Friday, December 10, 2010

December 10

“[I]t was Pope Gregory XV (Alessandro Ludovisi 1621-1623) who, with his ‘Inscrutabili Divinae’, founded the Holy Congregation ‘de Propaganda Fide’ … to promote and co-ordinate all evangelising activity in non-Christian lands.”

--Co-ordinator of the Missionary Museum of Propaganda Fide academic committee, Francesco Buranelli; cited in "Propaganda Fide opens ‘missionary museum’," CathNewsAsia; image from article, with caption: the museum is "located in the Roman palazzo which has been the headquarters of the congregation for nearly four centuries."


How Philip M Taylor saw propaganda and public diplomacy from thewandren on Vimeo; on propaganda scholar Philip Taylor, see


Pat-down search of envoy not good public diplomacy: India - “India on Friday said the 'pat-down' search of Ambassador Meera Shankar at a US airport was not good public diplomacy and that it was awaiting a report from its embassy in Washington over the incident before it can take up the matter with American authorities. ‘We have also asked our embassy in Washington to give us a detailed report on the incident. We haven't as yet received that, but we will be certainly looking at that before we take further action,’ Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters.” Image from

US regrets Indian envoy’s frisking - Arun Kumar, "Amid an uproar over the 'pat down' screening of Indian ambassador Meera Shankar at a US airport, Washington has reached out to her and promised to see what could be done to prevent such incidents. 'We obviously are concerned about it,' US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday as India reacted strongly to Shankar being pulled out of an airport security line for a pat down in Mississippi despite being told of her diplomatic status. 'We will be looking into it and trying to determine both what happened and what we could do to prevent such incidents in the future,' Clinton told reporters at the State Department during a joint press availability with her Nigerian counterpart."

Envoys airport search will be taken up with US embassy - "Rao - India would 'certainly be speaking to the US embassy' regarding the 'pat down' search that Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar was subjected to at an airport, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said here Friday. ... On Dec 4, Shankar was subjected to a rigorous public 'pat down' at the Jackson-Evers International Airport after a visit as a guest of the Mississippi State University. It was the second time in three months that the ambassador faced such screening." See also. Below image from

India’s Envoy Miss Shankar Frisked At US Airport On Terror Suspicion - Pakistan Politics: "•Pulled from an airport line and patted down; second Indian official to face stringent US checks after ex-India president •Indian minister Krishna covered up on the story for five days to avoid issuing a statement critical of US ... . US homeland security officials have been concerned at a pattern over the past decade where private or government-employed Indian citizens have been stopped at US airports for indulging in terrorism-related activities, nuclear espionage or export of sensitive technology."

Shashi Tharoor to speak at public diplomacy conference - "Once criticised for his habit of tweeting on serious policy issues, Shashi Tharoor has now been invited to speak Friday at a conference on public diplomacy organised by the external affairs ministry in which he was a junior minister till a few months ago. With 24x7 news channels setting public agenda and new age media influencing discourse on key global issues, the ministry is organising a day-long conference Friday and a workshop the next day where experts would focus on soft power and public diplomacy. ...Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao will deliver the ketnote address at the seminar.

Nicholas J. Cull, professor of public diplomacy at Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California (USC), will speak on the concept of nation branding. Philip Seib, professor of journalism and public diplomacy at the USC, Eytan Gilbao of Israel and Nick Gowing of BBC will also be speaking at the event. ... Those not attending the conference can access the speakers on the live webcast at or" See also. Image from

The Inspiring Obamas - Abhay K, Newswire – CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "The visit of Barack and Michelle Obama has left India mesmerized, especially Indian youth.

