Department of State Spokesman Ian Kelly was asked about the capture of the humanitarian vessel "Spirit of Humanity", and about former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who is now in an Israeli prison. In his Daily Press Briefing for July 1, 2009, upon being asked about the capture of the ship and the detainment of those aboard, Mr. Kelly says he doesn't really know and will have to refer the questioner to the government of Israel.
(the full transcript is at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2009/july/125545.htm )
The applicable portion of the transcript is below:
I have time for one more question.
QUESTION: One more?
MR. KELLY: Yeah, go ahead.
QUESTION: Erin Connors from Press TV. Former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and members of the Free Gaza Movement were intercepted by the Israeli army when they were on a humanitarian mission over there. What's being done about that? Are they on their way home? Will they be deported? What's the next step there, and will their supplies ever get to where they're going?
MR. KELLY: On that last question, I don't know the answer, actually. I think I have to refer you to the Government of Israel. We can confirm that the Israeli navy did arrest those on board this the ship which is known as Spirit. We can't comment on any of the individuals or the number of individual American citizens on board because of Privacy Act concern. Our Embassy has been in touch with the Israeli authorities. We have been told that the boat was stopped in Israeli waters and is being escorted to an Israeli port, or may have already gone to an Israeli port. We understand passengers are safe and all accounted for. We're seeking consular access to the American citizens who are on board. And we don't take any position regarding the Free Gaza Movement or any of its messages.
See the video at http://www.state.gov/video/?videoid=28224163001
Erin Connors begins her question at 7:11 in the video. Mr. Kelly's body language seems to shift a bit, and he suddenly seems to be making a lot less eye contact. Could it be because he's a little bit embarrassed at having to refer an American reporter to check with the kidnappers of a former presidential candidate and respected Congresswoman in order to find out about her wellbeing?