A word from the State Department

Kurtis Cooper works for the Department of State’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs and blogs at the department’s inelegantly named DipNote site. Mr. Cooper writes in response to my post on the interview given by Obama administration OIC representative Rashad Hussain to the Arab English daily Asharq Alawsatan.
Mr. Cooper comments: “Thought you might be interested in the actual transcript and audio from Special Envoy Hussain’s interview with Asharq Alawsat. We have raised our concerns with the organization.”
I take it that “the organization” is the publication and that the interview transcript was edited improperly. Here is the question and answer I quoted given in full in the transcript provided by Mr. Cooper:

Question: During your studies in law college in University of Yale you have criticize Sami Al-Aryan’s trial and you have considered it represents a kind of politically motivated prosecution. Do you think that the courts in U.S. still suffer from identification of terrorism with the Muslims?
Rashad Hussain: You know in that case that I said very clearly on the panel that I wasn’t commenting on any of the specific allegations on him but I was making a comment about the process that was used in that case. And I think that in many of the cases which I’ve talked about, for example Chaplain Yee, the case of Brandon Mayfield, that the outcomes that have resulted in the United States, for example in both of those cases resulting in the two that were accused of being freed for example, that the justice system has fairly resolved the outcome in those cases. And I think that in America we have one of the most – we have the most just and process-oriented legal systems in the world, and I am very confident that we’ll continue in this way and we’ll continue to produce just outcomes.

The unedited transcript does not change my comment on Hussain’s silence regarding the prosecution and conviction of Sami al-Arian. The unedited transcript adds Hussain’s implication that the system did not fairly resolve the al-Arian case. I wish State would take this particular issue up with Hussain rather than with the organization. I am nevertheless grateful to Mr. Cooper for his message and for clarifying the record.
Jennifer Rubin quoted and commented on much more of the interview that I did. She has modified her original comments and posted further reflections on the unedited transcript here.

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