Q Scott, I apologize if I'm still confused, but I wonder if you could tell us a bit more specifically what has changed since October, when we were told that discussing details of this plot was inappropriate, and today? What has actually changed since October in that regard?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think I described it to you; I don't know how I can be more clear to you. This is something that we had been talking about with the intelligence community in looking for a good example to highlight for the American people about the type of international cooperation that goes on that helps us disrupt plots. I think that's important for the American people to have a clear understanding of, so they have a clear and better understanding of the threats we face and they have a better understanding of the efforts that are going on around the world to disrupt plots. So that's what this was.
And as time goes by and you continue to look at this and take into account the sensitivity of sources and methods and ongoing counterterrorism efforts, you are able to provide more information.
Q So sources and methods would have been compromised in October, but not today?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Peter, we're always looking for ways to provide the American people with more information and that's what I said to you earlier -- maybe you didn't quite hear all that -- but we're always looking to keep the American people informed about the threats we face and provide them better context and better understanding of what we are doing to confront those threats. So that's what this was about, and so that's something we're always looking at.
Q But that wasn't actually the question. The question was, would sources and methods have been compromised in October, but wouldn't be today?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the intelligence community said that it was okay to talk about the information that we provided you today and the President spoke about. So like I said, there is ongoing efforts that we look at to provide the information to the American people, and this was --
Q It was not okay in October to talk about that level of detail?
MR. McCLELLAN: I didn't say that. What I said was that they said that it was okay now to talk further about this specific plot.
Q Would it have been okay in October, but you chose not to?
MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know how many times you're going to keep asking the same question.
Q As soon as I get an answer.
MR. McCLELLAN: I think I've answered the question.
Q Can you say when you started trying to get it declassified so you could talk about it?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, when we were talking about doing this speech, we were looking for a specific plot that we could talk about in more detail?
Q So two weeks ago?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the speech has been in the works, as I say, for at least three weeks.
Q So three weeks ago you decided you wanted to try and declassify this particular --
MR. McCLELLAN: Martha, I can't tell you the specific time. But, again, two things -- one, we're always looking to keep the American people informed and provide them additional information like this. Two, we were looking to give this speech and talk about the international cooperation that's going on and how successful that is and how important that is to confronting the threats we face. So in that context, we were also talking in the intelligence community, is there additional information we can provide. And I think a good starting point was some of the plots that we had talked about last year, in a general sense.
Q But you say you don't want to give a specific date, but is it fair to stay that you started looking at this when you started looking at giving this speech?
Thursday, February 09, 2006
What's Different Today From Last October?
Good Question - we need more folks like Helen and Martha to get up in the face of these bastards. Of course, Scotty never does answer the question. Have a gander at this fun exchange: