Most certainly, we know the reason why the W, Rove and Co would want to mislead the American people: Because it is politically astute to do so.
Have a look from this exchange from a couple of days ago:
Q I have a question about the Rumsfeld memo. At the time when he was saying to the President, in this memo, that things aren't working in Iraq, the President was saying two things publicly: One, that we're winning in Iraq, absolutely; and he was also lashing Democrats, saying that criticism was not a plan for Iraq, and that we -- the administration -- have a plan for victory in Iraq. So why wasn't the President leveling with the American people?Can we call bullshit here or what? We were misled for political reasons. This doesn't make lying to the public acceptable nor morally justified, but no one should be surprised as this is W, Rove and Co politics as usual. They want to have it both ways – when the Democrats to do it, it is wrong and reprehensible. When members of the GOP do it, it is right and proper. Typical.
MR. SNOW: Actually, at the time that this came --
Q Why wasn't he saying publicly what top members of this administration who were running the war were saying privately?
MR. SNOW: Well, there are a couple of things. First, at that very time, he was actually saying, things are not getting well enough fast enough. That was a formulation he was using at the time. If you take a look at the Rumsfeld memo that was printed in The New York Times, what you end up having is what the President I think has made it clear that he wants, which are people thinking creatively and exhaustively about ways of getting better results in Iraq.
And this is not -- other than at the very beginning, he says, clearly U.S. forces -- it's not working well enough or fast enough, what they're doing. That is a phrase that the President had adopted and had been using. And I don't know whether it comes from Secretary Rumsfeld or from the President. And then you have a list of options.
So I don't think you've got a case where the President was saying one thing and advisors were saying another.
What the President was saying is that you've got a sovereign government with the government of Prime Minister Maliki that is pursuing what it needs to pursue, but obviously needs to be doing so more effectively and more rapidly. And that would include security. It would include reconciliation. It would include economic measures. It would include things like the hydrocarbon law. So certainly we weren't trying to wrap it up into a neat little bundle, because it's a very complex situation.
Q But doesn't it strike you that at the same time that you and others in this administration were accusing the likes of John Murtha of cutting and running by suggesting redeployment of forces to the periphery of Iraq or to nearby Kuwait, that the Secretary of Defense is suggesting similar options?
MR. SNOW: What Mr. Murtha had suggested was -- he was never quite that specific, and I think I'd let him speak for himself, but I believe when he came on "Meet the Press," he was talking about redeploying to Okinawa. What you have in here is a description of possibly having forces --
Q But that's not the -- he talked about redeploying to Kuwait. You say you don't want to talk more, but you're not talking accurately.
MR. SNOW: No, here's what he says, is, "You can withdraw forces from vulnerable positions -- cities, patrolling, et cetera -- and move forces to a quick reaction force status operating from within Iraq and Kuwait." Now, it is one of many options that are described here. What it means is the administration is trying to take a look at every suggestion, as I think would be incumbent.
Q Wait a second. You're not really answering the question. You're trying to parse what Murtha's position was.
MR. SNOW: No, I'm not --
Q Wait a second, let me just finish.
MR. SNOW: Okay.
Q Isn't it striking that this administration was accusing the likes of John Murtha and other Democrats who suggested course correction, including phased withdrawal, of cutting and running --
MR. SNOW: No, let me --
Q -- at the same time that the Defense Secretary was suggesting just the same option?
MR. SNOW: No.
Q You don't see hypocrisy there?
MR. SNOW: No, because you're talking about apples and oranges. If you take a look at --
MR. SNOW: Yes, really -- because there is no suggestion in here that things be done without regard to developments on the ground. What the President has already said is, what you try to do is, obviously, we want U.S. forces to be withdrawing based on what is going on, on the ground in Iraq. And there is still a significant difference.
Now, I think what's interesting is that we have now gone from an election season, where there was some criticism of the White House, to one in which Democrats are going to have responsibility in the House and Senate. And as they take a serious look at the business of going ahead and building up a government of Iraq, so that you have a democracy, so that the United States has the kind of victory that the President has discussed -- which is an Iraq that can defend, sustain and govern itself, and can be an ally in the war on terror -- I think you're going to see people working more constructively. And a lot of the kind of rhetoric that got heated up during a political campaign, including those who had been saying some pretty tough stuff about the President. I think that's going to give way to what we hope will be constructive efforts to get the job done.
Q So this White House is playing it straight with the American people?
MR. SNOW: Yes.
Is there any remorse laden in this administration at all for the situation they have placed us in? Helen Thomas whips out the cast iron frying pan one more time:
Q Ten Americans were killed Sunday in Iraq, or on the weekend. Is there any impact on the President? Does it affect him at all that there's a growing consensus in Iraq and America to get out now?Today, we see that there are more of his pals that suggest things are not going well at all. Why did he have to wait to hear this bad news from people he likes instead of balking at similar sentiments from folks he doesn't like? Is he really listening?
MR. SNOW: Well, it's interesting -- I don't know if there's a growing -- what we hear from the Iraqis is, we want to have the capability so that the Iraqi security forces can assume the lead. And it is also the case that they say that they need more. And we are working with them --
Q You're hearing that from people who want to stay in power, believe me --
MR. SNOW: No, wait, look --
Q -- not the people.
MR. SNOW: I don't know, Helen. It's very difficult.
Questions. Helen.Well, whatever that may be, do we trust that the president won't just let this document collect dust on his nightstand?
Q Is the President contemplating a way out of Iraq?
MR. SNOW: The way out of Iraq is to have an Iraq that can sustain, govern, and defend itself, to be an ally in the war on terror and also an example to the region that democracy can succeed. So that is the way out.
Q Does he really think he can achieve such a thing?
MR. SNOW: He believes the Iraqi people can achieve it, and it is our goal to help them develop the capacity to do so.
Q To follow on that for a second, it sounds like the job -- he's not leaving until the job is finished. And the job is defined as an Iraq that can sustain, govern, and defend itself. Last week you said --
MR. SNOW: And be an ally in the war on terror.
Q And be an ally in the war on terror. Is the Baker report and the internal reviews that accompany the Baker report over the next couple of weeks an opportunity for the President to redefine what the job is?
MR. SNOW: No, I don't think so. I think it's an opportunity to take advantage of the help of a number of people who are assessing the situation. But, no.
I told the members that this report, called "The Way Forward," will be taken very seriously by this administration. This report gives a very tough assessment of the situation in Iraq. It is a report that brings some really very interesting proposals, and we will take every proposal seriously and we will act in a timely fashion.But, what about Murtha's and others? Why must it come from their friends?
The country, in my judgment, is tired of pure political bickering that happens in Washington, and they understand that on this important issue of war and peace, it is best for our country to work together. And I understand how difficult that is, but this report will give us all an opportunity to find common ground, for the good of the country -- not for the good of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, but for the good of the country.Well, it takes two sides to tango as well as to bicker. For the W, Rove and Co. it usually means "you change, we stay the same" and we can all get along better. There is never any ownership to their contributions to the divisiveness they fostered, now is there?
The clock ticks, the body count ratchets up, and are we getting a solution any time soon? Time will tell, and tempus fugit.