State Dept. Outraged at Robertson Nuke Comment

The State Department has lodged a complaint with the Rev. Pat Robertson (search) in response to his suggestion that the U.S. government agency be destroyed by a nuclear weapon.

Asked about Robertson's suggestion during a press briefing Thursday, State Dept. spokesman Richard Boucher (search) replied, "I lack sufficient capabilities to express my disdain."

He added that the idea of destroying a government agency was "despicable."

Robertson's comments came during a recently televised interview with Joel Mowbray (search), author of "Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Endangers America's Security." Mowbray also is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News Channel.

According to the Regnery Publishing Web site, Mowbray's book "exposes the hidden agendas, mixed allegiances, and outright anti-Americanism that has infected the U.S. State Department."

"I read your book," Robertson told Mowbray. "When you get through, you say, 'If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom (search) [State Department headquarters], I think that's the answer' and you say, 'We've got to blow that thing up.' I mean, is it as bad as you say?"

"It is," Mowbray answered, though reports indicate that he makes no suggestion of such violence in his book.

Pressed whether he regarded Mowbray as a danger to State Dept. personnel and journalists, Boucher responded, "I think you can rest assured that our guards are doing their job against whatever people might want to bring in here."

Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network (search) said the televangelist was out of town and unreachable for comment until after the weekend. A call to Regnery Publishing had not been returned as of late Friday afternoon.