Monday, January 26, 2004
Scottie McClellan, Poor Little Guy
From today's press gaggle:
Q Scott, this is a very narrow question. It has nothing to do with why we went to war, accepting the premise that it was good to go to war with Iraq. We're going to put that on the table. With regards to large stockpiles of WMD, Kay has now said he doubts it; Powell has now said that he allows for the possibility there never were any; Senator Roberts, head of the Intel Committee, now says the same thing. What is the President's position on that very narrow issue, as whether there were large stockpiles of WMD in Iraq?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think, one, the Iraq Survey Group work is ongoing. I think it was the judgment of intelligence agencies around the world, as well as the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq, that there were large unaccounted for stockpiles. That was the judgment of the intelligence agencies around the world and of UNSCOM, if you go back to before the war.
Q The White House still believes there may be large stockpiles of WMD in Iraq?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, what we believe is important for the Iraq Survey Group to complete their work so that we have as complete a picture as possible. Obviously, you've heard from Dr. Kay, and Dr. Kay said that Iraq was a very dangerous place, for the reasons I stated a short time ago. But we want the work of the Iraq Survey Group to continue so that they can draw as complete a picture as possible. And then we can learn -- it will help us learn the truth, their work will. And that's important.
Q One of the reasons Kay cited for stepping down was that some of his resources were being diverted to handling counter-insurgency activities. If you still want to see the Iraq Survey Group do work in this matter, will you recommit those resources back to finding WMD?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, in terms of resources, those are decisions made by the Pentagon. Obviously, there are a number of important priorities that the Pentagon is working to meet. I think you ought to address specific questions about how they are allocated to the Pentagon. But the work of the Iraq Survey Group remains a priority.
Man, I wish Ari was around for this shit. McClellan just has this air of pathos about him that makes it not as fun to watch him scramble.
[thanks to Holden Caulfield, from Atrios's comments for pointing out this exchange]