Saturday, May 01, 2004

Last but not least, Thursday:

Q Do you think we increased terrorism by invading Iraq?

MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, terrorists have no regard for innocent life. They will carry out their attacks without discretion. They want to harm innocent men, women, and children, and spread fear and chaos. And I think that if you go back to what David Kay said in one of his reports -- or after one of his reports, he said that Iraq was potentially even more dangerous than we thought prior to September 11th.

When it's a Helen Thomas question, the non-responsive answers get even more blatant since Scottie knows no one else will care. Poor Helen.

Q Can you discuss what you think is different about the President and Vice President's meeting, as opposed to former President Clinton and Gore? Because in those interviews with the 9/11 Commission, they were recorded. Why didn't President Bush and the Vice President allow their meeting to be recorded?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think this is consistent with many important meetings that we have at the White House, and certainly meetings that the President has in the Oval Office. There are many important meetings, whether they are meetings with world leaders, or National Security Council meetings, or policy briefings on high priorities, where notes are taken. I think --

Q But arguably, none of those rise to the level of importance of determining what went wrong on September 11th.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, let's see, the NSC meeting that the President had when he decided to launch war and go into Afghanistan, notes were taken from that meeting. It wasn't recorded. So I think that I would disagree with that somewhat. But there were detailed notes taken in this meeting.

Bing! The White House successfully maneuvered 'testifying before the commission' down to 'just another meeting in the Oval Office.' Smoothly done.

Q Scott, we're coming up on the year anniversary of when the President landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln and declared that major combat operations were over under the "mission accomplished" banner. Is there now, in retrospect, a feeling that the President was overly optimistic and maybe had misled Americans, and now leading to a certain amount of buyer's remorse in some of these polls and that this is going to be more of political headache than an asset for him --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Ben, I think the President was honored to go and thank our troops onboard the USS Lincoln for all that they had done in our efforts in Iraq. He was pleased to go to the USS Lincoln and thank the sailors on board the ship and thank the pilots on board the ship and thank other men and women in the military who were on board the ship. They had completed their mission and were returning back to America, and it was a nice thing for the President of the United States to do on behalf of the nation.

Genius! The 'Mission Accomplished' banner wasn't referring to the war in general; it was just referring to the USS Lincoln's activities.

You'd think someone would have thought to clear that up back when it was a hot-button issue that was making the president look like a jackass...

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