 2010. As we, on the east coast experience various stages of Hurricane Irene, depending on location, what could be more of a blessing than a slideshow of Hillary in the rain?

Everyone, please stay safe. Stay inside.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Secretary Clinton Condemns Attacks in Mexico and Nigeria

While, for a second time in two attempts at island vacations, the Secretary of State has been chased by a hurricane, she has nonetheless issued strong statements against terrorist attacks today and yesterday. In the midst of East Hampton, Long Island, her current vacation spot, being evacuated as Hurricane Irene approaches the NY metro area, the intrepid SOS made sure that her voice registered regarding recent, horrific attacks.

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 26, 2011

I was shocked and saddened to learn of yesterday's firebombing of a casino in Monterrey, Mexico. The United States strongly condemns this brutal attack and all acts of criminal violence. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of all those who were killed and injured.

President Calderon, the Mexican government and the Mexican people have shown great courage and determination in facing the challenges and threats posed by transnational criminal organizations. The United States will continue to assist Mexico's efforts to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations in strict accordance with Mexican law and respect for Mexican sovereignty. We stand by Mexico now and always as a committed partner and friend.

I would bet you did not even know that happened. I did not until I saw the press statement. Neither did I know about this until I received the press release.

Attack on the United Nations in Nigeria

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 26, 2011

The United States strongly condemns today's terrorist attack on United Nations offices in Abuja, Nigeria. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those who were killed and injured.

There is no justification for this violence. These individuals were working to promote peace, expand opportunity and build a safer and more prosperous nation. The United Nations has been working side by side with Nigeria for more than five decades and the United States strongly supports its efforts. Vicious terrorist attacks such as these only strengthen our resolve and commitment to the work of the United Nations and the people of Nigeria.

Poor HRC, always getting chased off islands by hurricanes! Not to mention the reputation she has attained for causing earthquakes by her very presence. (Yes, some are blaming the east coast earthquake of last week on her having been in DC just prior. Well, she does rock my world!)

Some of you might remember the last time she tried, officially, to take a vacation and the doings around that. It was in Bermuda in August 2009 (yes, it has been that long since the last one). If you do not remember, or never saw the tangential stories of the day, here is the original post about that situation along with a surprise treat for Davey's fans.

A Special Relationship

The upshot of all that is that we never heard another thing about the Uighurs on Bermuda, but Al Megrahi's name is in the air again along with his tyrannical and perverted savior and protector who kept a photo album of HRC's predecessor as SOS, Condi Rice, which totally creeps me out! It was Scotland's "bad" to let Al Megrahi out. So Davey lost that round. Old times tend to resurge.

Speaking of surges, everybody batten down and stay safe. Make preps and follow advisement. Love you all. If you do not see me for awhile, it will be that I have lost power. Oh, Lord! Me? Powerless? God said, "You always have been!"

Happy Women's Equality Day. Hillary won the August 2009 stand-off. She is still with us. Davey is gone. The Guantanamo guys are causing no trouble in Bermuda, and Gadhfi is on his slow way to justice as will be Al Megrahi.

Hillary hunts the bad guys. I love her style!

The Japanese Model

Japanese Prime Minister Kan is stepping down, and his likely replacement is the former Foreign Minister, Maehara, pictured here with his then U.S. counterpart Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Gives one ideas, does it not?

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives alongside Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara for a joint press conference in the Ben Franklin Room at the State Department in Washington, DC, January 6, 2011. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Japanese prime minister announces resignation

Top story: Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced in a nationally televised speech on Friday that he was resigning from office and as leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Kan has suffered from low approval ratings due to what many Japanese see as his government's botched handling of the tsunami disaster and accompanying nuclear crisis that hit the country in March.


Seiji Maehara, a former foreign minister and a China hawk, is seen as the front-runner in the race to replace Kan. Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Trade Minister Banri Kaieda will also likely contend for the top position.

Read the article>>>>

Public Schedule for August 26, 2011

Here is a picture of Mme. Secretary - just because. And here is the schedule, or lack of same. Everybody stay safe, high, and dry! Use every square inch of your fridge. Stick a lot of water bottles in the freezer and the fridge. Fill the bathtub and sinks. Make sure you have batteries.

Public Schedule for August 26, 2011

Public Schedule
Washington, DC
August 26, 2011

Note: The next public schedule will be published the first week of September.

There will NOT be a daily press briefing today.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Secretary Clinton's Statement on Libya

Statement on Libya

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 25, 2011

The events in Libya this week have heartened the world. The situation remains fluid, but it is clear that the Qadhafi era is coming to an end, opening the way for a new era in Libya—one of liberty, justice, and peace.

We join the Libyan people in celebrating the courageous individuals who have stood up to a tyrant and defended their homes and communities against Qadhafi’s violence.

The United States and the international community have stood by the Libyan people during many difficult days in the last six months. Together, we prevented a massacre, and we supported the people’s efforts to gain their freedom. We will continue to support them as they take on the regime elements that still pose a threat to Libya’s future – and as they address their humanitarian needs and rebuild their nation. The Libyan people made this revolution and they will lead the way forward, but they deserve our help. Libya’s future is not guaranteed. Considerable work lies ahead.

The coming days and weeks will be critical. The United States and its partners are moving quickly and decisively on several fronts.

Earlier this week, I spoke by phone with the Chair of the Transitional National Council, Mustafa Mohammed Abdul Jalil, to express our support for the TNC’s efforts and to discuss next steps. I also hosted a conference call of foreign ministers of many of the member nations of Libya Contact Group, to coordinate our efforts – humanitarian, financial, diplomatic, and otherwise – on behalf of the Libyan people. Today, the Libya Contact Group held a meeting in Istanbul to demonstrate our continued commitment to Libya and to focus on the urgent financial needs of the TNC. The Contact Group called for an expedited process to lift sanctions on Libyan assets. The United States supports this call.

Today, we have secured the release of $1.5 billion in Libyan assets that had been frozen in the United States. This money will go toward meeting the needs of the people of Libya. We urge other nations to take similar measures. Many are already doing so.

