Thursday, June 16, 2005

Finally The MSM* Covers The DSM**.

Last night I finally saw coverage of the Downing Street Memo (or Memos, since there have been others released) on CBS's 11-o'clock news. The coverage was decent, not the greatest but at least something. They also had a Republican commentator that tried to brush off the Memos by asking if they had even been verified as authentic (which they have) and he lumped them together with the "Rathergate Memo" and the retracted Newsweek story.

One needs to remember that the faked memo in Rather's report of Bush being AWOL was only one of several documents, which were authentic. Yet the forged memo was used to discredit the entire story. As far as the Newsweek retraction regarding Gitmo, please read my previous post "How To Kill The Messenger and Get Away With It" for details on that little spin job.

The attention is probably due to the C-Span coverage of Connyers forum, which they finally got a room for. Sensenbrenner wasn't able to shut them out after all.

Conyeres DSM forum also made the Yahoo front page with the story "Democrat Urges Inquiry on Bush, Iraq"

The White Press Secretary Scott Mcclellan was finally questioned on this by reporters as well. Mcclellan's response to whether Conyers would get an answer could basically be summed up as - well if he voted against the war, then we don't care.

Below is a snip from the press briefing.

Q Scott, on another topic, has the President or anyone else from the administration responded to the letter sent last month by Congressman John Conyers and signed by dozens of members of the House of Representatives, regarding the Downing Street memo? Has the President or anyone else responded?

MR. McCLELLAN: Not that I'm aware of.

Q Why not?

MR. McCLELLAN: Why not? Because I think that this is an individual who voted against the war in the first place and is simply trying to rehash old debates that have already been addressed. And our focus is not on the past. It's on the future and working to make sure we succeed in Iraq.

These matters have been addressed, Elaine. I think you know that very well. The press --

Q Scott, 88 members of Congress signed that letter.

MR. McCLELLAN: The press -- the press have covered it, as well.

Q What do you say about them?

Q But, Scott, don't they deserve the courtesy of a response back?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, this has been addressed. Go ahead.

Iran was another subject of that press briefing and the Q&A was interesting. The questions were good, but the answers were a bunch of crap.

Below is a snip from the press briefing..

Q Can I turn you for a moment to the Iran statement that the President issued earlier today. I'll read you three lines from it: "Iran's rulers denied more than 1,000 people who put themselves forward as candidates, including popular reformers and women who have done so much. The Iranian people deserve a genuinely democratic system in which elections are honest. They deserve freedom of assembly so Iranians can gather and press for any reform in a peaceful, loyal opposition that can keep the government in check." Scott, can you tell us, if we wanted to insert the word "Egypt" every place you had Iran, and "Egyptians" everyplace you had Iranians, would you consider that also a fair statement of the administration policy?

MR. McCLELLAN: A couple of things. First of all, just on the general statement, different circumstances require different strategies, and people are going to proceed at different -- at a different pace in different parts of the world. The President has said that in his remarks. You heard it in his inaugural address.

In terms of Iran, this is a message to the people of Iran. The President is saying that we stand with the people of Iran who seek greater freedom. You have an unelected few mullahs who are denying the people of Iran their rights. This is a country run by an unelected few who threw a thousand people off the ballot, including all the women who were seeking to run for office. This is a group of an unelected few that are denying the people their rights. They're denying freedom of press; they're denying freedom of assembly; they're denying rule of law; they're denying equal justice; they're denying religious freedom to the people of Iran. And we are going to stand with the people of Iran and the people elsewhere in the world who seek greater freedom.

In Egypt, the President has made it very clear that we appreciate the step that they are taking to have multi-candidate and multi-party presidential elections. That's an important step. And it's important that Egypt follow through on that commitment and have free and fair elections.

Iran is not having truly free and fair elections. This is something being driven by the unelected few.

Q Would you say, Scott, just to follow up on that, that the Iranian election that takes place tomorrow -- which does have at least some multiple candidates -- it clearly is not a form of Jeffersonian democracy -- but would you say that it is a more advanced democratic step than, say, an ally like Saudi Arabia has conducted in the past year?

MR. McCLELLAN: I would say what we've said on Iran, and you know what we've said on Saudi Arabia, too.

Q My point here is --

MR. McCLELLAN: Like I said, different countries are going to proceed at different -- at a different pace --

Q I understand that different countries --

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and we're going to be there to support them and urge them to continue moving forward. That's why Iraq is so important, because Iraq will help send an important message to the rest of the Middle East about freedom. All people, the President believes, want to live in freedom. And we are going to continue to stand with all those who want greater freedom. That -- advancing freedom and democracy is critical to peace and security for generations to come. And that's why we are standing with those different countries. We've pointed out when they've taken steps to move on the path of reform and we've also expressed our concerns when they have moved back, or not taken steps to move forward. And we will continue to make our views very clear to all leaders and countries and urge them to continue moving down a path of reform and freedom.

Q Understanding, Scott, that different countries move at different paces, at the same moment, do you find any internal contradiction in the fact that when some nations make a move toward democracy, as Egypt did, you praise them, and then the President steps out and says, look, even our own democracy didn't come together instantly. And yet, when other countries do that, you turn out a statement like today. How do you make that judgment?

MR. McCLELLAN: Like I said, David, and like I said at the beginning -- I think you're very well aware of this -- different circumstances around the world require different strategies and different approaches. The President talked about that in his inaugural address, and that's the way it was squared. It was squared in his inaugural address; you ought to go back and read it. Maybe you haven't had a chance to look at it recently.

As far as the Bush Administration is concerned -If you're a country they consider a friendly to the U.S. then small steps towards democracy is a great thing, but if you're not considered friendly to the Administration then anything short of an overnight change to democracy isn't good enough.

There was also rhetoric about standing behind the people for change. It sounded a lot like what they said about Iraq right before the invasion. It looks like Iran is next on Bush's hit list and they're doing the exact same thing they did for Iraq. They're using the same lies and same excuses. It seems that nothing short of a world-wide blood bath to achieve Bush's ideology of the world will appease these war mongering money grubbing liars.

* - Main Stream Media
** - Downing Street Memo