The same White House that has made a point of tracking down leakers and anonymous critics suddenly has no interest in finding out the name of the anonymous source behind The Atlantic’s bombshell story that told the world this week that administration officials call the prime minister of Israel a “chickensh*t” behind closed doors.
But that’s not because President Obama agrees with it, White House spokesman Josh Earnest assured reporters Wednesday.
“The prime minister and the president have forged an effective partnership,” Earnest said during a news briefing, in a lie transparent to anyone who has read a newspaper or watched television for the past five years. “The fact is that comments like that do not reflect the administration’s view and we do believe that they are counterproductive.”
Well, they’re certainly counterproductive, considering Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went so far as to address the column in The Atlantic on Wednesday while speaking before the Israeli Knesset.
But whether they actually reflect the view of a president and the White House is still an open question, considering this is a president whose liberal base is virulently anti-Israel – and who has been caught on a hot mic making derogatory remarks about Netanyahu himself.
And the lack of interest in finding out the source of the comments is particularly telling, considering this administration went to considerable lengths last year to identify and fire a National Security Council staffer whose Twitter account was known for broadcasting insults about the administration.
It is still threatening New York Times reporter James Risen with prison over Risen’s source for a book about the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping. It has spied extensively on other journalists, wiretapping phones including Fox News’ James Rosen as well as reporters and editors at The Associated Press.
And its surveillance of former CBS News reporter Sharyll Attkisson, as Attkisson describes it in her book, “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction and Intimidation in Obama’s Washington” makes for chilling reading for anyone who believes in the freedom of the press.
But not this time. Obama’s White House suddenly has no interest at all in finding out who the “senior administration official” is who blabbed to The Atlantic about the White House’s insult to the leader of the one of the United States’ closest allies.
Asked point-black Wednesday if the Obama White House were making an attempt to find out the source, Earnest sounded clear.
“I don’t know of any effort like that that’s underway right now,” he said. “What we have found to be the most effective tactic is to help all of you understand the proper context for those comments. In this case I am not sure there is a proper context, they are so directly in opposition to the true view and policy of this administration.”
Check out Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry grilling Earnest here, via Real Clear Politics.
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