As funds are released, we look to the Transitional National Council to fulfill its international responsibilities and the commitments it has made to build a tolerant, unified democratic state—one that protects the universal human rights of all its citizens. It is critical that the TNC engage swiftly with communities and leaders across Libya to ensure order, provide critical basic services to the people, and pave the way for a full democratic transition. Libya’s future will be peaceful only if the leaders and people of Libya reach out to each other in a spirit of peace. There can be no place in the new Libya for revenge attacks and reprisals.

The TNC also has obligations to the international community. We will look to them to ensure that Libya fulfills its treaty responsibilities, that it ensures that its weapons stockpiles do not threaten its neighbors or fall into the wrong hands, and that it takes a firm stand against violent extremism. At the same time, we call on Qadhafi, his family, and his supporters to bring an end to their continuing violence for the sake of the Libyan people and Libya’s future.

From the beginning, the United States has played a central role in marshalling the international response to the crisis in Libya. Together with our partners, we have saved thousands of lives and helped confront a ruthless, erratic dictator who was poised to slaughter his own people in order to hold on to power. The United States will stand with the Libyan people and our international partners in the weeks and months ahead, to help as Libyans write the next chapter of their history.

I am appending the fact sheet that explains the distribution of the funds for those who would like to know.

Unfreezing Assets to Meet the Critical Humanitarian Needs of the Libyan People

Fact Sheet

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 25, 2011

The UN Security Council’s Libya Sanctions Committee approved a U.S. proposal to unfreeze $1.5 billion of Libyan assets to be used to provide critical humanitarian and other assistance to the Libyan people. The U.S. request to unfreeze Libyan assets is divided into three key portions:

Transfers to International Humanitarian Organizations (up to $500 million):

  • Up to $120 million will be transferred quickly to meet unfulfilled United Nations Appeal requests responding to the needs of the Libyan people (including critical assistance to displaced Libyans). Up to $380 million will be used for the revised UN Appeals for Libya and other humanitarian needs as they are identified by the UN or other international or humanitarian organizations.

Transfers to suppliers for fuel and other goods for strictly civilian purposes (up to $500 million):

  • Up to $500 million will be used to pay for fuel costs for strictly civilian needs (e.g., hospitals, electricity and desalinization) and for other humanitarian purchases.

Transfers to the Temporary Financial Mechanism established by the Contact Group to assist the Libyan people (up to $500 million):

  • Up to $400 million will be used for providing key social services, including education and health. Up to $100 million will be used to address food and other humanitarian needs.

The United States crafted this proposal in close coordination with the Transitional National Council, as they assessed the needs of the Libyan people throughout the country. It responds to humanitarian concerns in a diversified way that prioritizes key needs. The United States will work urgently with the Transitional National Council to facilitate the release of these funds within days.


The proposal also has a number of safeguards, including a restriction that none of the funds are used for military equipment or activities. Funds given to the United Nations will be subject to existing UN safeguards. Payments for fuel costs will be confirmed by both the TNC and the vendor. Similarly, the Temporary Financing Mechanism incorporates several accounting and procedural safeguards: a Steering Board with TNC and international members (and consensus decision making); regular internal audits and external audits to be conducted by an internationally respected independent auditing firm; and an independent financial management agent (Adam Smith International) to administer the TFM account.

Public Schedule for August 25, 2011

No, Mme. Secretary is not in this schedule, but here is a picture in case you miss her. We wish her fair weather and safety from the coming storm.

Public Schedule for August 25, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
August 25, 2011

Note: The next public schedule will be published the first week of September.

12:30 p.m.
Daily Press Briefing with Spokesperson Victoria Nuland

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Media: August 24, 2011 Late Edition

The Secretary of State grabs headlines even as she catches a few rays and waves. We begin today's review with her latest position on the Forbes list. This is from ABC News.

The World's 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes

August 24, 2011
This year's No. 1 in the ranking, German Chancellor Angela Merkel--recognized as the "undisputed" leader of the EU--is key to curing what ails the euro zone. As the Arab spring turns into the autocrats' summer, No. 2-ranked U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton provides encouragement to dissidents....

Read more>>>>

Late-breaking and contributed by a regular here, is Greta Van Susteren's pick for most powerful woman in the world. Now you know who it has to be, right? This was in Forbes.

Greta Van Susteren Names Hillary Clinton "Most Powerful Woman In The World"

Meghan Casserly, Forbes Staff

...when she joined me in our own newsroom at 60 Fifth Avenue this month for a video (on the very day our list was finalized), I decided to ask her: Who do you think is the most powerful woman in the world?

I naively anticipated a long pause as Greta stopped to think about her answer. I sat back in my chair, recrossed my legs—and was cut off by the no-nonsense host. Clearly I don’t watch enough On The Record to know that she’s not shy with her opinions—and she knows her stuff.

Well, right now I suppose the most powerful woman is Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,” Van Susteren responded without missing a beat (my legs were still trying to re-cross themselves, it was that fast). “She’s different than most Secretaries of State. I’ve traveled with her a couple of times, and when she lands in a country it might as well be the President of the United States… The whole world knows her.”

Read more>>>>

The "Run, Hillary, Run" campaign continues with this from the New York Daily News. This has a poll. You can go to the site and vote. (Did I add enough links for ya?) :)

Hillary Clinton in 2012: If no Republican can beat Barack Obama, let's settle for a Democrat who can

S.E. Cupp

Wednesday, August 24th 2011, 4:00 AM

Nearly a year ago in this very column space, I wondered if we wouldn't have been better off with Hillary Clinton than Barack Obama, and suggested - half-jokingly - that she could beat him in 2012 if she wanted to.

Well, with Obama presiding over staggering unemployment, unfathomable debt, another potential recession and the first credit downgrade in U.S. history, I'm convinced now that the answer to that question is yes.

Incidentally, I'm also finding less and less humor in the idea that Hillary should run.

And, we have this from The Atlantic. It is about Romney, and I post it, really only for what is quoted below: the reference to "Hillary Clinton's last presidential election." What? What does that mean? What is the implication of the word "last" there? Is there another presidential campaign in the offing? Or is that just wishful thinking?

