When State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf claimed that Americans trapped in Yemen were alerted to opportunities to leave the country, an Associated Press reporter asked if those opportunities included swimming to safety.
The painful expression on Harf’s face spoke volumes. Watch the vine video of the exchange. Turn on the sound by clicking the speaker icon in the lower-right corner of the video.
Last year President Obama hailed Yemen as a success story in the war on terror; today, much of it has been taken over by Islamic terrorists and the U.S. embassy there was hastily evacuated in mid-February. That left the Yemeni-Americans still trapped in that country. Of course, you could say that those still there should have known better — the entire Middle East is going up in flames. Nonetheless, no rescue attempts have even been attempted.
Getting no support from the Obama administration, notwithstanding the president’s claim that he would leave no American behind, U.S. citizens still in Yemen took an extraordinary step Thursday, according to Fox News:
Claiming the Obama administration turned its back on them, 41 Americans stranded in war-torn Yemen filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the State Department and Defense Department for not evacuating them — as fighting intensifies and U.S. allies launch airstrikes. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., seeks to compel the government to use “all resources” possible to rescue the stranded Americans. The plaintiffs range in age from just a few weeks old to senior citizens.
That became a subject at Friday’s State Department press briefing, when AP reporter Matt Lee asked Harf, “You alerted them [the Yemeni-Americans] to opportunities to leave the country?” Harf assured Lee that the State Department had. “What are those opportunities,” he asked. “Swim?” Lee punched the last word. After BuzzFeed tweeted the vine, the Twitterverse went crazy.
— Floyd Lawson (@Dick_Gosinya) April 10, 2015
@BuzzFeedNews damm if looks could kill he would have been dead on the spot
— curly bill (@1curlybill) April 10, 2015
And finally, this Twitter user summed up what have been my thoughts about Lee for a long time.
— Sophie Ro (@SophieRo3) April 10, 2015
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