[FoRK] Fwd: [lbo-talk] A: "again, I appreciated the question"; Q: "you're not saying anything"

Joe Barrera joe
Mon Jul 11 16:28:46 PDT 2005

So surreal. Something straight out of Lem, or Heller.

- Joe

-------- 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 
ongoing investigation"?

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 
that policy.

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 
any further.

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.

Go ahead.

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 
ahead, Goyal.

Sweet dreams and flying machines
In pieces on the ground

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