Monday, April 10, 2006

McClellan: Hot is cold, black is white etc etc etc...

Not having alot to work with for my daily post, (nuking Iran, White House ties to election fraud in N.H. on the same day Rove gives GOP elections lawyers a big thank you for keeping democracy safe... you know same ol' same ol') I finally went with a tried and true tactic. I linked to todays press conference (warning, this link goes to the White House website, click at your own risk) by Scott McClellan for some inspiration. He did not disappoint.

Let us examine the methodology of the spokeman for an imploding President. Scott has to face an invigorated White House press corps (remember the days when these folks would meekly raise their hands and pitch a soft ball) and deny reality. Not only does he have to deny reality, he must pretend that administration reality is working even as their world implodes around them.

Let us look at some examples of this: Responding to the editorial by the Pentagons top operations officer at the time of the Iraq invasion, Lt. Gregory Newbold, in which he eviscerates the administrations prewar, and post invasions rationales, McClellan offers this:
Q Scott, you've got a senior officer here who was there in the buildup to the war, saying it was a mistake, saying this war should never have been fought, resources were taken --

MR. McCLELLAN: The President strongly disagrees. It was the right decision to go into Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power. And let me talk about why. Remember, September 11th changed the President's thinking. He talked about this in his remarks earlier today. We are a nation at war, engaged in a global war on terrorism. And the President made the decision after September 11th that we were going to go on the offensive, that we were going to take the fight to the enemy. And that's exactly what we are doing. And the President talked today in his remarks about what we have accomplished. And he talked about why it was the right decision to go in and remove Saddam Hussein from power. The regime --
Reading the entire transcript you will see that by allowing the first mention of Sept. 11 to take place approximately one minute into the briefing Scotty has violated a cardinal rule of White House spokesmanship. Sept. 11 must be mentioned inside the 1st 30 seconds of any given presentation or you are off on the wrong foot.

The notion that invading Iraq has assisted our cause in the war on terror is simply ludicrous. This theory has been singularly rebutted and I feel no desire to do so again. On with the McClellan briefing:
Q It has nothing to do with 9/11.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- the regime is gone. It is no longer sponsoring terrorism. It is no longer destabilizing the region. It is no longer undermining the credibility of the United Nations. It is no longer threatening the world.
Black is white! Hot is cold. The region is actually more stable now that we've done this. Simply ludicrous! Kosovo is stable. South Korea is stable. I know stable regions. Stable regions are a friend of mine. The Persian Gulf is not stable! Sheesh... I feel like I'm responding to a robot who has been programmed with only incorrect talking points.

McClellan speaks of Saddam undermining the credibility of the United Nations... I mean honestly. Is it not the height of hypocrisy for an official of the Bush administration to go there? Let us just snicker at this and move along.
Q But, Scott, what he was saying is this wasn't part of the global war on terrorism. In fact, what he said is the actions taken in Iraq were peripheral to the real threat, al Qaeda.

MR. McCLELLAN: Martha, I haven't read the whole article. The President has expressed his views very clearly about how this is part of the broader war on terrorism. He takes a comprehensive approach when it comes to fighting and winning the war on terrorism. And we will prevail. We are leading from a position of confidence and strength, and we will continue to do so going forward.
Of course the Lt. General in charge of Pentagon operations is just wrong about all this, and the President who stepped on the carrier deck in the flight jacket under the mission accomplished banner is right. All the other experts who have expressed their views on how disastrous this invasion was/is are obviously muddle headed nay sayers, and only the koolaid drinkers have it right. You can just see Scotty dipping the ladle into the aluminum kettle for his next sip of administration koolaid.

"We are leading from a position of confidence". Which White House propagandist do you suppose thought that one up? We have been led into a quagmire... by a President who cannot conceive the notion that he may have been mistaken. Leading with confidence, right into the pit. Let us see where else Scotty would like to lead us...
Q Let me ask this follow-up question. No matter when the information was released from the NIE, why isn't it a fair charge to make against this President that he, frankly, played politics with declassified intelligence in the run-up to the war to defend his case for war?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think a lot of people have disputed that. If you look at the evidence, the intelligence is in the National Intelligence Estimate. The National Intelligence Estimate is the collective judgment of the intelligence community. And it was, as I said, the underlying basis for how we viewed Saddam Hussein's weapons program -- not just us, but the Congress, foreign governments, the previous administration, the United Nations. So this was intelligence shared by many people. Now, the intelligence was wrong. And that's why we took steps to correct it and make sure that we have better intelligence going forward.
Of course the declassification of selective portions of the NIE is political in nature. Here is what happened in a nutshell. The President starts taking heat on his use of prewar intelligence. In order to (hopefully) demonstrate that he was playing straight, he declassified the portions of the NIE that backed him up. Which actually PRECISELY demonstrates the problem and in fact the pattern that led up to the war. The President was not honest in declassifying only those portions of the NIE that supported him but leaving those portions that questioned him classified. As it is now apparent that he was not honest prior to going to war about the intelligence. We now know for a fact that not only were the famous 16 words in the state of the union known to be falsehoods when delivered by the President, but the uranium tube as centrifuge claim was known by the President to be false as well. Actually, the selective leaking to make a political point was deceptive, and is yet another example of the behavior by this administration. Scotty knows this I'm sure.

I'm not going to bother going through the whole press conference to point out this sophistry on behalf of the administration. I could type until bedtime doing it.

Just one note on a personal level. I've quit smoking! As of 04/08 early in the morning I smoked my last one, and I'm actually doing well with the project. I was prescribed Wellbutrin to help. Wellbutrin is an antidepresent, but doctors saw that alot of the smoking patients who were taking it were quitting smoking. Basically it makes taking a drag taste like you've just bitten into a turd. And it helps with the mental anguish so many smokers have to go through to quit. I definitely reccomend this drug if any of my readers smoke and want to quit. Plus I have a patch. And it has gone very well!

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