Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken
gozz@gozz.com

Friday, May 20, 2005

Oh, that one. Okay. Got it. Okay. 

This Q&A session is from Tuesday, but is daffy enough to still get some chuckles today. When asked about the Downing Street Memo, Condoleezza Rice first feigned confusion, then did not answer the question, "We know what the U.S. administration's position is in the buildup to the war on Iraq. It's been made very clear. But could you speak to these allegations in particular, Madame Secretary, and whether or not this is true?" Instead, Rice

  1. noted that information from states like Iraq "comes at a premium."
  2. said nothing about the 2002-2003 inspections from the ground in Iraq which she just said "comes at a premium."
  3. relied on intelligence "gathered from sources from around the world," presumably everywhere but in Iraq in 2002 and 2003, which turned up nothing about WMD.
  4. babbled on about about everything but an answer to the question.

QUESTION: ... And if I could then ask both of you to comment on the very well-publicized British memo that was leaked to the Times of London, or to the London Times. Madame Secretary --

SECRETARY RICE: Which one is that? Andrea, which one is that?

FOREIGN SECRETARY STRAW: Which one is that?

QUESTION: On Iraq. That came out about 10 days ago, 12 days ago. Are you not aware of this memo?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, a lot of them are, unfortunately, out. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: In particular, this memo -- and I can quote -- said that the intelligence -- and this was a memo that was leaked from the minutes of a meeting that took place in July of 2002 with Tony Blair --

SECRETARY RICE: Oh, that one. Okay. Got it. Okay.

QUESTION: -- and some of his military intelligence advisors. In particular, it quotes one British official saying the intelligence and facts that the U.S. was putting forward were being fixed around the policy. We know what the U.S. administration's position is in the buildup to the war on Iraq. It's been made very clear. But could you speak to these allegations in particular, Madame Secretary, and whether or not this is true?

... Thank you.

SECRETARY RICE: ... Look, we've gone over and over and over the issue about the intelligence and about the case against Saddam Hussein. Obviously, there were problems with the intelligence. That's now very clear. It's why the President has been very quick to react to the intelligence reform legislation, appointing John Negroponte to really more radically reform American intelligence agencies than at any time since 1947, because we need to have the very best intelligence, particularly when we are dealing with opaque, dictatorial societies like Iraq in which information comes at a premium.

But I would just remind that the information on which we were acting, in part on which we were acting, was information that was gathered from sources from around the world, including reports that UN inspectors had had when they were on the ground in 1998.

...Oil-for-Food ... bloody dictator ... invaded his neighbors ... used weapons of mass destruction ... shot at our aircraft ...

Yeah, but "In particular, [the Downing Street Memo] quotes one British official saying the intelligence and facts that the U.S. was putting forward were being fixed around the policy. We know what the U.S. administration's position is in the buildup to the war on Iraq. It's been made very clear. But could you speak to these allegations in particular, Madame Secretary, and whether or not this is true?"

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Comments:

Well, it was only alsmost entirely unlike answering the question but not totaly.

 

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