Mitt Romney Is 2012's Hillary Clinton

Elspeth Reeve

...NBC News' First Read says Romney's strategy for protecting his frontrunnerhood has had mixed results--and it looks a bit like Hillary Clinton's last presidential election. That didn't work out so well for her.

Read the article>>>>

Public Schedule for August 24, 2011

On December 31, 2009 I made a rare New Year's resolution to post the public schedule every time it was published as long as Hillary Clinton remains SOS. In keeping with that, here is the odd schedule that came up today as did a twin of this yesterday (found in the media post).

I say it is odd because, as we know, Mme. Secretary is on vacation while working part of the time. Assistants and deputies, in addition to Ms. Nuland, remain hard at work as well. The schedule, or lack of same, gives the impression that no one is working. Yet when this press briefing occurs, we know we will hear that many are working, especially on this Libya situation. So here is the bare-bones schedule. Stay tuned for a review of the briefing later.

Public Schedule for August 24, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
August 24, 2011

Note: The next public schedule will be published the first week of September.

12:30 p.m.
Daily Press Briefing with Spokesperson Victoria Nuland

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hillary Clinton's Statement on The Human Rights Council's Special Session on Syria & State Department Update on Libya

The Secretary of State released this statement today.

The Human Rights Council's Special Session on Syria

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 23, 2011

I congratulate the Human Rights Council for its work to create an international independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate the deteriorating human rights situation in Syria and to make clear the world’s concern for the Syrian people. Today, the international community joined together to denounce the Syrian regime’s horrific violence. The United States worked closely with countries from every part of the world – more than 30 members of the Human Rights Council, including key Arab members -- to establish this mandate.

The Commission of Inquiry will investigate all violations of international human rights law by Syrian Authorities and help the international community address the serious human rights abuses in Syria and ensure that those responsible are held to account.

There are credible reports that government forces in Syria have committed numerous gross human rights violations, including torture and summary executions in their crackdown against opposition members. The most recent attack by Syrian security forces on protesters in Homs is as deplorable as it is sadly representative of the Asad regime’s utter disregard for the Syrian people.

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the slaughter, arrest, and torture of peaceful protesters taking place in Syria. We continue to urge nations around the world to stand with the Syrian people in their demands for a government that represents the needs and will of its people and protects their universal rights. For the sake of the Syrian people, it is time for Asad to step aside and leave this transition to the Syrians themselves.

The State Department posted today's press briefing in which Victoria Nuland made the following statements about developments in Libya. Once again everything said on the subject of Libya is included along with a little about Syria. Those who would like to read the entire transcript can follow the live link below to the text released by the State Department. All emphasis here is mine.

Victoria Nuland
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
August 23, 2011

MS. NULAND: I have nothing at the top, so why don’t we go to – directly what’s on your minds.

QUESTION: Right. Okay. So why don’t you enlighten us as to what’s going on in Libya and your understanding? And also, what’s happening in terms of the diplomacy, in terms of what the Secretary is doing and what other officials are doing? As specific as possible, please.

MS. NULAND: Good. Well, obviously, the battle for Tripoli continues and the ground situation is somewhat fluid, but we have seen some amazing images in the last little while. But there is no question that the Qadhafi regime has nearly collapsed. There is also no question that the best thing he could do for his people would be to relinquish power immediately. We stand with the proud people of Libya at this historic time. Their transition has begun. The Transitional National Council, with whom we maintain daily, hourly contact, is preparing to lead the country through its democratic transition. And we support and echo their calls for national unity at this time, for calm, for no retribution, for no reprisals.

The Secretary spoke yesterday to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon regarding the next steps that the UN can take in the planning that it is doing to assist the Transitional National Council and the Libyan people as they prepare for the transition. They talked about support in the areas of humanitarian relief, security assistance if it is requested, the support the UN can and will offer in the area of political and democratic transition support, constitution writing, and especially in the area of support for the rule of law. This transition will have to be Libyan led, it must be Libyan led, but both the U.S. and the United Nations will support the Libyan process and will be guided by the principle that this is Libya’s to lead.

We are also working urgently today, as you may have heard Ambassador Rice say just a little while ago, this week to be able to release between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in U.S.-held frozen Libyan assets. We are working in the UN Sanctions Committee to be able to do this. We want to give this money back to the TNC for its use, first and foremost to meet humanitarian needs and to help it establish a secure, stable government and to move on to the next step in its own roadmap. And we hope this process will be complete in the coming days. There’s quite a bit of diplomacy both in New York, here in Washington, out in capitals. And the Secretary has been involved in this herself, of course, to get this work done in coming days.

QUESTION: Before you get to the money, can you say – you said that what the best thing for Qadhafi can do now is to relinquish power immediately. What power does he have that you see that he can now relinquish?

MS. NULAND:Well, that’s a good question. He doesn’t seem to have much control of anything. It’s interesting that he still hasn’t been seen –

QUESTION: Are you sure that he hasn’t --

MS. NULAND: -- are wondering where he’s been --

QUESTION: -- relinquished power? I mean, he doesn’t seem to be leading – making any kind of an attempt to lead a --

MS. NULAND: I think what the --

QUESTION: -- to lead his people.

MS. NULAND: -- what the Libyan people are looking for, what the international community is looking for, is a reliable, affirmative statement not only to the Libyan people and the international community but to his own loyalists that he understands this is over, that he understands that the days of his leadership are over, so that everybody can move on to have the democratic, strong, united Libya that they deserve.

QUESTION: So short of him turning up dead someplace, you would like to see him come out and say, “I give up, I relinquish power,” so that his supporters won’t carry on the fight?

MS. NULAND:Well, that’s certainly what the Libyan people themselves have been asking for.

QUESTION: Well, then that’s what you would like to see.

MS. NULAND: It’s what the Transitional National Council has been asking for. And it’s what the United States has called for, for many, many weeks.

QUESTION: And on the money issue, this between 1 and 1.5 billion, that’s the – part of the liquid assets, right, that are frozen?

