[FoRK] Fwd: [lbo-talk] A: "again, I appreciated the question";
Q: "you're not saying anything"
Mon Jul 11 16:28:46 PDT 2005
So surreal. Something straight out of Lem, or Heller.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [lbo-talk] A: "again, I appreciated the question"; Q: "you're
not saying anything"
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 19:12:31 -0400
From: Doug Henwood <dhenwood at panix.com>
Reply-To: lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org
To: lbo-talk <lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org>
Q Does the President stand by his pledge to fire anyone involved in
the leak of a name of a CIA operative?
MR. McCLELLAN: Terry, I appreciate your question. I think your
question is being asked relating to some reports that are in
reference to an ongoing criminal investigation. The criminal
investigation that you reference is something that continues at this
point. And as I've previously stated, while that investigation is
ongoing, the White House is not going to comment on it. The President
directed the White House to cooperate fully with the investigation,
and as part of cooperating fully with the investigation, we made a
decision that we weren't going to comment on it while it is ongoing.
Q Excuse me, but I wasn't actually talking about any investigation.
But in June of 2004, the President said that he would fire anybody
who was involved in this leak, to press of information. And I just
want to know, is that still his position?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, but this question is coming up in the context of
this ongoing investigation, and that's why I said that our policy
continues to be that we're not going to get into commenting on an
ongoing criminal investigation from this podium. The prosecutors
overseeing the investigation had expressed a preference to us that
one way to help the investigation is not to be commenting on it from
this podium. And so that's why we are not going to get into
commenting on it while it is an ongoing investigation, or questions
related to it.
Q Scott, if I could -- if I could point out, contradictory to that
statement, on September 29th, 2003, while the investigation was
ongoing, you clearly commented on it. You were the first one who
said, if anybody from the White House was involved, they would be
fired. And then on June 10th of 2004, at Sea Island Plantation, in
the midst of this investigation is when the President made his
comment that, yes, he would fire anybody from the White House who was
involved. So why have you commented on this during the process of the
investigation in the past, but now you've suddenly drawn a curtain
around it under the statement of, "We're not going to comment on an
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, John, I appreciate the question. I know you
want to get to the bottom of this. No one wants to get to the bottom
of it more than the President of the United States. And I think the
way to be most helpful is to not get into commenting on it while it
is an ongoing investigation. That's something that the people
overseeing the investigation have expressed a preference that we
follow. And that's why we're continuing to follow that approach and
Now, I remember very well what was previously said. And at some
point, I will be glad to talk about it, but not until after the
investigation is complete.
Q So could I just ask, when did you change your mind to say that it
was okay to comment during the course of an investigation before, but
now it's not?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think maybe you missed what I was saying in
reference to Terry's question at the beginning. There came a point
when the investigation got underway when those overseeing the
investigation asked that it would be their -- or said that it would
be their preference that we not get into discussing it while it is
ongoing. I think that's the way to be most helpful to help them
advance the investigation and get to the bottom of it.
Q Scott, can I ask you this; did Karl Rove commit a crime?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, David, this is a question relating to an
ongoing investigation, and you have my response related to the
investigation. And I don't think you should read anything into it
other than we're going to continue not to comment on it while it's
Q Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003 when you were
asked specifically about Karl and Elliott Abrams and Scooter Libby,
and you said, "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have
told me they are not involved in this" -- do you stand by that
MR. McCLELLAN: And if you will recall, I said that as part of helping
the investigators move forward on the investigation we're not going
to get into commenting on it. That was something I stated back near
that time, as well.
Q Scott, I mean, just -- I mean, this is ridiculous. The notion that
you're going to stand before us after having commented with that
level of detail and tell people watching this that somehow you
decided not to talk. You've got a public record out there. Do you
stand by your remarks from that podium, or not?
MR. McCLELLAN: And again, David, I'm well aware, like you, of what
was previously said, and I will be glad to talk about it at the
appropriate time. The appropriate time is when the investigation --
Q Why are you choosing when it's appropriate and when it's inappropriate?
MR. McCLELLAN: If you'll let me finish --
Q No, you're not finishing -- you're not saying anything. You stood
at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we
find out that he spoke out about Joseph Wilson's wife. So don't you
owe the American public a fuller explanation? Was he involved, or was
he not? Because, contrary to what you told the American people, he
did, indeed, talk about his wife, didn't he?
MR. McCLELLAN: David, there will be a time to talk about this, but
now is not the time to talk about it.
Q Do you think people will accept that, what you're saying today?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I've responded to the question.
Go ahead, Terry.
Q Well, you're in a bad spot here, Scott, because after the
investigation began, after the criminal investigation was underway,
you said -- October 10th, 2003, "I spoke with those individuals,
Rove, Abrams and Libby, as I pointed out, those individuals assured
me they were not involved in this." From that podium. That's after
the criminal investigation began. Now that Rove has essentially been
caught red-handed peddling this information, all of a sudden you have
respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation?
MR. McCLELLAN: No, that's not a correct characterization Terry, and I
think you are well aware of that. We know each other very well, and
it was after that period that the investigators had requested that we
not get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation. And we
want to be helpful so that they can get to the bottom of this,
because no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the
President of the United States. I am well aware of what was said
previously. I remember well what was said previously. And at some
point, I look forward to talking about it. But until the
investigation is complete, I'm just not going to do that.
Q Do you recall when you were asked --
Q Wait, wait -- so you're now saying that after you cleared Rove and
the others from that podium, then the prosecutors asked you not to
speak anymore, and since then, you haven't?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, you're continuing to ask questions relating to
an ongoing criminal investigation, and I'm just not going to respond
Q When did they ask you to stop commenting on it, Scott? Can you peg
down a date?
MR. McCLELLAN: Back at that time period.
Q Well, then the President commented on it nine months later. So was
he not following the White House plan?
MR. McCLELLAN: John, I appreciate your questions. You can keep asking
them, but you have my response.
Go ahead, Dave.
Q We are going to keep asking them. When did the President learn that
Karl Rove had had a conversation with the President -- with a news
reporter about the involvement of Joseph Wilson's wife and the
decision to send --
MR. McCLELLAN: I've responded to the questions.
Q When did the President learn that Karl Rove had --
MR. McCLELLAN: I've responded to the questions, Dick.
Q After the investigation is completed, will you then be consistent
with your word and the President's word that anybody who was involved
would be let go?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, after the investigation is complete, I will be
glad to talk about it at that point.
Q And a follow-up. Can you walk us through why, given the fact that
Rove's lawyer has spoken publicly about this, it is inconsistent with
the investigation, that it compromises the investigation to talk
about the involvement of Karl Rove, the Deputy Chief of Staff?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, those overseeing the investigation expressed a
preference to us that we not get into commenting on the investigation
while it's ongoing. And that was what they requested of the White
House. And so I think in order to be helpful to that investigation,
we are following their direction.
Q Scott, there's a difference between commenting on an investigation
and taking an action --
MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Goyal.
Q Can I finish, please?
MR. McCLELLAN: You can come -- I'll come back to you in a minute. Go
Sweet dreams and flying machines
In pieces on the ground
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