The President and the First Lady share a great chemistry, mutual admiration and warmth, rare qualities among the world’s top political leaders, and could be an example for many here in India and across the world. ... His reference to the invention of zero

by the Indians deeply touched the heart of the entire country." Abhay K image from article. Coke image from

WikiLeaks fallout: US-Africa relations still strong and growing‎ - The Independent: Johnny Carson, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, has likened WikiLeaks to a person who eavesdrops on a conversation between a husband and wife discussing one of their in-laws which is purely a private matter but steals the information and lets it out in the public. 'We hope that those who have this information recognize that it is stolen material,' he said, cautioning the media not trade in it. Carson said the contents in leaked US diplomatic cables do not in any way reflect the position of the US government but individual opinions of the diplomats, adding that the relation between the US and African countries is not affected by the WikiLeaks revelation of the secret US diplomacy. ... 'No information that may emerge from WikiLeaks can weaken our relations with Africa,' Carson said. He was reacting to questions from journalists across the continent in a teleconference on Dec. 9. The recent revelations by WikiLeaks on the US diplomatic maneuvers have brought the two faces of America, something that has angered the US government. The leaks show the visible soft public diplomacy and secret candid diplomacy assessment by American diplomats of peers from other countries."

The Asymmetrical Battle for Control Of the Internet Is Only Just Beginning - Johan Lagerkvist, "The grand irony of WikiLeaks is that the organization’s ideal of worldwide transparency may be harder to attain if the response is a new information order where states, regardless of the nature of their polities, seek to rein in their netizens. It will take great skill on the part of established democracies to convince their own people, as well as Chinese and others under the sway of propagandistic state-controlled media organizations, that tightening information flow in the West and accusations that authoritarians want to control free speech are nothing but doublespeak.

The only way forward for diplomacy is to develop high-tech encryption tactics and smarter management restrictions to classify cables. The leak of US confidential documents is in itself the consequence of vast expansion of security-cleared personnel, which is likely to change. Already in the pipeline: 2.0 propagandistic public diplomacy, increasing use of personal envoys, fewer online dispatches, more calls for organizational loyalty. ... [W]e enter a new phase via the WikiLeaks’ assault on traditional diplomacy. This phase entails defensive nation states and their allies using nationalistic public diplomacy, harsher legislation against businesses willing to host political and civic activists labeled as deviant, more secretive bilateral relations. However, WikiLeaks may also open a new chapter for civil resistance against a potentially more regulated world information order, making the concepts of transnational and global civil society more meaningful than ever." Image from article

Wikileaks: le vieux monde débordé...
- Médias Citoyens Diois: "Les modèles classiques, s'ils ne s'adaptent pas, ne sont plus capables de survivre de manière autonome à l'âge du numérique, même s'il s'agit de la diplomatie des Etats-Unis. Une des leçons de cette débâcle diplomatique inciterait à revisiter les théories de la public diplomacy et du soft power en grande vogue aux Etats-Unis. Dans l'un comme dans l'autre cas, Internet joue un rôle important dans les stratégies de communication publique. Les réseaux sociaux, les sites contributifs et participatifs sont tous utilisés avant de faire avancer des intérêts et des politiques spécifiques. Mais pourquoi accepter que ces outils soient réservés à un usage à sens unique puisque leur principe consiste en premier lieu à substituer des échanges horizontaux et égalitaires à des structures hiérarchiques? Si la diplomatie est l'art du réalisme, il faut qu'elle se modernise au-delà du simple usage des outils informatiques en prenant en compte les réalités des usages associées à ces outils. Plus encore, si l'une des idées-clés

de la public diplomacy consiste à communiquer directement avec les populations des pays divers, comment légitimer les écarts entre la réputation construite dans le monde de la sociabilité numérique et les choix souvent en contradiction avec cette image qui émane des documents secrets et décisifs? Est-ce possible d'accepter un tel écart dans l'âge d'une globalisation de l'accès sans pareil et sans précédent? Ou bien faut-il réserver une place à part pour la politique des grands pays, à l'abri des contraintes et des tribulations de l'espace public réinventé par le numérique?" Image from

Your Turn – Dec. 9, 2010 - San Antonio Express-News: "Re: Manuel P. Munoz's Dec. 4 letter, 'This isn't from me,' about WikiLeaks and 'idiots' in the State Department: Yes, Mr. Munoz, a retired State Department 'complete idiot'

did read your letter. Please understand, the content of those WikiLeaked cables is a big part of why we've paid foreign service officers since the nation began. Political officers report on politics in their host countries. Econ officers report on the economic climate. Public diplomacy officers report on the press and media. Their frank assessments are a small, though juicy, part of the on-the-ground information supplied to Washington. The 200,000-plus documents were not left on a coffee table. They were stolen, apparently as a result of sharing confidential files with another U.S. agency. Cyber security is a growing problem for everyone, everywhere. But the solution in this case is to plug the leaks, not the information flow. J.B. Lovejoy" Image from