MS. NULAND: Correct.

QUESTION: And you said to give back that money to the TNC, but actually isn’t it to give the TNC? It’s not really their money --

MS. NULAND: To give back to the Libyan people, managed by the legitimate governing authority, the Transitional National Council, their own money.

QUESTION: All right. And what’s your understanding of what needs to actually happen at the UN for that? Because yesterday, you were saying that you would prefer not, or you would have preferred not to have to go through the UN. So --

MS. NULAND: Yesterday, I believe what we said here was that we would prefer for the UN Sanctions Committee to take action, but if the UN Sanctions Committee could not act, that we would find ways to do this unilaterally. So the diplomacy goes on. Ideally, the UN Sanctions Committee will make an affirmative decision to allow this money to be released under its own (inaudible).

QUESTION: Can you (inaudible) how you arrived at that $1 to $1.5 billion figure? And would any decision by the Sanctions Committee cover further releases down the line? I mean, is this a point of principle, that they would then sort of roll back that control over the money that would allow you to unfreeze other things as they become liquid?

MS. NULAND: Under the Sanctions Committee’s own rules and regulations, individual participants can appeal, can request of the Sanctions Committee that exceptions be made for extraordinary circumstances – in this case, humanitarian need – and then the Sanctions Committee has to make an affirmative decision. That’s how the committee works. And in the absence of the international community yet having taken the next step, which will obviously be necessary at an appropriate moment, which is to look at, based on what the Libyan people themselves want, what the TNC wants, what aspects of 19 – UNSCR 1973 still make sense, this is the best and fastest route to get relief, to get money, to the TNC, to do it in a way that has the support of the international community.

QUESTION: And the figure, that 1 to 1.5 billion, is that the amount that’s actually liquid in accounts here that could be sent as cash money to them now?

MS. NULAND: It’s a portion. It’s a little less than half of what is liquid. It is our judgment that this is the right amount now to meet immediate humanitarian and governance needs. And again, the question of the onward release of assets will depend on the situation on the ground, will depend on the desires of the Libyan people, what the TNC requests of the UN, et cetera.

QUESTION: So this money --


QUESTION: Do you believe that – does the Administration believe that this money should be released with the condition of accountability and transparency on the TNC to make sure it’s not diverted for other than humanitarian purposes? And how would that transparency and accountability mechanism work?

MS. NULAND: Absolutely. The TNC has made strong commitments to the United States. It has made strong commitments in support of the UN – U.S. request to the UN Sanctions Committee with regard to the use of the money, with regard to transparency, et cetera. I’m not prepared to go into details here from the podium, but we would not have taken this step if we didn’t have confidence that the money will be used – will get to the people who need it and will be used appropriately.

QUESTION: How do you --

MS. NULAND: And that’s the case --

QUESTION: What gives you that confidence?

MS. NULAND: That’s the case that we’re making to the Sanctions Committee. You know that we’ve been in close contact with the TNC. We have our mission in Benghazi. This has been the subject of discussion at Assistant Secretary Feltman level, at the Secretary’s level in her diplomacy, to ensure before we went to the Sanctions Committee and during this process of convincing members of the Sanctions Committee, that this money would be used properly and would be used for the purposes that we requested its release, namely humanitarian and good governance.

QUESTION: How could you – could you explain to us how this money is released? Does it go to, let’s say, the ministry of finance, the Libyan ministry of finance, or a Libyan bank? Or does it go through an escrow process under supervision?

MS. NULAND: Again, I think this is as far as we can go today on how this might happen, because the discussions continue in New York. The diplomacy continues. So I’m not prepared from the podium today to get into all the nuts and bolts. The most important thing now is that the Sanctions Committee take action in coming days so that this money can get to the Libyan people.


QUESTION: But your comment seemed to imply that there are some of the Sanctions Committee who are standing in the way of speedy action. Can you – is that true, and who are they?

MS. NULAND: This process is very complicated. It’s very complicated anytime you want to go to the Sanctions Committee and get release, because every individual member of the Sanctions Committee has his or her own national – I mean, each nation has its own laws, has taken the sanctioning action in conformity with its own laws. So the relief has to be reviewed nationally by each country in terms of precedent, in terms of its support for the stated intent. In this case, for its understanding of how the money will be used and whether it’s in keeping with the spirit of the Sanctions Committee relief clauses that you’re trying to exercise.

QUESTION: Madam, just to follow up --

MS. NULAND: Please.

QUESTION:What many people are asking, even within the (inaudible) there in Libya that it has taken too long for the United States to help the opposition or to get Qadhafi out. One, why it took so long because thousands of more people have been killed by Qadhafi regime; and second, now do you believe that you – do you believe and you have confidence in this group now that they will be supporting the fair and free elections and democracy?

MS. NULAND:Well, Goyal, thank you for that opportunity to step back a little bit. As I said, although this situation remains fluid in some neighborhoods of Tripoli, and we all understand that this isn’t over until it’s completely over and until all weapons are laid down and the process of transition completely begins, it’s important to remember that this fight has lasted less than 200 days. It was February 16th, around then, that the protests really began in Libya. Ten days, just a mere 10 days after that, UN Security Council 1970 was passed, which froze the assets of the Qadhafi regime, which imposed the arms embargo and the travel ban, which allowed humanitarian aid to begin to flow. I said yesterday I think that under the President’s leadership, the Secretary, Ambassador Rice at the UN, all of us, have been working to assemble one of the broadest and deepest communities of common action in current memory to address this situation.

So 10 days after the protests begin, you see this first UN Security Council resolution. Thirty days after that, on March 17th, a mere 30 days, UN Security Council 1973, which not only imposed the no-fly zone, but also authorized all necessary means to protect civilians. Just two days after that, the President approved U.S. to begin action to implement that resolution, to use our unique capabilities to take out the air defenses of the regime. And it was just a week after that, March 26th, that the NATO operation was approved and NATO began picking up more and more of this mission. That same week, March 29th, the Secretary proposed, and the international community stood up, the Libya Contact Group. It initially had 20 countries and a number of international organizations. It now has 40 countries, including not only the UN and NATO and the EU, but also the African Union, the GCC, the Arab League, to support the Libyan people, to support the TNC politically, economically, militarily in this fight for transition.

