Thursday, September 14, 2006

Coercion: Not Just For Enemy Combatant Detainees In Secret CIA Prisons - Subtitle: "It's Not As If These Guys Are A Bunch Of Toadies"

I'm serious, you can't make this shit up. Tony the Snow job was having a terrible time containing the spin in Thursday's Whitehouse Press briefing.

There is so much to this line of inquery that I can't paste it all in here. If you find this slice the least bit entertaining, you may want to actually pop on over to the whitehouse web location for a closer look-see. I dare ya! I double dare ya.

Have a look:
Q All right, the second question is, you kind of laughed off this rumor you said on Capitol Hill that the JAG had been coerced to write this letter.

MR. SNOW: JAGs, yes.

Q The officers, the JAG officers.

MR. SNOW: Yes.

Q Senator Graham is telling reporters on Capitol Hill that the White House had them in a meeting for five hours last night and tried to force them to sign a prepared statement. And he said, reading this JAG letter they ended up writing leaves total ambiguity on interpretation. This is Senator Lindsey Graham. What's your response to that?

MR. SNOW: It sounds like he's talking there's a detainee crisis.

Q Wait a minute, I think he deserves an answer, a real answer.

MR. SNOW: Well, here's the answer -- here's the answer, the real answer is, go back and read the testimony from August.

Q Was there a meeting?

MR. SNOW: I don't know if there -- there was not a White House meeting -- I don't think so. I don't think there was a White House meeting. I do know that they were asked to express in a letter the opinions that they had -- that they had expressed in open committee, in testimony before the United States Senate -- I believe it was the Judiciary Committee, maybe Armed Services -- in August. I don't know who asked.

Ask who -- the thing is if you start going into who asked whom to write letters, I don't know. We can ask each side. Here's the important thing --

Q You say it wasn't a White House meeting. Were there White House people there? Who called it together?

MR. SNOW: I don't think so -- I honestly -- Martha, I'll find out.

Q You've got to get us some clarity on that meeting.

Q It's been reported that Jim Haynes, who is the counsel at the Pentagon, convened this meeting and got these guys to write this letter. And it's something that they told people they didn't agree with.

MR. SNOW: Well, I don't think so because these -- if it's possible --

Q You don't think so, or you know that's not the case.

MR. SNOW: It's not the case. They were asked to write a letter that reflected their views, and they edited and signed the letter. Furthermore --

Q Who asked them?

MR. SNOW: I honestly don't know. I honestly don't know.

Q You only know what didn't happen.

MR. SNOW: I don't know who asked Colin Powell to write letters. I don't know who asked others to write letters.

Q But you say you don't know, what didn't happen --

MR. SNOW: Please, please let me finish, and then you can -- then you can pick away at the process. These are the same guys who opposed us on other matters of the legislation here. It's not as if these guys are a bunch of toadies who sit around and say, what does the White House want us to do. These are JAGs who have important obligations that they take seriously. I think maybe the best thing to do is go swarm them and ask them. They're generals -- there is one colonel on the letter. They're able to speak for themselves.

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