Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Full Court Press Conference

If only I were also a male escort and could get a White House press pass. Then I could ask some truly probing follow-up questions so I could push, push on President Bush. For instance today when he said:

"I think it's a mistake for people to believe that going on the offense against people that want to do harm to the American people makes us less safe. The terrorists fight us in Iraq for a reason: They want to try to stop a young democracy from developing, just like they're trying to fight another young democracy in Afghanistan."

I'd ask:

"Two follow-ups, if I may, Mr. President. First, the people in Iraq were trying to do us harm when we first invaded Iraq? Would that have been with their weak army, their lack of any connection to al Qaeda, or their non-existent WMDs? Second, everyone fighting in Iraq is a terrorist? Didn't someone explain the differences among the Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis to you yet? You know, the whole civil war thing you insist isn't happening?"

And when Bush said:

"Now, you know what's interesting about the NIE -- it was a intelligence report done last April. As I understand, the conclusions -- the evidence on the conclusions reached was stopped being gathered on February -- at the end of February. And here we are, coming down the stretch in an election campaign, and it's on the front page of your newspapers. Isn't that interesting? Somebody has taken it upon themselves to leak classified information for political purposes."

I'd, in my most polite and sweet voice, question:

"In theory 16 different intelligence agencies put this report together. Is there any chance, any chance at all, that people leaked the report because they thought it was really important and that you and Donald Rumsfeld and others seemed to ignore it totally for 5 months? And if the report's findings, redacted and thereby not a risk of giving away state secrets, were released in April, when the report was completed--well, wouldn't you have been able to keep it from seeming like a campaign issue? That is, isn't your own desire for secrecy the real, uh, I'm sorry to use such a harsh word, problem?"

And when Bush gets a bit pissy, as is his wont, and claimed:

I want you to read the documents so you don't speculate about what it says. You asked me a question based upon what you thought was in the document, or at least somebody told you was in the document. And so I think, Jennifer, you'll be able to ask a more profound question when you get to look at it yourself -- (laughter) -- as opposed to relying upon gossip and somebody who may or may not have seen the document trying to classify the war in Iraq one way or the other.

I'd reply:

"First, my name is not Jennifer. Second, if I asked you a profound question you'd make a face dumber than my dog who is still coming out of his sedation from having his teeth cleaned today. Third, I am looking into my crystal ball and see you will only release 3 1/2 pages of the report. So I still won't be reading the whole document. So you can still say that I don't get it. And you'd be very right--every time I think about the decisions made by this White House, I don't get it."

And as I was dragged away by the "professionals" that now legally have the "tools" to do with me as they will without any fear of Latin (habeas corpus is so 13th century), I would shout out:

"Hey, Reuters, why are you head-lining a story 'Intelligence report is made public,' when only about 12% of the report was released? Do you call yourself naked when you roll up one of your sleeves?"


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