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Source: Hillary asking foreign leaders to `dial down' criticism of Israel

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been privately asking foreign leaders to "dial down" criticism of Israel until all the facts of the flotilla attack are known, according to a source who personally discussed the matter with her.

"She says she's been working the phones for last 24 hours trying to get people to cool off a little bit, to see what the facts are," the source tells me, adding that she said she was trying to "dial down some of the rhetoric of the inernational community."

"It's difficult," the source adds. "She says people are furious."

Such calls are not unexpected, but they provide a glimpse into how awkward a position the U.S. knows it's in now that global criticism of Israel's attack is mounting, since it's coming at a moment when the Obama administration was hoping to do a "kiss and make up" session with Netanyahu.

Also: The calls are a sign that the administration may be directly helping Israel by trying to lend a hand damping down the global outcry.

UPDATE, 2:22 p.m.: State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley confirms that Secretary Clinton did meet this morning with the foreign minister of Turkey to discuss yesterday's incident.

"We certainly support an impartial investiation of what happened," Crowley tells me. "The Secretary and others within the government are encouraging everyone to ascertain more facts first and then determine the appropriate course of action."

By Greg Sargent  |  June 1, 2010; 2:09 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Next: Cantor to Obama: Stand up for Israel!

Comments

I'm a frequent critic of Israel, and lately of the Obama administration in general, but I agree. The facts aren't completely known yet, and I think we're right to hold off judgment until we know for sure what happened. It's called due process.

Posted by: SDJeff | June 1, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

LMAOOOOOOO

I wonder if she will be successful in trying to tamp down the criticism seeing as how the last time we told everyone to wait for the facts, ie when Israel laid seige to Gaza early last year, we then effectively scuttled the findings of the investigation which were in the Goldstone Report and went as far as to accuse the investigators as being anti semitic.

Somehow I doubt people will be willing to listen this time.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 1, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Also Im trying to envision a fact or facts that would make criticism of Israel less valid in this situation. Hmmmm Im having a hard time coming up with any. Especially when they are coming up with comical crap like saying they were shooting paint balls when they came aboard. First of all, if I was stupid enough to believe it then it would make their claims that they feared for their lives and were acting in self defense total and unequivical BS. You don't shoot at people with paint guns when you think they are trying to kill you.

So what, exactly, could the people on the flotillas have possibly done to warrant 10 people dying as a result?

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 1, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

The point here is to defend the proximity talks. If they lose those, mideast talks would be done for a generation. Do I think it's futile to do so? Yes. But the point is genuine nonetheless.

Posted by: calchala | June 1, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

All, see confirmation from State dept of this, added as an update....

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 1, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Well, I suppose it is up to the US to mop up the mess that is left. Who else wants to be bothered trying to referee this crap.

Posted by: carolerae48 | June 1, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

You should ask them if they consider a UN investigation "impartial" and then reference Goldstone.

Im sure that will not go over well lol

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 1, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

For the Israel-Firsters it will only be an "impartial investigation" if it exonerates Israel and declares the flotilla a terrorist invasion.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Referees are impartial. The U.S. is not a referee but the most important player on Israel's team. How long does anyone think Israel would be able to continue its belligerent and illegal behavior without American backing? All we have to do is pull the plug on the billions in (mostly military) aid we pour into Israel and the conflict dries up. The fact is that any suggestion of tightening the purse strings when it comes to Israel would be political suicide in the U.S., despite that fact that our stance inflames anti-Americanism all over the world (especially the Muslim world).

Posted by: Adam_W | June 1, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Is she also trying to get Netanmyahu and Lieberman to dial things down? WEhat will she say when they blow the next ship out of the water?

Seriously, I don't think Turkey is the big problem here. Without the blockade, there would be no flotilla. Without Gaza having been dumped by Sharon, there would be no blockade. Without the occupation bing so costly and Hamas having been victorious, there would not have been the dumping of Gaza. Without the occupation . . . . .

Posted by: Mimikatz | June 1, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

OT from Bloomberg.com. None of this seems all that clear but this is what's out there.

