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Clinton: Situation Room expression may have been allergies, not anxiety

May 05, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli | Washington Bureau

Reporting from Washington   — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday that she can't be sure what she was watching in the now-iconic Situation Room photograph showing President Obama and his top security advisors during the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. But she suspects her dramatic pose may have more to do with Washington's notorious pollen count than any emotional reaction to the operation unfolding before her.

Clinton called the period "38 of the most intense minutes."

Photos: The death of Osama bin Laden

"I have no idea what any of us were looking at at that particular millisecond when the picture was taken," she told reporters after a meeting with Italy's foreign minister in Rome. "I'm somewhat sheepishly concerned that it was my preventing one of my early spring allergic coughs. So it may have no great meaning whatsoever."

Clinton is visiting the Italian capital to meet with U.S. allies to discuss the operation in Libya, where NATO is supporting an uprising against leader Moammar Kadafi. Specifically, Clinton said the group would discuss "how better to increase the pressure on Kadafi and those around him."

michael.memoli@latimes.com

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