When White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs appeared on the Today Show and angrily denied that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered spying against UN Chief Ban Ki-moon, the credibility was instantly in doubt. After all, the specific order, signed by Secretary Clinton, is now a matter of public record.
But the official denial seemed to convince a lot of people to let the matter drop, at least for the time being. Now we have further evidence of how little the White House Press Secretary’s words are worth, with reports that Secretary Clinton spoke with Ban yesterday and expressed “regret” over trying to steal his credit card, among other things.
The “regret” stopped well short of an apology, according to officials, but seems to at least confirm the authenticity of the order, which really should never have been in doubt in the first place. Spokesmen for Ban had expressed grave concerns about the plans to steal his credit card info, a clear violation of both US and international law.
The bizarre combination of the high profile denial and the immediate, apparently not for domestic consumption pseudo-apology points to an Obama Administration that clearly has not learned its lesson about the consequences of lying to the American public, and if Secretary Clinton was facing calls to resign for ordering the theft, surely Secretary Gibbs must face similar calls now for his failure to tell the truth, which as the press secretary ought to be the only thing one can count on him to do.