The Obama administration's quiet approach to reform in the Arab world‎ - Andrew Albertson, Al-Masry Al-Youm: "Quiet diplomacy has not succeeded in advancing political reform in the Arab world during the first two years of the Obama administration. There are signs that administration officials are considering ways to adjust going forward, which might yet result in a more assertive effort of frank public diplomacy and substantive policy incentives. In order for the administration to help reverse the regressive trend in Arab politics, it will need to demonstrate stronger linkages between its rhetoric on human rights and political reform on the one hand, and policy consequences on the other."

Reports: US cable suggests Desperate Housewives and Letterman more effective than Alhurra against extremism - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "US television entertainment might serve as a moderating influence by diverting attention to entertainment, business, science, etc, and away from extreme religion and politics. And entertainment

almost always draws larger audiences than news. Alhurra is attracting reasonably large audiences, compared to other Arabic-language news stations from non-Arab nations. For the Arab news audience, it provides a supplement to Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. However, any notion that Alhurra can singly 'move the needle' away from extremist behavior is naive." Image from

Goodbye - Alex Belida, VOA Media Watch: "It’s time for this blog to go into a self-induced coma. Perhaps to be terminated at a later date. I had fun writing about various journalism issues. But defending VOA against the many misperceptions out there was, frankly, quite tedious and repetitive – especially in an era where too many people aren’t interested in the facts, only their own beliefs. The other problem is that it’s really no fun talking to oneself. While I had hoped for a dialogue, there wasn’t any evidence of interest on the part of the readership, even though it numbered in the tens of thousands over the last couple years."

Places that Work: The Swedish Embassy‎ - Sally Augustin, Metropolis Magazine: "The House of Sweden (Swedish Embassy) in Washington, DC is a striking manifestation of Swedish culture; in fact it may be among the best architectural embodiments of culture/brand I’ve ever visited.

As the year winds down, you may see this modern building in the background of end-of-year retrospectives that feature picturesque Georgetown. ... The interiors are often open or divided by glass walls, bringing to mind the concept of an open society. Exterior walls are transparent, an appropriate expression of 'public diplomacy' which the Swedish government attempts to practice." Image of House of Sweden from article

Nobel ceremony to hail absent winner amid China fury - Nina Larson, AFP: "Exiled Chinese dissidents, ambassadors, Norwegian royals and other dignitaries will gather around an empty chair Friday to hail absent Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo in a ceremony that has enraged Beijing. The empty chair for the jailed Chinese dissident 'is a very strong symbol (that) shows how appropriate this prize was,' explained Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland at a press conference on the eve of the ceremony . ... UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meanwhile defended himself Thursday against charges by human rights groups that he had not raised Liu's case with China's President Hu Jintao on a visit to Beijing last month. Without directly mentioning the controversy, Ban said: 'Often, we choose to speak out, loudly and publicly. Other times, a less public diplomacy may be the better path.'"

China on climate charm offensive - ‎Shaun Tandon, AFP: "Haunted by the criticism it endured after the Copenhagen climate summit, China has launched an image makeover as it recasts itself as a team player in global talks, observers say. In the latest UN-led talks underway in Mexico,

China's negotiators have cast aside a sometimes shrill past approach and repeatedly said they seek a compromise, including on Beijing's past refusal on outside verification of its climate efforts. The shift extends to public diplomacy, with China setting up a prominent pavilion in the heart of Cancun city and distributing glossy magazines to delegates' hotels highlighting action by the world's largest carbon emitter." Image from

"We cannot afford to run two global news operations," and more notes about BBC World Service - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

