Posts Tagged ‘Situation Room’

Last Sunday. a week after the raid on OBL’s compound, The Jerusalem Post was the first to report that a Hasidic newspaper based in Brooklyn,  Der Zeitung, had excised Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Audrey Tomason, Director for Counterterrorism for the National Security Council, from the iconic Sit Room photo, seen here,  taken a week earlier during the course of the raid.

The supreme irony was that when this original photo was first released and making the rounds, much of the commentary mentioned that the photographer seemed to have made HRC the focal point intentionally.  You do not need to know much about composition to predict that removal of the focal point makes for pitiful photography.  I suppose you do need to know something about Hasidim to know why the women were erased from the photo and thus from the historic moment.

The newspaper’s policy is not to print pictures of women because … well they can be tempting, sexually suggestive.   There are a few things wrong with this thinking.  First, and foremost it assumes a primarily male readership.  Secondly,  it alters history whenever any woman’s photo is removed from a news story.  Thirdly,  it posits that women, no matter how professionally they present themselves are sirens whose essential raison d’être is to seduce men.

Now readers of this blog have seen Mme. Secretary exercising her “smart power” in some flirty ways over her more than two years in this post,   She is very beautiful and can melt all but the hardest of hearts (Avigdor Lieberman has yet to tumble, but Hugo Chavez may be softening).  She knows how to charm men and does not hesitate to use that ability in service to her country.   Sergei Lavrov and the New START Treaty attest to her capacity to win over the previously stubborn.  The Sit Room on May 1, 2011 was not, however an occasion on which that particular talent of hers would have been likely to have been on display.

Always carefully attired, she was in a sensible tweed jacket and all of the secretarial assets were well covered.  Her eyes were on a screen of some kind, not gazing into some man’s eyes … not even gazing into the camera lens.  If something about her in that photo gave rise to sexual impulses,  there was no effort on her part to generate that.

So if merely  the presence of a woman, no matter how qualified and legitimately involved in an incident. merits her erasure from a moment in history because she is potentially just too sexy and seductive, we say turnaround is fair play and applaud FreeWilliamsburg for providing us sex-driven females with a version of the historic photo free of the tempting presence and distraction of all of that testosterone in the room.

In the week that has ensued, the paper has said it issued apologies to the White House and the State Department.  As far as we know, they have not printed a correction (i.e. the original photo).  Neither did we hear a peep from the White House which issued the original with the following provision, according to The Jerusalem Post:

“This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, e-mails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.”

So, just guessing, the tampering is OK, and long as no one draws a mustache on the POTUS. That would cross the line of propriety.

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This picture, from the White House photo stream, shows  The Situation Room yesterday, 05-01-11 as the National Security Team watched the raid on the Bin Laden compound unfold.

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The Secretary of State spent a very busy day in Washington today, and while I shared a few of these in the posts about some of these events, I thought the readers here might enjoy seeing all of them. Her day started at 9:30 with remarks to the press regarding her efforts to obtain Congressional ratification of the New START Treaty. She then met with Argentina’s new Foreign Minister Hector Timerman (dressed to match the Argentine flag – always impressive). The videos and texts of the remarks at both of these events are in earlier posts from today. The Daily Schedule provided by the State Department Press Office did not show three meetings that she attended at the White House later in the day. There are two pictures here of the last,  in the Situation Room with the National Security team. That meeting began at 5 p.m. It was a long, active day, but Mme. Secretary looked as awesome at the end as she had at the beginning – beautiful, stylish, very executive, if you know what I mean. 😀

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At the White House in the Situation Room (for those who require a late-day Hillary-fix).

AP Photo This photo provided by the White House shows President Barack Obama meeting with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan, Friday, March 12, 2010, in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington. From left are, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, United States Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, background, and the president.

I do not usually post from the press briefings, very rarely, but sometimes there is special information about the Secretary of State. Here are some specifics about today.

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
March 12, 2010

DEPARTMENT: This afternoon, Secretary Clinton will address the final day of the 54th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, and that will happen in New York. She’ll reflect on the progress achieved in the 15 years since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing – where the world said with one voice that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights – and on the work that still must be done to fully realize the dreams and potential of Beijing.

The Secretary will argue that the status of the world’s women is not only a matter of justice. It is also a political, economic, and social imperative. When women flourish, their families, communities, and countries flourish as well. She will say that the world cannot make lasting progress if women and girls are left behind.

Fifteen years after Beijing, the Secretary’s message will be: Women’s progress is human progress and human progress is women’s progress. She will discuss how the Obama Administration has put this principle at the heart of the foreign policy of the United States because we believe that women are critical to solving virtually every shared common challenge that we face.

She will also have a bilateral with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, where we expect they will discuss the upcoming Quartet meeting in Moscow, as well as the situation in Gaza, and look ahead to the Haiti donors conference at the end of this month.

ISRAEL/PALESTINIANS: Secretary Clinton also spoke this morning with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to reiterate the United States’ strong objections to Tuesday’s announcement, not just in terms of timing, but also in its substance; to make clear that the United States considers the announcement a deeply negative signal about Israel’s approach to the bilateral relationship – and counter to the spirit of the Vice President’s trip; and to reinforce that this action had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process, and in America’s interests. The Secretary said she could not understand how this happened, particularly in light of the United States’ strong commitment to Israel’s security. And she made clear that the Israeli Government needed to demonstrate not just through words but through specific actions that they are committed to this relationship and to the peace process.

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