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Cablegate: Personally Engaging On Haiti

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DE RUEHC #5277 0200139
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O 200134Z JAN 10
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TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHPU/AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE IMMEDIATE 0372
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI IMMEDIATE 2163
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UNCLAS STATE 005277

SIPDIS
MESSAGE FROM THE SECRETARY TO THE CHIEF OF MISSION OR
CHARGE D'AFFAIRES

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAO KDEM OIIP HA
SUBJECT: Personally Engaging on Haiti

1. The tragic earthquake in Haiti and its aftermath
pose enormous challenges to the people of Haiti, our
nation, and the entire world community. As we seek to
rescue trapped victims, assist survivors, and help Haiti
begin to rebuild, the American people and our government
have marshaled unprecedented resources to help,
reflecting the best of our nation's values.

2. I am deeply concerned by instances of inaccurate
and unfavorable international media coverage of
America's role and intentions in Haiti. This
misinformation threatens to undermine the international
partnership needed to help the people of Haiti, and to
damage our international engagement across the range of
issues. It is imperative to get the narrative right
over the long term. Where you see ill-informed or
distorted perspectives in your host country media, I
direct you as Chief of Mission to personally contact
media organizations at the highest possible level ?
owners, publishers, or others, as appropriate ? to push
back and insist on informed and responsible coverage of
our actions and intentions, and to underscore the U.S.
partnership with the Government of Haiti, the United
Nations, and the world community. It is important that
you and other members of your Embassy team engage
opinion-makers in setting the record straight on
America's commitment to assist the Haitian people and
government in recovering from this disaster.

3. I also ask you to report back to me through your
Assistant Secretary, citing specific examples of
irresponsible journalism in your host countries, and
what action you have taken in response. This is a
personal priority for me and I will be looking for your
reports.

4. The Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public
Affairs, working with your regional Public Diplomacy
Offices and your Public Affairs Officers at post, will
ensure you have the latest facts and talking points.
The Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP)
has assembled a regularly updated Haiti Earthquake
Assistance page to assist your efforts:
https://infocentral.state.gov/haiti-earthquak e-
assistance. The Under Secretary will also coordinate a
regular ALDAC cable conveying the latest facts and
talking points.

5. Please let Under Secretary McHale and your regional
Assistant Secretary know if you need additional
information or other support to carry out this important
engagement effort.

6. I thank you for your personal attention to this
very important matter.

7. Minimize considered.
CLINTON

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