White House denies Bill Kristol U.N. claims


William Kristol reported on The Weekly Standard website that the White House "intends to support an effort next week at the United Nations to set up an independent commission, under UN auspices, to investigate Israel’s behavior in the Gaza flotilla incident."

Kristol threw in his two (well, technically three) cents:

The White House has apparently shrugged off concerns from elsewhere in the U.S. government that a) this is an extraordinary singling out of Israel, since all kinds of much worse incidents happen around the world without spurring UN investigations; b) that the investigation will be one-sided, focusing entirely on Israeli behavior and not on Turkey or on Hamas; and c) that this sets a terrible precedent for outside investigations of incidents involving U.S. troops or intelligence operatives as we conduct our own war on terror.

And, he added, while it was U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice pushing this position, ultimately the final decision belongs to the president.

The thing is… the president’s spokespeople say Kristol’s report is rubbish, according to Politico:

"We have no idea what Bill Kristol is talking about, and would surmise that neither does he," said spokesman Tommy Vietor….

A White House official said the administration continues to support "an Israeli-led investigation into the flotilla incident that is prompt, credible, impartial, and transparent."

"We are open to different ways of ensuring the credibility of this Israeli-led investigation, including international participation, and have been in intensive talks with our Israeli partners in the past few days on how to move forward," said the official. "We know of no resolution that will be debated at the UN on the flotilla investigation next week."

Is this denial legit? Time will tell when it comes to Obama. But even if the United States ends up blocking such a probe — there’s still a question about the other half of the story: Did Rice recommend that the White House sign on to such a one-sided U.N. investigation?

Of course, if the story turns out to be completely untrue then it will be Kristol who has some questions to answer.

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