The Washington Post

Who’s to blame for the original Cairo apology

Right Turn has learned that the ambassador to Egypt, longtime foreign service officer Anne W. Patterson, was not in Egypt during the siege of the embassy. According to sources directly aware of her travel schedule, she has been in Washington for several days. The State Department confirmed that Patterson was not in Egypt but declined to provide the name of the individual who was left in charge in her absence.

Early Tuesday the Cairo embassy put out a statement online that read: “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”

(Timeline of events.)

A State Department official, authorized only to speak on background, said there was absolutely no coordination with the White House. The Cairo statement was sent to the Near East desk at the State Department and was rejected.The State Department insists the official in Cairo did not wait and posted the message online.

The State Department has refused to say whether the individual will be subject to discipline.

Why did Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton wait until late Tuesday night to disclaim the statement? That remains uncertain, although a State Department official insists the concern was focused elsewhere.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.


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