Q Scott, the President, for the first time in my recollection, took responsibility for taking the nation to war on faulty intelligence. Can you expand on that a little bit?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think he was very clear in what he said. I think he made clear, and he's made it clear before, I believe, that the decision he made to go in and remove Saddam Hussein was his decision and it was the right decision. We're better off with Saddam Hussein out of power.
Q But he also said it was his responsibility for going to war on --
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I don't think that's new. I think he's talked about that before.
Q On faulty intelligence?
MR. McCLELLAN: The President is the one who makes the decision to send our troops into combat.
Q But he's never -- to my recollection, he's never linked those two before. He said --
MR. McCLELLAN: Oh, no, he's talked about how --
Q He's said before, I take responsibility in the criticisms for a decision to take the nation to war, but it's the first time, to my recollection --
MR. McCLELLAN: No, he's talked about how we got much of the intelligence wrong and how we have worked to fix that, to make sure that we have the best possible intelligence. That's critical.
Q Also he said today, and he's said this before, that some people have suggested that if we leave the terrorists alone, terrorists will leave the United States alone. Maybe I've missed it, but whoever suggested that?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think there are people that have suggested that the terrorists would just be idle if we weren't engaging them in Iraq, and that being in Iraq has led to their attacks. Well, the attacks were taking place for a long time prior to our decision going into Iraq.
Q Have they really said that if we weren't there, the terrorists would be idle?
MR. McCLELLAN: Oh, people have talked about this issue. And I think what the President said in his remarks was very clear.
Excuse me Scotty, but which people would those have been? Name one. Perhaps it was Karl Rove said that people - but never identified - said this and this is a great way to spin your way out of the biggest political and strategic mistake of the history of the United States bar none.
I've talked about the Iraq Attack before. Here are two fine military terms for this decision to go to war with Iraq: "W, you screwed the pooch on this one." Or more eloquently, "this whole Iraq situation is FUBAR."
What did W actually say in his continuous effort to shake the blame finger off himself (continually blaming others but saying it's not okay for others to blame him)? Have a look:
The stakes in Iraq are high, and we will not leave until victory has been achieved. (Applause.) Today there's an intense debate about the importance of Iraq to the war on terror. The constant headlines about car bombings and killings have led some to ask whether our presence in Iraq has made America less secure. This view presumes that if we were not in Iraq, the terrorists would be leaving us alone. The reality is that the terrorists have been targeting America for years, long before we ever set foot in Iraq.Well, no one actually said this did they? Or they would name the people. It's more the fanciful notion of someone with an active imagination. Worse - it's a presumption based on flawed intelligence.
What I have been saying for a long time is that the terrorists are using Iraq as a practice and proving ground. Just wait for them to arrive on our shore battle trained and ready to wreak havoc on US civilians. Will W accept the blame for that as well?