Monday, October 25, 2004

Off and running -- Scottie spins the White House press corpse

... and if you really need to see the sorry state of journalism these days, look no farther than today's White House press gaggle, where spokesweasel Scott McClellan flat out lies in the face of the reporters, and they just sit there and take it. McClellan can't even get through his first paragraph of responding to the allegations without bald-faced lying to his questioner:

Q The Kerry campaign is hitting you on this story in the New York Times today that a large cache of explosives have gone missing. Is there anything you could have done about that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Maybe the best way to do this is kind of walk you through how we came to be informed about this. The Iraqi Interim Government informed -- told the IAEA -- the International Atomic Energy Agency on October 10th that there were approximately 350 tons of high explosives missing from Al Qaqaa in Iraq. And they informed the IAEA because these munitions were subject to IAEA monitoring, because they were considered dual-use materials. And the International Atomic Energy Agency informed the United States mission in Vienna on October 15th about these -- this cache of explosives that was missing because of some looting that went on in Iraq toward the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom, or during and toward the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Two outrageous lies, one after the other. First, McClellan obviously wants everyone to believe that the U.S. only learned about this on October 15. However, according to the New York Times article I've already linked to below:

In May 2004, Iraqi officials say in interviews, they warned L. Paul Bremer III, the American head of the occupation authority, that Al Qaqaa had probably been looted. It is unclear if that warning was passed anywhere. Efforts to reach Mr. Bremer by telephone were unsuccessful.

In other words, the senior American official in charge of Baghdad was clearly warned about the theft of the explosives long before October 15, and certainly before the handover of the laughingly-described Iraqi "sovereignty". It's hard to imagine that Bremer wouldn't have passed this information up the chain of command, so McClellan is simply lying about the timeline. But that's not all.

Again, we have McClellan:

And [the Iraqi interim government] informed the IAEA because these munitions were subject to IAEA monitoring...

But there was absolutely no point in informing the IAEA -- they had already been kicked out of Iraq by the U.S. and had no ability whatever to do any further monitoring. Again, according to the same NYT article:

ut the Bush administration would not allow the agency back into the country to verify the status of the stockpile.

So it's the epitome of deception for McClellan to try to blame the IAEA for anything, given that it was the U.S. itself who made sure the IAEA had no power to do any monitoring whatsoever.

I just can't take it anymore. Will no one challenge McClellan? This is downright pathetic.

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