UAE-Australia Consular panel meets in Canberra - "The joint UAE-Australian consular committee held today its first meeting here to explore best mechanisms to protect rights and serve interests of subjects of the two countries. ... Al Junaibi, who co-chaired the meeting with Mr James Batley, First Assistant Secretary, Consular, Public Diplomacy and Parliamentary Affairs Division, noted that the UAE-Australia bonds had seen phenomenal growth especially after the landmark visit the UAE Foreign Minister, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, paid to Canberra in last February. 'The UAE is aspiring to propel consular, trade, economic, military, tourist, educational and cultural relations to the highest possible level,' he added, referring to the important and effective role both UAE National air carriers - Etihad Airways and Emirates - play in boosting commercial, economic and tourist exchange. He said about 1500 UAE students are currently attending Australian universities while some 15000 Australian citizens are working and living in the UAE."


WikiLeaks - State Secrets or Clever Propaganda Tactics? - "Is the US Government Machiavellian enough

to orchestrate the recent brouhaha over the so-called website WikiLeaks, is this a real embarrassment, or will it indeed be damaging as some U.S. diplomats claim? I am not one to support conspiracy theories but when you stop to analyze the content of the information that was leaked it seem that two things emerge: first, the content of the cables were not so earth shattering as to damage national security, or harm Washington's relations with other countries. Second, upon further analysis, it would appear that the information revealed instead sends a strong message to America's foes." Image from

Wikileaks: Pakistan hoaxed by bogus anti-India cables - BBC News: Reports about the bogus cables featured prominently in leading Pakistani newspapers on Thursday Pakistani newspapers have admitted they were hoaxed after publishing reports based on fake Wikileaks cables containing anti-Indian propaganda. Thursday's reports cited bogus US diplomatic cables as confirming many right-wing Pakistani views and conspiracy theories. It claimed US diplomats thought of one Indian general as "rather a geek", and accused India of genocide in Kashmir

Image from article: Reports about the bogus cables featured prominently in leading Pakistani newspapers on Thursday.

Heh: Ansar Mujahideen English Forum Run by Dutch Muslims - Ansar Al Mujahideen – one of the most important propaganda mouthpieces of al-Qaeda worldwide - is carefully watched by security services, also in the Netherlands.

Sources confirm that the website is not only facilitated by the Dutch, but also financed in the Netherlands. The website publicizes official announcements by al-Qaeda. Intelligence sources confirm that the English part of the website is run by a dozen Dutch Muslim extremists, including several women. Those Dutch members were formerly the driving force behind the now-defunct Dutch extremist website Thabaat, which was tried to members of the Hofstad Group. Image from article

Protesting Israel's propaganda machine - Mark Clinton, Around 50 activists with the Western Mass. Coalition for Palestine put the Israeli propaganda machine on notice: Mercenaries from the Israel Defense Force (IDF) won't go unopposed when they try to legitimize the brutal occupation policies of Israeli apartheid at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The 'Real Jew' Debate - Roger Cohen, New York Times: The view that American Jews supportive of Israel but critical of its policies are not “real Jews” is, however, widespread. Israel-right-or-wrong continues to be the core approach of major U.S. Jewish organizations, from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

John Pilger: Why are wars not being reported honestly? The public needs to know the truth about wars. So why have journalists colluded with governments to hoodwink us? - John Pilger, In the US Army manual on counterinsurgency, the American commander General David Petraeus describes Afghanistan as a "war of perception . . . conducted continuously using the news media". What really matters is not so much the day-to-day battles against the Taliban as the way the adventure is sold in America where "the media directly influence the attitude of key audiences". Never has so much official energy been expended in ensuring journalists collude with the makers of rapacious wars which, say the media-friendly generals, are now "perpetual". In the wake of this "war to end all wars", Edward Bernays, a confidante of President Woodrow Wilson, coined the term "public relations" as a euphemism for propaganda "which was given a bad name in the war". In his book, Propaganda (1928),

