Politically speaking, of course (but you knew that, right?). First, and just for the entertainment value, let's hop into the wayback machine to see another prominent neo-con hack grab for some plausible deniability:
PETE WILLIAMS: Can you answer some of the questions that have come up over the weekend? As you know, there was an email that came out Friday night that showed that ten days before the firings there was a meeting in your office, which you attended to discuss the firings. And yet when you talked to us here at the Justice Department two weeks ago, you said you were not involved in any discussions about the firings. Can you explain what seems like a contradiction?
ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Let me just say, a wise senator recently told me that when you say something that is either being misunderstood or can be misunderstood, you need to try to correct the record and make the record clear. Let me try to be more precise about my involvement. When I said on March 13th that I wasn't involved, what I meant was that I had not been involved, was not involved in the deliberations over whether or not United States Attorneys should resign.
Yes, that would indeed be former U.S. Attorney General Alberto "Abu Gonzo" Gonzales, explaining how, when he said he "wasn't involved," he didn't mean that he wasn't, you know, "involved." Or something mirthmaking like that.
Which, naturally, brings us to the PMO's spokesweasel Sandra Buckler and how, when she said no one in the PMO's office knew, well, that's not what she actually meant. At which point we can safely say that Sandra Buckler is a lying bitch who should be canned. But given that PM Pillsbury Doughboy seems to be defending Buckler, is there any way to force the issue? Why, yes, of course there is, and you, the mainstream media, can make it happen.
From this day forward, in any press scrum, whenever Buckler makes a statement or answers a question, the media should make it clear that she has no credibility by forcing her to clarify every single claim she makes, along the lines of:
Media entity: "All right, then, when you say 'X,' do you actually mean 'X' the way we normally understand it? As in fully unqualified, and based on its normal definition in the English language? I just want to be clear here so there's no confusion."
Buckler: "No one in the PMO's office knew about the change in detainee transfers."
ME: "All right, so when you say 'no one knew,' what you're saying is that no one actually, you know, 'knew,' as in, had any awareness whatsoever. You can say that with confidence because you're positive that no one 'knew,' is that the basic point you're trying to get across here?"
In short, every single exchange with spokesweasel Buckler is now a two-parter:
- Buckler states position on some subject.
- Buckler then has to re-iterate that same position in painful and irrevocable detail just to make sure there is no ambiguity or potential for plausible deniability somewhere down the road.
And if the media insists on playing this way, it should be obvious that Buckler's career is over, since every media scrum would turn into a tedious exercise in repetition to the point where it would be intolerable, and the media would make it clear the only way they're going to stop is if Buckler is replaced.
See how easy that is? Now let's see who has the grapes to start the ball rolling.
BONUS TRACK: "Spokesweasel." Heh.
I'll tell you, apart from the value of Harper looking like he cares about accountability, firing Sandra Buckler won't make a difference one way or the other. In fact, probably the only people with a vested interest in seeing her lose her job would be any number of ambitious Conservative courtiers who are as capable, if not more, of spinning, equivocating and lying as Sandra "Lindsay Nagle" Buckler.
She should be fired for the simple drama and satisfaction of witnessing a public execution, but as long as Big Daddy's in charge, nothing will really change.
What's worse, I wouldn't be surprised if Harper would be happy to see that kind of "excruciating followup" strategy - all the better to force reporters to repeat their questions several times, allowing Buckler to repeat the Cons' spin ad nauseum while dealing with less actual issues in the first place.
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