Q Well, Scott, can I go to the war in Iraq? There was a -- Time Magazine is running a piece by Lt. General Gregory Newbold, who is Director of Operations in the Pentagon, which, as you know, is an extremely important position in that building. He said --Is it wrong to call Scotty a giant bag of shit (lying through the stench) these days?
MR. McCLELLAN: I will confess I have not read my Time Magazine this week yet.
Q Let me read some of it to you. He said: "The distortion of intelligence in the buildup to the war, McNamara-like micromanagement kept our forces from having enough resources to do the job." He says, "It is my sincere view that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with the casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions or bury the results." And he's calling for Secretary Rumsfeld to resign. I think this is probably the highest ranking person we've had come out and say these kinds of things about the war. Any reaction to that?
MR. McCLELLAN: Any reaction? Do you have something specific you want to ask me about? I think we've --
Q Yes, I want to -- okay, how about the distortion of intelligence?
MR. McCLELLAN: -- expressed our views on those various issues --
Q He talks about the distortion of intelligence. He was there in the building in the buildup to the war.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, if you want to talk about the intelligence, that's an issue I just brought up. Let's go back and look. There was an independent commission, the Silberman-Robb Commission, that looked at the intelligence relating to Iraq, and they came back and said that there was no evidence of political pressure, that these were errors, serious errors, and they stemmed from poor trade craft and poor management. That's what the Robb-Silberman Commission stated.
The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report said that they did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments. And then there was the British Butler report, as well. So this was intelligence that was shared by countries around the world, with Congress, with the United Nations, and the United States. Now, with that said, we have pointed out that the intelligence was wrong. That's why we have implemented important reforms.
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 --
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.
And it's important that we succeed in Iraq, and that's where our focus is now. And I think people understand the importance of succeeding in Iraq, because look at the consequences if you fail. If we fail in Iraq it will embolden the enemy, it will give them a victory in the war on terrorism. It could lead to a safe-haven in Iraq. And that's why it's so important that we continue to work together to support the Iraqi people, who have shown that they want to chart their own future. And that's what we're going to continue to do.
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.
Monday, April 10, 2006
The W, Rove And Co Political Shell Game Continues: Under Which The Truth Hidden Is Hard To Discern
Looks like Martha is picking up the Cast Iron Skillet for Helen right off the bat of today's Whitehouse Political Shell Game parleyed by the Whitehouse Pit Boss, Scotty McMessage McClellan: