Jen Psaki - symbol of Obama's administration and its weak foreign policy
On May 20, Jennifer Psaki reiterated the Ukrainian government's false allegations of terrorism against two Russian journalists for LifeNews, Marat Saichenko and Oleg Sidyakin, without thorough examination of the issue. "Reportedly, they were carrying manned portable anti-aircraft missiles in the trunks of their cars at the time of their detention," she said quoted by Reuters, "These are according to reports and our conversations with the Ukrainians on the ground," the spokeswoman added. Although Kiev failed to press official charges against Russian journalists, this did not prevent the US State Department from 'parroting' the unfounded accusations. A video, shared by the Ukrainian pro-junta forces, shows three detainees, captured by militants and a portable anti-aircraft missile launcher lying on the ground not far from them. Does this footage actually prove anything? If we replace one of the journalists with Jennifer Psaki, would it be enough evidence to accuse her of terrorist actions?
It should be noted, that the US State Department took a pause before announcing its stance regarding the unlawful seizure of the Russian reporters. On May 19, Jen Psaki pretended to be uninformed about the incident. "Are you aware of these reports that – about some Russian journalists who have been detained by the Kiev authorities? Are you aware of this?" Matthew Lee asked the spokeswoman. Ms. Psaki answered: "I have not seen those specific reports." It is highly doubtful, as the information about the case was widely distributed via Internet by Russia's Foreign Ministry and OSCE.
On May 21, during a press conference Jennifer Psaki abruptly changed her tone and said that the US will denounce the seizure of Marat Saichenko and Oleg Sidyakin by Kiev's militants if the results of the investigation indicate the detainees are truly reporters.
It is not the first time Ms. Psaki has taken Kiev's allegations on faith without further verification. In the end of April Kiev provided the OSCE mission to Ukraine with photographs of eastern Ukrainian militants to 'prove' Russian involvement in the massive unrest gripping the Donetsk region. Presenting the pictures US State Department's spokesperson repeated the claims of Kiev's authorities. However, Ms. Psaki failed to answer the question if the US administration had any firm evidence behind the statement that the Ukrainian militants in the pictures had ties to Russia. “We see in the photos that have been again in international media, on Twitter, publicly available is that there are individuals who visibly appear to be tied to Russia. We've said that publicly a countless number of times,” Jen Psaki said.
"Are you saying," a journalist asked the spokesperson, "that the US with its great tradition of intelligence gathering is now dependent on publicly traded photographs on the Internet and Twitter and so on?"
Unfortunately for Ms. Psaki, the pictures presented by Kiev as evidence of Russia's involvement in Ukraine, contradicted the claims they were to support. The US State Department had nothing to do but acknowledge the error.
Earlier, on April 2014, Jen Psaki had as well demonstrated unprofessionalism, when she hastened to declare that the shooting at a military facility in Crimea on April 18, which left two people dead, was started by Russians: "Clear that Russia shot first," Ms. Psaki wrote on Twitter. Were the spokesperson's accusations based on verified information? No. Just the fact, that it was Russian troops, who entered the military base, was enough evidence of their guilt, according to Jennifer Psaki. "Russia entered the Ukrainian base, <…> so, I think events on the ground seem pretty clear in our view," she said. Is not it 'clear' that Jennifer Psaki stubbornly violated the laws of logic? Eventually, the investigation of the case proved that the US State Department spokesperson obviously jumped to the wrong conclusion.
These examples are just a few in a string of the spokesperson's failures. She faces heavy criticism particularly from her Republican compatriots who accuse her of incompetence and immaturity, saying that she is 'disconnected from reality'. Although it is not just Jen Psaki's fault that the US influence abroad continues to wane, it goes without saying that the incompetence of the US State Department politicians influences negatively the international image of Washington.