"BP Plc has decided not to attach a second blowout preventer on its leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico and efforts to end the flow are over until the relief wells are finished, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Thad Allen, who spoke at a press conference today."

UPDATE II: "BP spokesperson John Curry denied reports of any problems with the Lower Marine Rise Package, which begins drilling today.

Reports that BP had canceled all rescue plans were based on a headline from Bloomberg: Efforts to End Oil Flow From BP's Leaking Well Are Over, Coast Guard Says. While BP is ending efforts to halt the flow, it will continuing efforts to capture the flow."

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/disaster-bp-already-aborts-plan-to-attach-second-blowout-preventer-2010-6#ixzz0pdCHWdP2

Posted by: lmsinca | June 1, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

IDK. Storming a boat with Commandos that's filled with activists seems going WAY overboard.

Ask yourself, if Iran stormed a boat full of activists with Commandos, and almost a dozen were killed, and hundreds remain in prison, would the UN Security Council have done otherwise?

Why is an exception being made? Yeah yeah, I know why...Israel is a big baby and if we slap their hand, they'll walk away from talks because that's what five year olds do.

Israel is like a child with nukes.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 1, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

It's ok people. Once the islamist nut jobs have taken care of Israel with no pushback or help from anyone, then they can go on to Europe, where they now cower in fear of the islamist nutjobs. After Europe, they can put the boot on America and judging by the comments here and elsewhere, you all should love and welcome the liberalism of sharia.

Don't have a current religion? Don't worry Islam is for you, by the sword or by your capitulating whimper.

Posted by: bandmom22 | June 1, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

bandmom22, what are you talking about?

Israel attacked a bunch of activists, many of whom are from a NATO ally.

Why did you go off on a bigoted rant against Muslims?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 1, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

When was the last time Clinton asked people to "dial down" there criticism of Iran or Cuba until all the facts are known? Once again Hillary is demonstrating the double stand the US applies for Israel.

Posted by: crete | June 1, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Eric Cantor calls on Obama to defend Israel more forcefully against international criticism:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/cantor_to_obama_stand_up_for_i.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 1, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden said Obama would be tested... Obama has been a miserable failure with foreign policy.. This is the result of a weak President.. We all knew/or should have know something like this would happen.. Weak Presidents embolden tyrants and terrorists... We see the results of a failed President all over the world today... Iran, N. Korea and the radical elements in the Middle East laugh at our President along with Russia and China. We need change in a real way, not just a talking point from a naive wannabe!

Posted by: 2010Rout | June 1, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"Weak Presidents embolden tyrants and terrorists..."

That explains 9/11 and when Saddam invaded Kuwait

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 1, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Many of us who grew up loving and supporting Israel and understanding what Irgun and Haganah were doing and why now perceive modern Israeli politics as some horrid converse of original intents and goal. It's a bloody and very immoral tragedy.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 1, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

A clarification. Not that it matters.

Israel told Hillary to tell the world leaders to back off!

Posted by: kishorgala | June 1, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

The only way for such a perspective to have any credibility is if Clinton is out there making public demands that Israel return all confiscated laptops, phones, cameras, or any other recording devices taken from those aboard the vessels. Without such a demand, her words are farcical.

Posted by: crckt | June 1, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Mikefrom Arlington... the failures of Clinton and his policies like not allowing The CIA and the FBI to talk to each other, along with his complete failure to address the repeated terrorist attacks under his watch brought about 9-11

Saddam invading Kuwait was a result of weakness from the UN and the Democrats supporting doing nothing in the face of aggression from Saddam...In fact, I would go so far as to say that the weakness from the left/UN created the atmosphere that emboldened the tyrant (Saddam) to invade because the Dems and the UN (he thought) would be allow it..

Just like today with our weak President... The tyrants and terrorists laugh at us as the wimpy left bow and grovel at their feet..

Posted by: 2010Rout | June 1, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

During his campaign, President Obama promised voters the "most transparent" administration in American history. Yet less than two years into his presidency we are regularly reminded of his failure to live up to that promise.

Presidential press conferences are rare, White House staffers interview Supreme Court nominees in place of the free press, and the President even refused to take questions at a signing ceremony for the "Freedom of the Press Act."

