Saturday, May 01, 2004

I've missed Scottie Mac while I was away from blogging. I wonder if he missed me? (No, not wonder, what's the phrase... oh yeah, "highly doubt".)

Here are the high(low)lights of Scottie's week.


Q Just quickly, the Italian Vice Premiere was at the stakeout and he said -- who did he meet with, first of all? And he said that he came to say that the Italian government will keep the troops in Iraq, but within a new U.N. resolution. Are they threatening to pull out if there is no new U.N. resolution?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, in fact, the statements I've heard from many countries in the coalition is one of reaffirming their resolve to finish the important work in Iraq, to help the Iraqi people realize a free and peaceful future.

We weren't talking about 'many countries', Scottie. We were talking about Italy. And the answer to the question was 'yes'. You would have been better off mocking the guy's English.

Incidentally, the Italian position is essentially the same as the British one.

Q Scott, following up to what Elisabeth said, somewhat. Before Dr. Rice testified publicly, President Bush said it was important for the American public to know about the events leading up to 9/11. If that is the case, why not have the President testify publicly, even with a transcript? And why not under oath?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, the President is already under oath as the President of the United States. But let me go back to when the President signed the legislation creating this commission.

Q He's under oath 24 hours a day? (Laughter.)


Q Can you just clarify. You said he was going to be -- the President is always under oath. I mean, he -- as we understand the procedure and the protocol before the 9/11 --

MR. McCLELLAN: When he came into office --

Q That I understand. But in terms of the Q&A session, he will not be under oath.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, that's what I -- but he will tell it exactly how it happened.

I don't think even Scottie knew where he was going with that one.

Q ...Why is it important for these two men to testify -- or to appear -- to appear together, particularly with Democrats saying it raises the appearance that they have to get their stories straight, that there might be something to hide?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think the argument could be made if they were appearing separately for that same -- that same line of argument could be made even to a greater extent. So I just reject that outright.

See, because if Bush and Cheney had appeared separately and given different answers to the same questions, that would really have given the appearance they had something to hide.

Whaddaya mean that isn't what Scottie meant? How else can you parse that pseudo-response?

Q May I have one more question on Brahimi. Many groups accuse Brahimi of being anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli. Does the White House have a response to that?

Those groups being Chalabi for President, the Ahmed Chalabi Fan Club, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Ahmed Chalabi. Who let Judith Miller in here?

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