Bernays described PR as "an invisible government which is the true ruling power in our country" thanks to "the intelligent manipulation of the masses". This was achieved by "false realities" and their adoption by the media. (One of Bernays's early successes was persuading women to smoke in public. By associating smoking with women's liberation, he achieved headlines that lauded cigarettes as "torches of freedom".) In the current avalanche of official documents, especially those that describe the secret machinations that lead to war – such as the American mania over Iran – the failure of journalism is rarely noted. And perhaps the reason Julian Assange seems to excite such hostility among journalists serving a variety of "lobbies", those whom George Bush's press spokesman once called "complicit enablers", is that WikiLeaks and its truth-telling shames them. Image from

Cold War vs. modern day US propaganda - What do Cold War and modern day propaganda have in common? “The two are connected to one another. What we’ve seen is the continuation of Cold War propaganda under new conditions,” said Rutgers University professor Norman Markowitz. The Pentagon has proven time and again its love of creating, chasing and trying to undermine what it calls enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as several other nations it deems rogue. “The United States is always involved in some kind of war of aggression. It rarely spends an entire year without invading some foreign country,” said editorial columnist Ted Rall.

China's shame - Editorial, Washington Post: The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo in Oslo on Friday will underline the absence of human rights in China, something most of the world is well aware of. What may actually shock international opinion is Beijing's grotesque campaign against the prize. Not since Nazi Germany has a regime reacted in quite such a belligerent way.

Is it propaganda, or just an art-house film? A movie depicting a nervous U.S. soldier accidentally shooting a little girl during a night raid on her home in Iraq might not be every American's idea of a possible Oscar winner - Mitra Amiri, Reuters, Far from being state propaganda, Iranian director Mehdi Naderi

says his film, which explores the motivation and doubts of both U.S. soldiers and Iraqi insurgents, was made in the face of unhelpful pressure from the authorities and on a shoestring budget. Naderi image from article

Investing in Russia - Pepsi's Russian challenge: An American icon becomes Russia’s biggest food firm - PEPSICO’S special relationship with Russia began in 1959. Richard Nixon was showing Nikita Khrushchev around the American National Exhibition in Moscow. He made him stop at a kiosk hawking Pepsi-Cola. A young executive named Donald Kendall thrust a cup of dark fizz into the Soviet leader’s hands.

The resulting photo (see above) was a terrific advertisement in a country where capitalist propaganda was banned. Half a century later, Mr Kendall, who later became Pepsi’s chief executive, flew back to Moscow with Indra Nooyi, who has the job today, to receive Vladimir Putin’s blessing for Pepsi’s takeover of Wimm-Bill-Dann, Russia’s biggest food company. They won the Russian president over by talking about the billions of dollars Pepsi has invested in Russia. It was the first American consumer-goods maker to enter the Russian market, 15 years after Khrushchev first sipped its wares. On December 2nd Pepsi announced that it would buy 66% of Wimm-Bill-Dann for $3.8 billion and launch a mandatory tender offer for the rest of the company. Russia will now be Pepsi’s second-biggest market, after America. The takeover of Wimm-Bill-Dann is also part of Pepsi’s strategic shift away from products that are bad for you (or “fun for you” in Pepsi-speak), such as cola and crisps, to products it calls “better for you” or even “good for you” such as porridge (Quaker Oats), fruit juice (Tropicana) and sports drinks (Gatorade).

(Brand name) here, there, everywhere: Park trails are marked with North Face logos, and Coca-Cola brands a state park. What's next? The Grand Canyon, the Pacific Ocean, outer space? - Meghan Daum, Anyone who's seen "Idiocracy,"

the 2006 cult comedy set 500 years in the future when even announcements from the State Department are "brought to you by Carl's Jr.," won't be surprised by a recent civic trend. In cities all over the country, public spaces — from bridges to state parks to school auditoriums — are being offered up and sold as advertising space. Just as "Idiocracy" envisioned a world where a Costco store is as large as a city and water has been replaced by a Gatorade-like beverage called Brawndo, we may one day find ourselves standing at the Occidental Petroleum bus stop, boarding the Wells Fargo Limited and waiting impatiently at Dial-a-Mattress traffic lights. Maybe we'll vacation at the Gap Gulch, formerly known as the Grand Canyon. Image from

War Posters as History and Art This Week at - Advertising posters were effective in keeping World War II in the forefront of people’s consciousness. Ironically, war posters from every country have the same basic message. Our soldiers are the noblest. Our enemies are the evil ones. Our war is the righteous war. If you changed the language, uniforms and symbols, most of these posters would be interchangeable.