And just a couple of months after this all began, we opened our mission in Benghazi, and then on April 15th you saw the NATO ministers, at the Secretary’s initiative, all call for Qadhafi to go, and that call, obviously, echoed throughout the international community thereafter.

So less than 200 days, one of the broadest coalitions in history – U.S. leadership absolutely essential in galvanizing this community. But again, it’s not over till it’s over. And not only does this community need to help the Libyans finish the job, it’s got to stay with Libya, stay with its government, as it moves through the difficult transition. Because we’ve all seen that sometimes the hardest work starts after liberation when you have to rebuild a state, and in the case of Libya, a state that’s been ruled by a dictator for 40 years.

QUESTION: Can I follow up on the money, please?

QUESTION: You’ve been talking about the credibility of the NTC, and there was an incident last night that undercut that credibility. I know this is military versus financial, but the point is, of course, save Qadhafi, the NTC assuring people that he had been arrested, and then he pops up smilingly after that. So what can you say? I mean, can you trust them if you have information like that? Could you trust it if we take it to the financial part of it? Are they trustworthy?

MS. NULAND: We said yesterday that the situation was fluid, that we were asked by a number of folks whether we could confirm Qadhafi’s location, whether we could confirm the son’s under arrest. We’ve got a little bit of a fog of war situation here, including in some of the reporting on the TNC side that makes – it’s not a surprise given the fact that they are established primarily in Benghazi, they have locations elsewhere in Libya. But until the full leadership of the TNC is able to take root in Tripoli and is able to get its feet under it, I wouldn’t pay too much attention to these fog of war things.

What we are focused on with them is planning for this transition, getting them – working with them as they plan the economic, political, rule of law, security underpinnings of the new Libyan state so that it can lead a transition towards democracy. So in the context of the action that’s going on in New York, our contacts, those of the international community with them have enabled them to think through very systematically how they would use this money. So I think you’re comparing apples and oranges, a stray report in the fog of war, versus real strategic planning that they’ve been doing, that they’ve been doing with a lot of their members on what comes next. That doesn’t mean they’re not going to need our continued support; they are.

QUESTION: Are you briefing members of Congress? Maine Senator Susan Collins says we don’t know enough about the TNC and she expressed concern about their eastern Libyan roots. What are you telling Congress, and how are you assuring them that this is a reliable group?

MS. NULAND: Wendell, we have briefed Congress all the way along. As you know, we’ve had a number of hearings. I don’t have the precise number, but just in the last couple of days, we had a flurry of phone calls with staff and with members, and later on today, there is a broad briefing call with members of Congress so that all of their questions can be answered. But obviously, we want and need members of Congress to have their questions answered, and we’re prepared to work with them. And as we move forward, we hope that they too will have more contacts with the TNC and with members of the Libyan leadership team that has come into Tripoli.

QUESTION: Collins is concerned that the group might be susceptible to extremism in some form. What are you telling them when they express that concern?

MS. NULAND: This has been an issue that the TNC itself has been thinking about and working on from the beginning, and that has been a central subject of our conversation with them from the beginning. We are heartened and encouraged by the fact that the TNC, in all of its public pronouncements, in all of its private commitments to us and other members of the international community, has said that it wants to govern in a transparent, democratic way, that it wants – that it is prepared to meet all of its international human rights commitments, and that it does not want a state led by extremists; it wants a government of national unity that supports the universal human rights of all Libyans. So those are the statements that the TNC themselves have made. That’s what the international community will hold them to going forward.

QUESTION: Can I just follow up on that?

MS. NULAND: Please.

QUESTION: In his remarks on TV a couple days ago, Assistant Secretary Feltman said that the assassination of General Younis highlighted the dangers of Islamist elements in the – among the rebel forces. And I was just wondering, is it the State Department’s conclusion that they were somehow responsible for that assassination, and do you think that that’s a warning sign going forward?

MS. NULAND: I think the fact that the TNC itself decided after that incident that it really needed to conduct an internal audit, that it needed to dissolve its executive committee and refresh its leadership speaks to their commitment to ensure that not only in name, but in action they meet the highest standards of universal human rights and that they present to the Libyan people a governing committee that meets their aspirations for a democratic future, for a future free of extremism and free of any obstacles to the highest standards of universal human rights.

QUESTION: On the financial issue, just a follow-up: I know you said you don’t want to talk in details, but is there a mechanism already in place to monitor where this money is going to to avoid mistakes that happened in Iraq?

MS. NULAND: These are the things that we’re talking about now within the Sanctions Committee. I don’t want to get ahead of decisions there. So I think I’ve said what I can, but clearly, we have worked hard to –with the TNC. They, too, want to learn lessons from Iraq and elsewhere where there have been difficulties in the past, and we have every expectation that if this money is released, it will be used well, and it will get to the people who need it.

QUESTION: My point would be a U.S. committee to oversight or to be in charge of where this money is going.

MS. NULAND: Again, I’ve said what I can on the mechanics of this for today. I think the first thing is to get the action, and then we’ll be prepared to brief a little bit more on the mechanics.

QUESTION: All the assets frozen in U.S. are subject to Sanctions Committee? Because we knew that the total amount of these frozen assets was $30 billion, something like that, and it was a combination of some multilateral sanctions and the United Nations Security Council resolution. So now all this money, $30 billion, are subject to Sanctions Committee only, not a multi – bilateral sanction issue?

MS. NULAND: I didn’t say that. I said simply that in order to release this 1 to 1.5 billion dollars, we would like to do that tranche through the Sanctions Committee. That’s our preferred course. We’re working hard on it in coming days. If we can’t move it through the Sanctions Committee, we’ll have to find other ways to do it.

QUESTION: Wait. Going back to your timeline that you gave in response to Goyal’s question, it was over a month ago that the meeting in Istanbul where the recognition took place, correct?

