Thus were the State Department’s pretenses laid bare

Matthew Lee of AP is a credit to his profession. For nearly a week he has been interrogating the State Department spokesman PJ Crowley abou the imprisonment of Abdullah Abu Rahmah, a non-violent activist who led the weekly protests at Bil’in. The silence and dithering of the government are telling given the high-minded claims Obama and Clinton made about supporting non-violent civil-society initiatives.

Update: Mondoweiss reports that Lee raised Abu Rahmah’s detention yet again at today’s press conference and the following exchange ensued:

Crowley: We have raised this case with the Israeli government. We continue to follow developments in this case, as well as other cases of West Bank Palestinian protesters who have been arrested and tried on a variety of charges. We are aware that, in this particular case of Abdullah Abu Rahmeh, the case is under appeal, and our embassy regularly raises human rights issues as appropriate and with regard to specific cases with the government of Israel.

¶ QUESTION: OK. When you said that you’ve raised it with the Israelis, can you be more specific? What have you said?

¶ CROWLEY: We’ve discussed the case with the Israeli government. I’ll leave it there.

¶ QUESTION: OK. And did this happen before or after you started getting questions about it?

¶ CROWLEY: Before.

¶ QUESTION: And so then what was the — what was the problem with saying this when it was originally raised?

¶ CROWLEY: I finally got the information I needed.

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