Thursday, August 03, 2006

Making It Up As He Goes: Mr. Snow Speaks For The President

The job of Press Secretary has to be thankless. First off, you have to figure out how to dodge the press when Presidents say thinks like "I did not have sex with that woman..." Secondly, you have to think off the top of your head what the president might be thinking about particular things when you know for sure you haven't a clue.

Here's some evidence that Tony the Snow job is following in the footsteps of the finest fabricators. Have a look and tell me if you think that the Press Secretary has overstepped his bounds and put words in the President's mouth:
Q Does the President agree with General Abizaid's assessment today, that Iraq is in danger of civil war because of the recent sectarian violence?

MR. SNOW: I think what he said -- I think he specifically avoided "civil war." I think he said he was worried about sectarian violence, and also reiterated something we've talked about on a number of occasions, which is the importance of security Baghdad -- which is why, pursuant to General Casey's recommendations, you're going to see a little more of a troop presence in Baghdad, to try to suppress some of those. Obviously, sectarian violence is a concern.

Q I think he did say that he thought civil war was a possibility.

MR. SNOW: Okay. Well, I don't think the President is going to quibble with his generals on their characterizations. I think the more important thing that General Abizaid -- at least based on what I saw -- was saying that, again, it's very important that we go ahead and go in and secure Baghdad as one of the key things, because that is where people are tying to create broader sectarian strife with pretty large and visible acts of violence.
Excuse me, but isn't it the President's job to command those Generals? Shouldn't he be clear about what advice they give to him? Well, it doesn't look like it's going well in Iraq, by any measure if you ask me. Any one else feel the same way?

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