MS. NULAND: Correct.

QUESTION: So why is it just now that you’re getting around to going to the Sanctions Committee? Because, I mean, at the time the idea was to get that money freed up as soon as possible, and yet it’s taken more than a month to do it. Is it just – were people preoccupied with other developments in other parts of the region? I mean, it seems to me that you could have gone to the Sanctions Committee the Monday after the conference on Friday and said, “Why can’t you do this?”

MS. NULAND: Well, immediately after Istanbul there was some work to get the kinds of assurances that we needed to make the presentation. I would say that the work in the Sanctions Committee has been going on for a couple of weeks, and we’re hoping to bring it to resolution quickly.

QUESTION: But it was just presented today?

MS. NULAND: No. It’s been going on for a couple of weeks.

QUESTION: What was it then that Susan Rice was doing today?

MS. NULAND: Susan Rice simply made a public statement, similar to the statement that I made at the top of the briefing, saying that our hope and expectation is that this Sanctions Committee work will be completed in coming days.

QUESTION: Are you planning direct aid to the TNC, other than frozen assets?

MS. NULAND: If we can get this billion – 1.5 released, that’s a big chunk of money --

QUESTION: I mean, it’s --

MS. NULAND: -- and it’ll do some good. And then we have to see where things go in terms of finishing the work in Tripoli, moving on, and deciding about the future of the 1973 regime, et cetera, and led very much by the desires of the Libyan people.

QUESTION: Do you favor sending – having the United Nations send a UN peacekeeping force?

MS. NULAND: It’s – we talked about this yesterday. It’s premature to talk about any of these kinds of things until the TNC has a chance to evaluate its own needs, until it can come forward to the UN with some proposals. But the UN is preparing for all contingencies.


QUESTION: You talked yesterday about preservation of Libyan institutions. With this last sweep going on, I mean, are there any signs that anybody might be selling off the assets of Libyan institutions or trying to dip into the bank accounts in Tripoli or elsewhere? Is there any reason for concern?

MS. NULAND: I can’t speak to that here, I think, until the ground situation is a little clearer in Tripoli. One probably couldn’t say one way or the other, but I think the fact that the TNC has called for calm, that we’ve seen calm in the vast majority of the neighborhoods in Tripoli that are under the TNC and the anti-Qadhafi forces control, there has been calm, it gives us hope. But I wouldn’t want to say one way or the other, based on what we know today.

Please, here.

QUESTION: Still on --

MS. NULAND: Still on Libya?

QUESTION: Yeah. The stray report about Saif al-Islam, did – how did you guys find out that he was in fact not in opposition hands?

MS. NULAND: Again, we are not in the business of commenting on every stray rumor in the middle of a ground battle in Tripoli. So I’m not going to get into what we knew when and what we didn’t know, only to say that this kind of stray reporting is not uncommon, as all of you who have covered war zones know. So --

QUESTION: Chris Stevens --

MS. NULAND: I’m looking here at Steve.


QUESTION: Chris Stevens – I just wondered what – has he made contacts today with the TNC? I mean, what’s been on his agenda today?

MS. NULAND: He has been following up on the Secretary’s call with TNC Chairman Jalil yesterday. He’s been working on all of these issues that we’ve discussed.


QUESTION: If the TNC is planning to move its headquarters to Tripoli, will the U.S. team in Benghazi move with it to Tripoli? And what is your thinking about where they will set up? I’m told that the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli is uninhabitable.

MS. NULAND: We have to, obviously, assess this on a daily basis. Looking at the security situation in Tripoli, our understanding is that there is some damage to our building, but I can’t speak to whether it’s habitable until we are able to get an advance team in there. We’ll obviously move the Embassy back to Tripoli as soon as we can, but in the meantime, Benghazi’s fully functional. The bulk of the TNC remains there. They, as you say, have said that they will start moving some of their folks west, so we will look and see how that goes as well.

QUESTION: And then do you plan to have an ambassador to Libya, either Gene Cretz or --

MS. NULAND: We have an ambassador. He never --


MS. NULAND: He never stopped being Ambassador to Libya.

QUESTION: Is he going to return to Libya?

MS. NULAND: And the expectation is that when he can, he will.

QUESTION: Just a follow-up. It was raised yesterday, and I’m just wondering if there’s anything further on it – the suggestions not only from Mitt Romney but now from a number of Congress people that the U.S. should be asking the TNC to extradite somehow Mr. Megrahi of the Lockerbie attack. I’m just wondering if those requests or opinions have been lodged with the State Department and if that’s something that you would consider. Is that something that’s possible to do? Have you made any decisions on that?

MS. NULAND:The Secretary has said many times, you’ve heard her say, that Megrahi would be better off behind bars. The Libyan people, the TNC, will obviously have to look at this when they can. We will be in consultations with them. The Justice Department will have the lead.

QUESTION: Well, I’m – so you’re actually saying that you might – that there might be some case to be made? This guy was convicted and served his sentence.

MS. NULAND: This will be --

QUESTION: You’re suggesting that now that you’re going to – that you, who agreed to the UN – to this international court in the first place, will now say that you want this guy put back – brought to the U.S. to be put in jail? I mean, the Scots let him go. But you --

MS. NULAND:I never said anything about the U.S. The Secretary has made clear this guy should be behind bars. The Department of Justice has the lead on these issues.

QUESTION: Right. Well, the --

MS. NULAND: No decisions have been made. We have to let justice do its job here, and we also have to have a Libyan government back in Tripoli before these conversations could happen.

QUESTION: But I thought that the question was about the – was about extraditing him, bringing him to the States, correct?

MS. NULAND: Andy, was it about extradition?

QUESTION: That’s the demand. That was the demand, but I’m interested in any further steps on the Megrahi case.

MS. NULAND: Yeah. I don't have anything further on details, other than to say that the Secretary thinks he ought to be behind bars and Justice will have the lead.


QUESTION: Can I – I have one more on – you just called – or a little while ago you said that the group of countries that was supporting the opposition was one of the broadest and deepest communities of common action in recent memory. Is that – do I have that right? Yesterday you said it was an unprecedented coalition.

