Thursday, September 25, 2003

Unfortunately for McClellan the Rohypnol wore off

And the White House press corps realized what had been happening to them for three years:

Q Since the President -- since it's pretty clear the task force, the Kaye task force can't find any weapons of mass destruction, why did the President invade Iraq?

MR. McCLELLAN: Did you see the report?

Q No, I didn't. But all the leaks indicate that he hasn't found anything yet. Are you denying that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, let me go to your first question about why we went to war. Because in a post-9/11 world, in a post-September 11th world, the threat posed by Saddam Hussein became even more real --

Q What's the threat?

MR. McCLELLAN: The threat was spelled out by the United Nations, by the intelligence agencies across the world, and by the United States -- three administrations here in the United States.

Q And we went based on that --

MR. McCLELLAN: Saddam Hussein possessed and used chemical and biological -- or used chemical weapons against his own people. He had a history of possessing and using --

Q Thirteen years before --

MR. McCLELLAN: -- using weapons of mass destruction. He had a history of invading his neighbors. He had large, unaccounted-for stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. He defied the international community for 12 years and some 17 resolutions. Remember, 1441 gave him one final chance to comply, or there would be serious consequences.

[Tweet Nitpicker Timeout. Let us all remember, everytime this is said, that Greenstock told the rest of the Security Council that 1441 contained no "automaticity." "If there is a further Iraqi breach of its disarmament obligations," he said, "the matter will return to the Council for discussion as required in Operational Paragraph 12." The Security Council did not authorize us to go to war under 1441.]

MR. McCLELLAN: The President believes in following through on what you say, and the President acted, and America is safer because of the action we took. The world is safer and better because of the action that the President --

Q You don't deny the President --

MR. McCLELLAN: -- that the President took.

Q -- told the American people that there was an imminent, direct threat?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President made it very clear that we need to act to confront threats in a post-September 11th world before it's too late, before those threats reach our shores and it's too late.

Q Let me follow up on that, Scott. The President has said that since the war, America is safer. And not just America, but our allies are safer, as well, because Saddam Hussein will never be able to use weapons of mass destruction.

MR. McCLELLAN: That's right.

Q Well, if you can --

MR. McCLELLAN: Or give those weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.

Q Precisely. So if it -- if you are unable to account for Saddam Hussein or for the weapons of mass destruction or the materials of mass destruction, how can you make such a claim?

An awesome question. If only someone had asked it months ago.

There's more. Read it all.

Also: Atrios says that they even asked Bush a tough one today. Expect no press conferences from here on out.


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