Friday, April 23, 2004

Wait a minute, Scottie Mac, you didn't just say what I thought you just said, did you?

Q Yes, can you comment about the report about the Baathists, that we're encouraging -- or that we would like to see some of the Baathists -- former Baathists in Iraq participate in the government, participate in the military? And if that's the case, how will that help to take the oxygen out of the insurgency?

MR. McCLELLAN: Let me tell you where we are. We are reviewing how the policies are being implemented and looking at how we can better balance the need for expertise and experience that Iraqis -- that some Iraqis have with the need for justice. And so that's something that we are looking at and we're working to address.

Q But you are -- you are considering letting Baathists participate?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we're reviewing the implementation of those policies, with that balance in mind, and looking at how we might be able to do a better job of balancing those two needs I just mentioned.

Q Will that help take the air out of the --

MR. McCLELLAN: Like I said, right now, it's under review. So --

Q Why is it under review?

MR. McCLELLAN: We're looking -- well, for the very reason that I stated. Because, one, you want to make sure that people are being held accountable and being brought to justice. But you also have to balance that and look at the need to have expertise in the different sectors within Iraq.

So we're going to bring Saddam's Baathist goons to justice, unless they're useful in which case, not so much?

Gosh that plan sounds awfully familiar...

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