MS. NULAND: I don't think I called it a coalition. I think I’ve called it a community, but coalition works as well.

QUESTION: Well, the word is – unprecedented is what I’m getting at. And I think that was the word used by some people at the White House as well. Is there a reason that you’re no longer calling it unprecedented? Have you discovered that, in fact, it’s not unprecedented, that it’s just one of the broadest and deepest in recent memory?

MS. NULAND:I heard, Matt, that you were comparing it to the Hanseatic League. I think we can take --

QUESTION: No, no, that was NATO.

MS. NULAND: We can take your comparing NATO to Hanseatic League. I don’t think that I can remember a time, certainly in my lifetime, when we had the UN, the EU, NATO, the GCC, the Arab League, and the AU pulling – AU in some of its member-states – all pulling in the same direction, all supporting the same international action politically, economically, militarily. So I stand by unprecedented. That works.


QUESTION: Just one quick one on Libya. The planning, I presume, is somehow in place, but aside from the money, when you talk about aid to help write constitutions, nation-forming assistance, is there a plan to use NGOs, or would this be, like, U.S. State Department or AID people who might provide that assistance?

MS. NULAND: You’re talking, Jill, about the 1 to 1.5 or are you talking about humanitarian and other assistance?

QUESTION: No, just humanitarian in addition to perhaps the actual financial aid. You were talking about assistance which would be kind of the NGO world assistance. But would the United States, the State Department actually, provide people on the ground or in some capacity who would work with the NTC on writing a constitution, putting elections together, that type of assistance?

MS. NULAND: First of all, before I get to your question, you’re using NTC. We use TNC.


MS. NULAND: Just to say that for all of you who might be confused out there, the Libyans themselves have used both in their documents interchangeably, so we’re going to continue to call them the TNC. That’s what trips off our tongues, but it’s all the same entity for the world out there.

I think you’re getting a little bit ahead of the game. What we need now, first, is for the TNC representing the Libyan people to come forward with its set of interests in terms of how the international community can help. Our sense of how this should work – and the Secretary discussed this with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday – is that the UN should be the lead international organization for providing the humanitarian, political, economic support, that the nation-states of the UN would then support that effort.

And again, until we have the list, we have to – we wouldn’t be able to speak to how we might play our role. But traditionally in transitional countries, whether you’re talking about support now in Egypt or Tunisia, in the past support in other places, there are some programs that the State Department offers, programs in the areas of rule of law, security support, humanitarian assistance. And there are other programs that we contract through NGOs, et cetera. So I think it remains to be seen.

QUESTION: A follow-up on that timeline. How quickly do you expect the TNC will be able to produce this wish list for the United Nations? And without that, what’s going – what’s the political directors meeting in Istanbul going to do? I thought they were also going to be looking at some of these needs. How are they doing that before, or are you expecting them to have the list on hand come Thursday?

MS. NULAND: The first job is obviously to finish the job in Tripoli, so that’s very much the focus of the TNC inside Libya at the moment. And it’s not going to be able to fully evaluate, I would suspect, all of its needs until it’s fully in charge. That said, the planning, the next phase of planning and thinking about these things, goes forward in Istanbul on Thursday.

Yesterday, I told you that the U.S. delegation would be led by Assistant Secretary Gordon. He will be on the delegation. But yesterday, Secretary Clinton asked her deputy, Deputy Secretary Bill Burns, to lead the U.S. delegation, so he will be going as will Assistant Secretary Feltman, Gordon, others.

And indeed, Andy, that meeting will put together the TNC leadership, the UN, the EU, NATO will be represented, the member countries will be represented, so that we can hear the most updated report from the TNC on what it expects. The UN can talk about how it’s organizing, and this coordination can continue in preparation for the day when we have a more formal request and a more formal UN process.

QUESTION: One more on Libya quickly?

MS. NULAND: Please. Wendell.

QUESTION: In February, P.J. said there were still chemical weapons (inaudible) to the Libyan (inaudible) comfortable with their security then. Are you comfortable with their security now, and why?

MS. NULAND: This will obviously be a priority for everybody, and that’s all I’m prepared to say on that one at the moment.

QUESTION: In Libya, Libyan --

MS. NULAND: Are we finished with Libya still? No?

QUESTION: Hold on.

MS. NULAND: One more Libya?

QUESTION: Can you just expand on that just a bit?

MS. NULAND: I can’t, frankly, because we’re getting into areas of intelligence, so I don’t want to go --

QUESTION: No. But what will obviously be a priority for everybody? What? Exactly what?

MS. NULAND: Ensuring that we have a full accounting, and I don’t think it simply speaks to the question of WMD. It also speaks to the larger question of weaponry, et cetera, ensuring that the governing forces in Libya have full command and control and are – of any WMD or any security assets that the state might have had, and are prepared to meet international obligations and international standards of nonproliferation, transparency, et cetera.


QUESTION: On Libya, you described Qadhafi regime as near collapse. My question is: Do you see any need or are you taking any precautions to protect the Qadhafi loyalist in the case of total collapse of the current regime?

MS. NULAND: The TNC itself has called for calm, has spoken against retribution, point-scoring, score-settling. We are very supportive of that sentiment. We think it’s very important. We want to see Libyans have the government that they deserve – a government of national unity, a government where all Libyan points of view that are in keeping with international best practices and standards are represented, including the fact that the TNC itself has said that it would be willing to have former Qadhafi loyalists who don’t have blood on their hands be considered in the leadership structure.

So we need to see how this goes forward, but clearly, the TNC is saying the right thing, and we are encouraged by the fact that those parts of Tripoli and other parts of the country that they are managing have not seen reprisals.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) the 1970 and 1973 UN Security Council resolutions also can apply to protecting civilians or loyalists? Just to make sure.

MS. NULAND: I think you probably saw today that NATO made a statement that its mission continues until the job is done, until it is confident and has assurances from Libyans that civilians have been fully protected. And we obviously support that.




