Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Hey, Kids! Wanna See a Weasel Dance?

I won't run lengthy excerpts from yesterday's press briefing with White House Press Secretary Scott "The Lyin' King" McClellan, but this is the perfect time for you to go read the transcript or, if it's still available, watch the video of the grilling. If nothing else, we've had a reawakening of our national press corps this year and it's a great display of them attempting to get answers on our behalf.

Here's Helen Thomas going after McClellan on the ongoing rationale for the Iraq war:
Q: The President has publicly acknowledged that we went to war under false information, mistaken information. Why does he insist on staying there if we were there falsely, and continue to kill Iraqis?

McClellan: Well, maybe you missed some of his recent speeches and his remarks, but the President said it was the right decision to remove Saddam Hussein and his regime from power --

Q: And a right decision to move in and to tell the people, the American people, that it was all a mistake, and stay there?

McClellan: I don't think he said that. He said that Saddam Hussein was a destabilizing force in a dangerous region of the world --

Q: That isn't true. We had a choke-hold on him.

McClellan: It is true. He was a threat. And the threat has been removed.

Q: We had sanctions, we had satellites, we were bombing.

McClellan: Let's talk about why it's so important, what we're working to accomplish in Iraq --

Q: I want to know why we're still there killing people, when we went in by mistake.

McClellan: We are liberating people and freeing people to live in a democracy. And why we're still there --

Q: Do you think we're spreading democracy when you spy and put out disinformation and do all the things that -- secret prisons, and torture?

McClellan: I reject your characterizations wholly. I reject your characterizations wholly. The United States is helping to advance freedom in a dangerous region of the world.

Q: -- recognize this kind of --

McClellan: For too long we thought we had stability by ignoring freedom in the Middle East. Well, we showed -- we saw on September 11th --

Q: -- 30,000 plus?

McClellan: Well, Helen, we can have a debate, or you can let me respond to your questions. I think this is an important subject for the American people to talk about. By advancing freedom and democracy in the Middle East we're helping to protect our own security. It's a dangerous region --

Q: By killing people in their own country?

McClellan: Well, I reject that. We're liberating and freeing people and we're targeting the enemy. We're killing the terrorists and we're going after the Saddam loyalists.
Then there was this quick interaction near the end about allegations that the president met with New York Times executives earlier this month to pressure them to kill the NSA eavesdropping story:
Q: Did the President meet The New York Times editor on December 6th and ask him to not publish the eavesdropping story?

McClellan: I saw reports about that; I'm not going to get into discussing it, though.

Q: No confirm, no deny?

McClellan: No, neither.
Check it out in one form or another. This media interaction is one of the main conduits by which information – or disinformation – is passed from the executive branch of the government to the American people. It's worth the time to see it happening.