Down the memory hole at the State Department

Last week AFP reported on remarks by Bush administration special envoy for human rights in North Korea Jay Lefkowitz at an American Enterprise Institute forum (the text of Lefkowitz’s remarks is accessible here). Lefkowitz candidly acknowledged the dead end the administration has reached with North Korea:

Using unusually sharp words, he said North Korea “has not kept its word,” was “not serious about disarming in a timely manner” and “its conduct does not appear to be that of a government that is willing to come in from the cold.”

Earlier this week Secretary Rice spoke up to take issue with Lefkowitz:

In an unusually sharp tone, Rice said that Jay Lefkowitz, Bush’s special envoy to North Korea on human rights, was not speaking for the administration Thursday when he predicted that Pyongyang would hold on to its nuclear weapons. In talks involving six countries, U.S. and allied officials are trying to convince the regime to relinquish its weapons program.
“He’s the human rights envoy,” Rice told reporters. “That’s what he knows. That’s what he does. He doesn’t work on the six-party talks. He doesn’t know what’s going on in the six-party talks and he certainly has no say in the six-party talks.”

In a remarkable postscript, Claudia Rosett notes that the State Department has now sent Lefkowitz’s speech down the memory hole. In the various reports on Rice’s comments on Lefkowitz, however, I have not found Rice citing any fact that belies his assertions.
Via Hugh Hewitt.


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