Perhaps most disconcerting is the fact that the White House has been stonewalling on conversations in which Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) alleged he was offered a job if he dropped his bid for Pennsylvania's Senate seat. In a Friday news dump on Memorial Day weekend, the White House released a memo stating former President Bill Clinton, at the behest of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, made an offer to Rep. Sestak of a position in the Obama Administration.

But this unsubstantiated memo raises more questions than it answers.

What was Bill Clinton authorized to offer Rep. Sestak? And did President Obama sign off on this conversation before it took place?

If there was an offer of a job to Rep. Sestak for dropping out of the primary against Sen. Arlen Specter, that would be a violation of U.S. Codes 18-600 and 18-595.

Now more than ever it is clear that this White House is not capable of policing itself and needs to open itself to an independent investigation. I support Republican members of Congress who have asked the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the allegations.

mark, the Republican National Committee is taking action as well by demanding the Obama White House tell the American people what Bill Clinton was authorized to offer Rep. Sestak and whether President Obama signed off on this conversation before it took place. Please sign the RNC's petition today insisting President Obama come clean about his administration's dealings to directly affect the outcome of a primary election by allegedly offering a government position to Congressman Sestak.

After you sign the petition, please take a moment to make a secure online contribution of $25, $50, $100 or $500 to support the RNC's 2010 midterm campaign efforts to elect Republican majorities nationwide who will provide the much needed check on the Obama White House and end the Democrats' one-party rule in Washington.

Obfuscation and stonewalling is not what Barack Obama promised Americans, and it's not what you deserve. This is YOUR government -- it's time to hold it responsible. Please sign the RNC's petition today.

Posted by: coiaorguk | June 1, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

2010rout, (which says it all about you), don't be ridiculous. You are claiming that because the Israeli government decided to lower the commandos onto that boat that Obama is a failure. Umhumm.
That can only be because you somehow believe that Americans are in total charge of the whole world at all times and control the leaders of every country in the world.
Americans control North Korea (this whole thing about a Korean War and hard relations for 50 years is nothing but a hoax since America has been controlling them the whole time, right.)
Americans control EVERYONE EVERYWHERE and therefore, when something goes wrong, it is because of American failure.
Talk about a "superiority" complex.
Well, guess what, other countries have their own leaders who make their own decisions and we, in America, must adjust to them. I know, hard to believe isn't it, but, there you have it.
There is someone else in the world besides you.

Posted by: cms1 | June 1, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

People are furious. That's what happens when they don't care about the facts.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | June 1, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Foreign Leaders? Obama is the one that she should be telling to "dial down".

Posted by: sam51 | June 1, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is one of only two cool heads in the cabinet (...... AND, THE SECOND ONE IS NOT ERIC HOLDER!)

Posted by: wheeljc | June 1, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't media actually try to report all of the facts and quit slanting, skewing, or leaving out important information when relaying a story? Most Americans aren't that naive to believe Israel is the only nation to blame here...My question is who exactly is on the U.N. councel? Are most of these individuals from the middle east?

Posted by: Rhonda5 | June 1, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/7/hillary-clinton-for-president

Posted by: thejaner | June 1, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

why can't the world see that when it comes to israel, the US is just dishonest and incredibly biased party?

Posted by: xaajiga1 | June 2, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

SD Jeff, you mean like the due process Israel gave when it slaughtered 16 people and imprisoned hundreds of others ?
This is beyond anything in the spurious Protocols, Obama is simply Nuttyahu's shoe shine boy. Hillary is beneath contempt, we need an AMERICAN governmengt, which we won't get from either of the two AIPAC bought and paid parties.

