[Homestead] Helen Thomas, Boldest of the Bold
lurine at softcom.net
Fri Apr 8 02:02:23 EDT 2005
We interrupt the American media's program of 24 hour corpse viewing to bring
you the following ..
The second blogger allowed into the White House briefing room became the
first blogger to actually ask press secretary Scott McClellan a question
Eric Brewer, a scientist by trade and one of a handful of contributors to a
small, liberal blog called BTC News, got his chance toward the end of
The question he asked was a good one, on a topic that's probably of great
interest to an awful lot of people.
It's also precisely the kind of question your typical full-time White House
correspondent doesn't ask anymore -- because there's simply no point. You're
not going to get an answer.
Here's the question Brewer asked, by his own account in a shaky voice:
"Back to the report on the botched WMD intelligence, have the massive
intelligence failures documented in the report caused the President to
rethink his policy of preventive war?"
It's a good question because the doctrine of preemption is one of the most
defining and precedent-shattering elements of the Bush canon. The apparently
sorry state of the U.S. intelligence apparatus makes it entirely unclear
whether the doctrine is still in effect -- and under what circumstances it
could again be called into service.
In fact, it's a question that not only many Americans, but also many people
across the world, would probably like answered.
But the response, such as it was, was classic McClellan. In fact, it could
literally have been stitched together from previous McClellan responses to
Here's what McClellan said, from the transcript. You can click on each
phrase to see how many times he's used those same words before in previous
"You know, September 11th taught us a very important lesson, and that lesson
was that we must confront threats before it is too late. If we had known of
those attacks ahead of time, we would have moved heaven and earth to prevent
them from happening. This President will not hesitate when it comes to
protecting the American people. And in the post-September 11th world that we
live in, the consequences of underestimating the threat we face is too high.
It's tens of -- possibly tens of thousands of lives.
Brewer followed up: "What about the cost of overestimating?"
McClellan: "Are you talking about the Iraq situation?"
Brewer: "Going into Iraq, yes, with bad intelligence."
McClellan: I think we've talked about this before.The world is safer with
Saddam Hussein's regime removed from power. The Iraqi people are serving as
an example to the rest of the Middle East through their courage and
determination to build a free future."
And at this point, Hearst columnist Helen Thomas piped in: "The ones that
are alive, you mean?"
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