FROM THE DESK OF ARI FLEISCHER
TO: Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary
Hey, Scott! Hope things are going OK with you guys over at the Hizouse. Sorry I left right after the you-know-what hit the fan, but you seem to be doing a decent job.
I thought you were, anyway, until I saw your briefing yesterday:
Q Scott,...does the President know how many people have been killed and wounded in Iraq since the beginning of the war?
MR. McCLELLAN: Those numbers are made available, publicly.
Q Does the President know how many --
MR. McCLELLAN: He's very well aware of the sacrifices that are made in Iraq.
Q Well, how many -- how many people have been killed in Iraq? Not just Americans -- total people killed and wounded in Iraq since the beginning of the war?
MR. McCLELLAN: Russell, I don't have those numbers.
Q Does the President know?
MR. McCLELLAN: Russell, I think that --
Q Are they available?
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?
Q Are they available?
MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know that you can keep track of all the numbers. I mean those are issues you need to address to the coalition provisional authority --
Q Do you know whether the President knows --
MR. McCLELLAN: Or, I'm sorry, the Central Command.
Q Does the President know how many people have been killed --
MR. McCLELLAN: The President knows that what we are doing in Iraq is central to winning the war on terrorism.
Q That wasn't my question.
MR. McCLELLAN: It is central --
Q Does he know how many people have been killed --
MR. McCLELLAN: It is central to bringing about --
Q I know that. But does he know how many --
MR. McCLELLAN: -- a more peaceful and more secure --
Q -- have been killed and wounded.
MR. McCLELLAN: -- which means a safer world.
Q That's not the question, Scott. The question I had was, does the President know how many --
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I've answered the question. I told you he's well aware of the sacrifices that our troops have made and the sacrifices that their families are making with our troops over there in Iraq.
For future reference, Scott, the answer is always to get indignant and bellow, "Of course the President knows. He's the Commander-in-Chief, after all, and he pays very close attention to the difficulties our troops are facing in bringing about the Lord's Kingdom here on Earth -- I mean, a free, democratic Iraq." Then refuse to speak again until you get an apology from the reporter for even asking the question.
After the briefing, tear up his White House pass and threaten his network/newspaper with having to find their own way around the campaign trail.
Anyway, just thought you'd like to know I was thinking about you. And remember, screw this gig up and the Skull and Bones boys will see to it that you never get a bank loan again.