Posted by: mike_hardesty7 | June 2, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm sick and tired of American politicians kissing Israel's butt. We have nothing in common with Israel, Israelis spit on and attack Christian priest and spit on churches. Israel has never helped us out once. Israel is 3rd largest military in the world and has never sent troops to help us Yugoslavia, Vietnam, Korea, not one Israeli soldier there. Israel receives more aid from us then the entire African continent and then we have to give aid to Egypt and Jordan to make peace with Israel. Shared values I'm sorry Judeo-Christian values was idea created after 1948 before it was called Christian values. They attack our soldiers, they spy on us Jonathan Pollard who is Jewish passed classified information to Israel who then gave it to China and Pakistan, Pakistan ! Most of you would be furious if a Pakistani did this but since he was Jewish the media covers it up and Pollard is a hero in Israel and they even try to get him released to Israel, yeah what a great ally and then Ben-ami Kadish spied for Israel also and was arrested but the judge decided well he is too old just pay a fine heck so what you did hurt American lives and now he lives in great comfort in Israel. They killed more then 34 brave American sailors and injured more than 170 sailors then Israel lies about it and says it was accident, yeah same values ol' right. You talk to any of those sailors and Captain William L. McGonagle of USS Liberty and they say it was no accident, it was a act of war. Of course you won't hear that from the media since they are run by Zionist, not one time has the major networks criticized Israel and they say it is because they are a great ally but so is United Kingdom but the media here in the US criticized them for going to war in Falkland Islands and I think we have more of special relationship with the United Kingdom, same language and values and our parent country but from government and media you would think America was founded by Jews and not ex-British citizens last time I checked it was George Washington not George Stein.

Posted by: mikehoncho3989 | June 3, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

I'm sick and tired of American politicians kissing Israel's butt. We have nothing in common with Israel, Israelis spit on and attack Christian priest and spit on churches. Israel has never helped us out once. Israel is 3rd largest military in the world and has never sent troops to help us Yugoslavia, Vietnam, Korea, not one Israeli soldier there. Israel receives more aid from us then the entire African continent and then we have to give aid to Egypt and Jordan to make peace with Israel. Shared values I'm sorry Judeo-Christian values was idea created after 1948 before it was called Christian values. They attack our soldiers, they spy on us Jonathan Pollard who is Jewish passed classified information to Israel who then gave it to China and Pakistan, Pakistan ! Most of you would be furious if a Pakistani did this but since he was Jewish the media covers it up and Pollard is a hero in Israel and they even try to get him released to Israel, yeah what a great ally and then Ben-ami Kadish spied for Israel also and was arrested but the judge decided well he is too old just pay a fine heck so what you did hurt American lives and now he lives in great comfort in Israel. They killed more then 34 brave American sailors and injured more than 170 sailors then Israel lies about it and says it was accident, yeah same values ol' right. You talk to any of those sailors and Captain William L. McGonagle of USS Liberty and they say it was no accident, it was a act of war. Of course you won't hear that from the media since they are run by Zionist, not one time has the major networks criticized Israel and they say it is because they are a great ally but so is United Kingdom but the media here in the US criticized them for going to war in Falkland Islands and I think we have more of special relationship with the United Kingdom, same language and values and our parent country but from government and media you would think America was founded by Jews and not ex-British citizens last time I checked it was George Washington not George Stein.

Posted by: mikehoncho3989 | June 3, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Who is your employer Hillary? Do you get a check from Israel too?

Posted by: SONAMERICANREVOLUTION | June 3, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Hilliary, you, my cousin Obama, and the Washington Post, NY Times, and CNN (bring cousin Dick Chaney and George Bush with you but leave dishonest Abe & Yuhoo at home)need to sit down and have a good long talk with Dr Alan Sabrosky, former director of studies at the Army War College.
He said "the Israeli Mossad did 911, it is 100% certain, PERIOD!"
All you folks may be engaging in treason.
I know Bill didn't inhale, didn't have sex with that female Mossad agent, it wasn't sex (Vernon Jordan agrees) and he just sat back and let it happen (so he didn't really do anything).
Perhaps Dr Sabrosky could teach you something! Dr Sabrosky doesn't seem to agree with that the USA is Israel's second state or colony!

Mike

Posted by: SONAMERICANREVOLUTION | June 3, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Funny, but just a couple of weeks ago Hillary was jumping up and down accusing North Korea of attacking a warship and agitating for retribution, and now it's like..."will you pick up that rug, please, I have some dirt to sweep under it".

Posted by: honeycum | June 3, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

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