QUESTION: An Administration official just said that Mr. Asad should learn the lessons of Mr. Qadhafi. What lesson is that?

MS. NULAND: I’m not sure what official you’re talking about or what lesson that --

QUESTION: Well, according to CNN, just a news – breaking news that an Administration official said that Mr. Asad should learn from the fate that Mr. Qadhafi is facing. Could you --

MS. NULAND: Okay. Well, I haven’t seen the report and I don’t know who the official was, but there are any number of lessons that might apply.

QUESTION: Such as --

QUESTION: (Inaudible) opposition formed a national council and another (inaudible). Are you in a position to support them immediately? Do you know who they are? Are you willing to work with them? How does it go forward?

MS. NULAND: We’ve seen these reports that those Syrians in exile, who are meeting in Istanbul, have taken a next step to organize themselves politically. We are, as you know, also watching what’s going on inside Syria with the coordinating committees, and their increasing strength in working together and their commitment to have their own roadmap for Syria’s future. So we support all such efforts, and we also support efforts of Syrians outside and inside to work towards that democratic future.

For the record, the official was Ambassador Rice who spoke to CNN at length from Rome today.

Hillary Clinton Media Round-Up: August 23, 2011

Even though Mme. Secretary is on vacation, she remains in the headlines as well as the gossip columns. Thanks to the press briefing yesterday, we saw that she was hard at work at her vacation rental.

Today's briefing took place at 12:30 EDT but has not been published yet. Oddly, although the State Department's message last week was that no public schedules would be forthcoming until the first week of September, they did post a brief one today announcing the briefing.

Public Schedule for August 23, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
August 23, 2011

Note: The next public schedule will be published the first week of September.

12:30 p.m.
Daily Press Briefing with Spokesperson Victoria Nuland

While the POTUS also enjoys some vacation time, on Martha's Vineyard, this article, from the Boston Herald greeted him yesterday morning.

Hillary in ’12!

(Change you can believe in)

By Joe Battenfeld
Monday, August 22, 2011

This probably won’t go over too well down on Blue Heron Farm, but the Democrats’ best chance of keeping the White House next year may be to adopt Barack Obama’s old slogan, “change.”

And by change, I mean dumping Obama.

Read more>>>>

The Des Moines Register offers this today.

Not Obama in 2012?

6:40 AM, Aug 23, 2011 | by Steffen Schmidt
...“I recently had drinks with respected senior Democrats in New Hampshire. They were Barack Obama supporters in 2008 and now have serious buyer’s remorse.

...I literally choked on my next sip of a nice New England summer ale when one of them said, “New Hampshire was right. Hillary Clinton would have made a better president.”


Then the other shoe dropped. “I think we need a write-in candidate for the 2012 Iowa Democratic caucuses and Hillary would be my choice.”

Read the article>>>>

Bernie Goldberg disagrees, but then it's Bernie Goldberg.

Hillary vs. Obama in 2012? It’ll Never Happen — I Don’t Think

Posted: August 23, 2011

I come to you today, my friends, with good news and bad news. First the bad news.

If Hillary Clinton looks at the polls and decides that Barack Obama is Jimmy Carter all over again, and if she figures, what the hell, and makes a run against him, she will win. Not just the Democratic nomination. The whole thing.

Hillary can beat Mr. Obama and anyone the Republicans nominate.

Read More>>>>

If Hillary Clinton, at her temporary East Hampton residence is occupying anything work-related this week, it certainly is events unfolding in Tripoli. Her Twittascope (the Scorpio one often seems tailor-written for her), advises the following.

(Oct 23 - Nov 21)

You're usually not interested in messing around with shallow conversations or activities that sidetrack you from more meaningful interactions. Today is no exception with the Moon's visit to your 8th House of Deep Sharing encouraging you to experience the full intensity of life. Ironically, you might not want to get your hands dirty in the process now that the Sun is in fussy Virgo. Keep in mind that exerting emotional control to tidy up an uncomfortable situation could ultimately turn it into exactly what you're attempting to avoid.

I agree. This is getting messy, and her name is coming up on TV news broadcasts as well. As Obama takes credit for the Libya policy she helped forge (with Samantha Power and Susan Rice), fought for, and traveled twice in one week to Paris to execute, it is probably best that any work-related time be spent on Libya. The primary story has legs enough.

On the lighter side, New York gossip columns are buzzing with stories of how the Clintons spent Bill's 65th birthday weekend. The Atlantic offers this.

Bill Clinton's Low-Key 65th

Ray Gustini

Former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent a relaxing weekend in New York "to celebrate his 65th birthday. On Saturday they were joined by daughter Chelsea and her husband Marc Mezvinsky for brunch at Park Avenue Summer "before going for a stroll on Madison Avenue."

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CBS provides a bit more of the story. The server for this one has been going down and coming back up, so you might not be able to access it the first time around.

Gotham Gossipist: Bill & Hillary Clinton Hit The NYC Streets, Relax In Chappaqua

August 23, 2011 11:18 AM

By Kimberly Rae Miller

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – World leaders – they’re just like us!

Bill and Hillary Clinton were on the scene in different parts of the Tri-State area over the weekend as the family celebrated Mr. Clinton’s 65th birthday.

The Secretary of State and former Commander-in-Chief were spotted on the streets of New York City, according to the New York Post.

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Faithful contributor PYW comes through again with real breaking news that the little vacation may be lasting a little longer than originally reported by sharing this one from the East Hampton Press.

Clintons Are Coming To East Hampton Village

Publication: The East Hampton Press

By Virginia Garrison

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton will be visiting East Hampton Village from August 22 to September 5, a source familiar with the visit who asked not to be identified said on Friday afternoon.

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This embeddable version of the city walk just popped up. Enjoy!

Bill and Hillary Clinton Walk in New York City by CelebNews-GrabNetworks

Well, we felt the earthquake here in the New York metro area. Hope Mme. Secretary and her squire are enjoying the sand, sun, and surf out there on the east end. The TNC has taken over the Gadhafi compound without finding him or his family, but they have the weapons and vehicles.