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Obama "Shot First" And Now Mixing Messages On Egypt

- September 13, 2012

After Warning Not To "Shoot First And Aim Later," Obama Administration Sends Mixed Messages

Obama: "It's Important For You To Make Sure That The Statements That You Make Are Backed Up By The Facts. And That You've Thought Through The Ramifications Before You Make 'Em." OBAMA: "There's a broader lesson to be learned here. And I -- you know, Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later. And as president, one of the things I've learned is you can't do that. That, you know, it's important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts. And that you've thought through the ramifications before you make 'em." (CBS's "60 Minutes," 9/12/12)

THE WHITE HOUSE WAS FORCED TO CLARIFY OBAMA'S STATEMENT AS STATE DEPARTMENT REFUSED TO BACK UP OBAMA

Obama Said He Would Not Consider Egypt An Ally. TELEMUNDO/NBC'S JOSE DIAZ-BALART: "Would you consider the current Egyptian regime an ally of the United States?" OBAMA: "I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy. They're a new government that is trying to find its way." (President Barack Obama, Interview With Jose Diaz-Balart, Telemundo/NBC News , 9/12/12)

  • "[T]echnically, Egypt Was Designated As A Major Non-NATO Ally In 1989." "That comment had Egypt watchers scratching their heads, especially since technically, Egypt was designated as a Major Non-NATO Ally in 1989 when Congress first passed the law creating that status, which gives them special privileges in cooperating with the United States, especially in the security and technology arenas." (Josh Rogin, "White House Clarifies Obama's Statement That Egypt Is Not An 'Ally,'" Foreign Policy 's "The Cable" , 9/13/12)
  • Egypt Is Still Listed As A Major Non-NATO U.S. Ally. "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday formally designated Afghanistan a 'major non-NATO ally,' setting the stage for tighter military cooperation even as international troops are on a path to withdraw from the war-torn country by the end of 2014. … The list of major non-NATO allies includes Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand." (Olivier Knox, "U.S. Anoints Afghanistan A 'Major Non-NATO Ally'," Yahoo! News, 7/6/12)

The White House Clarified That "Obama Didn't Intend To Signal Any Change In The U.S.-Egypt Relationship." "President Barack Obama didn't intend to signal any change in the U.S.-Egypt relationship last night when he said Egypt is not an 'ally,' the White House told The Cable today." (Josh Rogin, "White House Clarifies Obama's Statement That Egypt Is Not An 'Ally,'" Foreign Policy 's "The Cable" , 9/13/12)

  • White House Spokesperson Tommy Vietor: "I Think Folks Are Reading Way Too Much Into This." "White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told The Cable Thursday that the administration is not signaling a change in that status. 'I think folks are reading way too much into this,' Vietor said. 'Ally' is a legal term of art. We don't have a mutual defense treaty with Egypt like we do with our NATO allies. But as the president has said, Egypt is longstanding and close partner of the United States, and we have built on that foundation by supporting Egypt's transition to democracy and working with the new government.'" (Josh Rogin, "White House Clarifies Obama's Statement That Egypt Is Not An 'Ally,'" Foreign Policy 's "The Cable" , 9/13/12)

Obama State Department: Egypt Is An Ally Despite What Obama Says . "The State Department affirmed Egypt's legal status as an ally Thursday - an apparent contradiction to what President Obama said in a Wednesday interview. Asked repeatedly if the State Department still considered Egypt a major non-NATO ally - a designation they were awarded in 1989 - State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said simply: 'Yes.'" (Byron Tau, "State Dept: Egypt's Still An Ally," Politico, 9/13/12)


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