It takes powerful propaganda to help get people geared up and ready for battle and that’s what war posters helped accomplish. For those who bought into their message, posters were successful. For those who didn’t buy in, posters weren’t successful. Companies less directly involved in the war found ways to work war themes into their everyday advertising. B.F. Goodrich did it by coaxing people to conserve tires. “Hitler Smiles When you Waste Miles” was their theme. Bell Telephone urged people to shy away from long-distance calling so soldier’s calls would go through quickly. “To the Jap Navy—Bottoms Up” was one of Pabst Brewing Company’s mottos. Nowadays these war posters are historical treasures and highly collectible. They were created by some of the most famous commercial artists of the 1940s like Norman Rockwell, James Montgomery Flagg and Howard Chandler Christy. These artists were recruited by what was then the newly created Office of Wartime Information. They’re history as well as art. Image from article

Imperial War Museum film shows Manchester Blitz damage - BBC News: Rare footage of the Manchester Blitz is being screened for the first time at Imperial War Museum North. The World War II propaganda film shows the devastation caused by German bombs on Market Street and Piccadilly during the nights of 22 and 23December 1940. Almost 700 people were killed and thousands injured. Article includes video.


Daily Press Briefing - December 9, 2010 - Philip J. Crowley Assistant Secretary Washington, DC December 9, 2010, U.S. Department of State:

"QUESTION: The Indian ambassador to the U.S. was subject to pat-down at a airport last week in Mississippi. Are you aware about this? Has the ambassador logged any complaint to you?

