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“there is no imminent threat”

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I was just looking around for something, and came across the transcript of Ari Fleischer’s White House press briefing from March 5, 2003. Obvious, old stuff, I know, and apropos of nothing in particular right at this minute, but horrifying, edifying reading nonetheless…

Here’s an exchange with Helen Thomas:

Q Ari, since there is an atmosphere of the imminence of war in this White House, and since we have no direct access to the President, will you state for the record, for the historical record, why he wants to bomb Iraqi people?

MR. FLEISCHER: Helen, I dispute the premise of your question, first of all. There’s regular — there’s regular access to the President. The President is asked questions all the time. And when the President —

Q He hasn’t had a press conference for months.

MR. FLEISCHER: And when 14 of your colleagues spend 36 minutes asking scores of questions to the President just two days ago —

Q Well, that’s not a news conference.

MR. FLEISCHER: — they asked the President a similar question, although they phrased it a little differently than you did. They asked the President why does he feel so strongly about the need to use force, if it comes to that, to disarm Saddam Hussein. And the answer from the President was that, given the fact that the world changed on September 11th, the threat to the American people was brought immediately to our home and to our shores and to our families, the President thinks it is in the interest of peace to make certain that Saddam Hussein does not have weapons of mass destruction which he can use against us, either by transferring them to terrorists or using them himself.

Q There is no imminent threat.

MR. FLEISCHER: This is where — Helen, if you were President you might view things differently. But you have your judgment and the President has others.

Q Why doesn’t he prove it? Why don’t you lay it out? When have they threatened in the last 12 years?

MR. FLEISCHER: They have attacked their neighbors. They have gassed their own people.

Q Twelve years ago.

MR. FLEISCHER: They have launched attacks.

Q With our support.

MR. FLEISCHER: And September 11th showed the United States is vulnerable to those who would attack us. And one of the best ways to protect the homeland is to go after the threats abroad.

Q You haven’t linked terrorism to Saddam Hussein, in terms of 9/11.

MR. FLEISCHER: It’s not — the threat is what took place on 9/11. You don’t have to make a direct linkage between Saddam Hussein and 9/11 to know that others who are planning can try to do it again, Saddam Hussein included.

Written by adswithoutproducts

April 13, 2007 at 12:34 am

Posted in america, war

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