Sometimes the Daily Press Briefing is pretty funny. There were a couple good moments yesterday:
QUESTION: There are some reports that a Lebanese TV’s personality who is – a psychic – is going to be beheaded in Saudi Arabia for allegedly practicing witchcraft. Now, given the fact that in your recent Human Rights Report you said that there have been some improvements in the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, I was wondering if you have any thoughts on the fact that people of whatever type of religious or practices are being beheaded for their --
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I have no knowledge of this case. We’ll be happy to look into it and provide a comment. Obviously, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, are central universal principles that we believe in. But I’ll take the question in terms of the facts of this case.
QUESTION: Right. You’re suggesting that psychics somehow are a religion --
MR. CROWLEY: I’m just saying I will – we will --
QUESTION: Witchcraft is a religion.
MR. CROWLEY: -- take and evaluate – see what we know about this case.
QUESTION: What is the U.S. Government position on extrasensory powers?
MR. CROWLEY: This is April Fool’s Day isn’t it? (Laughter.)
And then there was this:
QUESTION: P.J., what is your take on what’s going on in Guinea-Bissau – or reaction?
MR. CROWLEY: Very complex issue. I think all I would say is that we are monitoring it. We are, as a general rule, against coups. We’re against violence. We want to see constitutional rule restored as quickly as possible.
QUESTION: As a general rule, you’re --
MR. CROWLEY: As a general rule.
QUESTION: -- you’re against coups?
MR. CROWLEY: (Laughter.)
QUESTION: That’s really bold.
MR. CROWLEY: Thank you very much. (Laughter.)