MR. CROWLEY: We have actually just learned about this, are looking into it ourselves. But probably the Department of Homeland Security and TSA would be in a better position to describe what happened.
QUESTION: P.J., can you --
QUESTION: P.J., on that same subject, have the Indians made any formal complaint to the State Department about this? Because there are indications that she was pulled aside because of the way that she was dressed.
MR. CROWLEY: As far as I know, at this point, they have not.
QUESTION: And for --
QUESTION: And could you explain just – I’m sorry – could you also just explain to us, because there are a couple of things that came up – the Polish president yesterday mentioned that he had to fill in a visa form and was asked about any connection with prostitution or terrorism. Is it – what are the rules for diplomats? Do they have to --
MR. CROWLEY: Well, actually, all diplomats do, in fact, fill out visa applications because they’re coming here on a business trip. For example, there are countries that are participating in the Visa Waiver Program. Even though an ordinary, say, British citizen traveling in the United States would not have to apply for a waiver, a British diplomat would because the Visa Waiver Program involves travel for tourism.
QUESTION: And is there --
QUESTION: And for TSA, is there any special way that they are treated when they are at the airport, to your knowledge?
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I believe there are guidelines that have been published on diplomats. They are subject to basic security, so everyone at the airport goes through a basic screening. And beyond that, I’ll defer to the Department of Homeland of Security.
QUESTION: Wait, wait. Just so we’re clear about basic security or basic screening, that means that these guidelines – well, two things. One, where are the guidelines published? Two, does that mean that they are subject to – basic security from your point of view that includes the enhanced pat-downs, as it were? I mean there’s no perception for --
MR. CROWLEY: Again, I – look, again, I think from a TSA standpoint, they followed their normal procedures, and I will defer to DHS to explain what happened in this particular instance. We weren’t there.
QUESTION: P.J., would you at least offer some sort of apology? I mean --
MR. CROWLEY: Again, I’ll defer to the Department of Homeland Security.
QUESTION: You’re --
MR. CROWLEY: I mean, it is the responsibility of the Transportation Security Administration to assess each passenger and then work each passenger through security based on what they see. I’m going to defer to DHS on this.
QUESTION: Okay, but P.J. –
MR. CROWLEY: There was – we are aware of the fact that the ambassador was subject to a pat-down. As to the rational [sic] that TSA used for this, I’ll let them explain it.
QUESTION: To your knowledge, is there any reason for a foreign diplomat who is traveling domestically within the United States to identify themselves as a foreign diplomat while going – while traveling – while going into an airport, i.e., if they do not have to go through any kind of customs or immigration control?
MR. CROWLEY: All right. I’m – give me – I’m trying to understand the question. I’m not being evasive. I just don’t –
QUESTION: If someone – all right. If I am a foreign diplomat, and I am here on my diplomatic passport with a visa and I’m traveling within the United States, meaning that I am not going through any immigration or customs control, is there any reason for me to identify myself as a foreign diplomat?
MR. CROWLEY: The fact that you’re a diplomat does not necessarily mean that you are not subject to basic screening as is any other passenger on any particular flight.
QUESTION: Has the State Department been in touch with TSA or DHS about people who – about what to do in the case of a diplomat, who can prove that they’re a diplomat, being pulled out of line or going through – just going through security in general.
MR. CROWLEY: Well, again, we recognize – and there’s a policy that all passengers, whether a diplomat or a non-diplomat, are subject to screening before boarding any flight. We understand – we recognize that, and the diplomats themselves recognize that. As to this particular case where the ambassador was pulled aside for secondary screening that involved a pat-down, I’ll refer to TSA as to –
QUESTION: Okay, but I’m not asking –
MR. CROWLEY: -- as to what factors went into that decision.
QUESTION: I’m not asking about this specific case. Just in general, I mean, the State Department issues guidelines to local police departments about what to do when they arrest a foreign national in terms of notification and consular access. You’re in touch with other agencies about how to deal with – like the New York City police – you’re in touch with on how to deal with UN diplomats. So, I’m curious if you have been in touch with TSA about the treatment of diplomats in airport security lines in general. Forget about this case.
MR. CROWLEY: Yes. Yes, I mean, this – there are – there is a – on, I believe, our website there is guidelines published on diplomats and what they can expect as they travel around the United States.
QUESTION: And then –
QUESTION: (Off-mike.)
QUESTION: Hold on. I have just one more. Are you aware of whether India has complained or not? I mean, the foreign minister said that they were, but whether you’ve received it or not? I recall that there was a case with some Pakistani visitors, official visitors not so long ago. Is that the last one that you recall where there was a complaint lodged?
MR. CROWLEY: I’ll take that – I mean, every once in a while – I don’t imagine that this is necessarily unique where we’ve – we have had misunderstandings in the past few months with different diplomats and security procedures at airports.
QUESTION: Okay, but I –
MR. CROWLEY: I think this pops up from time to time. DHS also has its own office of international affairs that liaisons with this community as well.
QUESTION: Okay, but you’re not aware in this case if this was a misunderstanding or not?
MR. CROWLEY: Again, the – it’s our understanding the ambassador was pulled out for secondary screening, and DHS has indicated their prepared to talk about this.
QUESTION: Can I just follow up –
QUESTION: Due to the external –
MR. CROWLEY: Hold on Goyal. Hold on, Goyal.
QUESTION: The external affairs minister of India has commented on this. So are you planning to –
MR. CROWLEY: I understand that. All I will tell you is we have had meetings with officials from the embassy since the incident in Mississippi, and, as far as I know, they have not raised it with us yet.
QUESTION: Just a follow-up. It has happened even before, including with the former president of India and other officials in the U.S. airports. What I’m asking you is that when ambassadors, not only the Indian Ambassador, but any ambassador when they travel to different states and different places, do they inform you, or the State Department, or any local authorities that ambassador is coming or a high-level official from international visitors?
MR. CROWLEY: I think there are posts that because of specific restrictions that are placed on travel need to inform us or request permission if they are traveling outside the parameters of – for that particular mission. But I’m not aware that a diplomat traveling across the United States has to inform us in advance. Sometimes they do; sometimes they don’t.
QUESTION: When you said that you just learned about it, is that today?
MR. CROWLEY: I believe today, yes.
QUESTION: So what is the reaction from India?
MR. CROWLEY: All right. Yeah. I mean, that’s – reaction from India, I’ll defer to the Indian Government." Image from

1 comment: said...

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