BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Here's Scotty!

It's on:
Q: Scott, a couple of years ago, you told us that Scooter Libby and Karl Rove had nothing to do with the CIA leak. It appears that you may have gotten bad information before you made that statement. Now, today, we learn through extrapolation that when the Vice President said in September of 2003 that he didn't know who said Joe Wilson to Niger to investigate the claims that Iraq was trying to buy yellow cake, that he was not speaking the truth. My question is: Can we be confident that when we hear statements from the White House in public that they are truthful?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think you can because you know that our relationship is built on trust, and I have earned that trust with you all. As you pointed out, you pointed back to some past comments that I gave and I've talked to you about the assurances that I received on that.

In terms of the investigation, it is an ongoing investigation. The policy of this White House has been to carry out the direction of the President, which is to cooperate fully with the special prosecutor. That means not commenting on it publicly from here at the White House. There is a lot of speculation that is going on right now. There are many facts that are not known. The work of the special prosecutor continues, and we look forward to him successfully concluding his investigation.

Q: But in terms of public trust, if it is true that Scooter Libby learned of Valerie Plame's identity from Vice President Cheney in June of 2003, would that not mean then that the Vice President made a false statement three months later when he said he didn't know who sent Wilson to Niger?

MR. McCLELLAN: I appreciate that. A couple of things. One, the question you bring up is relating to a matter that is under investigation. And secondly, as I pointed out, there is a great deal of speculation that is going on right now, and I would urge you not to engage in that speculation. But certainly, you are pursuing this story as you should. We will wait to see what the special prosecutor does and learn more about the facts at that point.

Q: Are you not commenting on whether this report is accurate or not? Will you comment?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I'm not going to comment because it's relating to an ongoing investigation; the story that you're referencing relates to an ongoing investigation.

Q: Given the fact that the Vice President did say publicly in September of 2003 that he never knew about Joe Wilson or who sent him, as John points out, and now there appears to be information to contradict that, how do you explain that contradiction?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, there's an ongoing investigation. There are many facts that are not known. I would encourage you not to engage in speculation. And on top of that, if there's any additional information that the Vice President's Office wants to provide you, you can direct questions there. But the policy of this White House has been not to comment on this investigation while it's ongoing. And it has been that way for some time.

Q: Does that mean that if you had information that could help clear this up and perhaps make it look like something other than what it is, which is a contradiction, would you provide that, or would you hold that just because you don't want to --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I said -- I mean, if you want to ask any more from the Vice President's Office, you're welcome to do that, but --

Q: Have you done that?

MR. McCLELLAN: -- our policy has been that this is an ongoing investigation, we're not going to comment on it. The special prosecutor is the one that has been gathering the facts related to it. But just because I'm not commenting on it doesn't mean you should read anything into that one way or the other.

Q: Have you attempted to clarify it with the Vice President's Office?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, this is an ongoing investigation, and what the President directed us to do was to cooperate fully with the special prosecutor. And so, as part of doing that, we've been carrying out the President's direction from the White House. That means -- we're not doing that ourselves, the special prosecutor is doing that.

Q: So that's, no, you have not sought clarification?

MR. McCLELLAN: So, no -- no.

Q: DOES THE VICE PRESIDENT ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE?

MR. McCLELLAN: YES.
Right.

Like --

"But we...have to address the question of where might these terrorists acquire weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear weapons?

And SADDAM HUSSEIN becomes a prime suspect in that regard because of his past track record and because we know he has, in fact, developed these kinds of capabilities, chemical and biological weapons.

We know he’s used chemical weapons. We know he’s reconstituted these programs since the Gulf War.

We know he’s out trying once again to produce nuclear weapons and we know that he has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups, including the al-Qaeda organization.

*

We know that based on intelligence that he has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. He’s had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.

*

Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be GREETED AS LIBERATORS.


*

Our objective will be, if we go in, to defeat whatever forces oppose us, to take down the government of Saddam Hussein, and then to follow on with a series of actions such as eliminating all the weapons of mass destruction, finding where they are and destroying them, preserving the territorial integrity of Turkey.

*

MR. RUSSERT: If your analysis is not correct, and we’re not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I don’t think it’s likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators.

*

MR. RUSSERT: And you are convinced the Kurds, the Sunnis, the Shiites will come together in a democracy?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: They have so far.

Meet the Press, March 16, 2003.

Back to the press conference:
Q: The President then stands by the Vice President's account in September of --

MR. McCLELLAN: I think it's a -- frankly, I think it's a ridiculous question, Terry, because --

Q: Well, no, we now have reports that there are documents that directly contradict the public statement of the Vice President of the United States.

MR. McCLELLAN: Reports. The Vice President, like the President, is a straightforward, plainspoken person.
"Go fuck yoursef." - Cheney to Sen. Pat Leahy, June 24, 2004.

Finally:
Q: Scott, last week there was a story in The New York Daily News, I think, that you -- the question is accuracy -- a question about -- or a story about the President dressing down Karl Rove. So it would not be inconsistent if you thought that The New York Times story was inaccurate for you to say that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I'm just not going to have further comment on an ongoing investigation, and I indicated that at that time, as well.

Q: Can you give us -- I have to ask -- do you know if the Vice President talked to the President about Plame, or if the President may have talked to Tenet, himself, about Plame?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I appreciate the question, and it's relating to an ongoing investigation. You need to direct questions to the special prosecutor.

Q: But can you clear this up, though? You said that the Vice President always was truthful with the American people; yet here we have the appearance of an untruthful statement, based on this reported memo.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think it's a ridiculous suggestion in the first place, John. That's what I was responding to.
It's on, people.

It's on.

More later...

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