Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, April 27, 2004  

The man is an obvious liar. Can we conclude anything else?

Q Scott, did the White House request there not be any transcribers -- any recording or stenographers in the meeting, in the 9/11 Commission hearing?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think that was a request -- I checked on that -- that we discussed with the commission, and they were fine with it.

Q And what is the advantage that you see in that? This is a very historic meeting.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, this is a private meeting, first of all, Elisabeth. And let's keep in mind that it is extraordinary for a sitting President of the United States to sit down with the legislatively created commission. But these are unique circumstances and the President is pleased to do so. The President appreciates the job of the September 11th Commission. We strongly support their work. And we have been pleased to provide the commission unprecedented cooperation and unprecedented access to information, so they can do their work and help us better fight and win the war on terrorism.

Q Right, if I can just follow up. So if this session is an extraordinary event and such an extraordinary meeting, why do you not want an official record of it?

MR. McCLELLAN: Elisabeth, I don't think that this is unusual at all, if you look back at other meetings that have taken place, private meetings with the commission and other members of the administration....

Q But wouldn't there be better detailed records if you had it recorded, if you had a stenographer?

MR. McCLELLAN: Elisabeth, we have provided the commission with volumes of information, and unprecedented access to information. We've provided more than 2 million pages of documents to the commission. We've provided access to hundreds of administration officials for briefings and interviews so that they can discuss this information. We've provided unprecedented access to some of the most highly classified information in this government.

And this meeting is about helping the commission piece together all that information that they have been provided, so that they can provide a complete and comprehensive report to the American people. And that's what this is about, and we are working to help make sure that they have all the information they need to do their job.

And you're talking -- in some circumstances, some of the information I expect that will be discussed -- it depends on the questions that are raised by the commission -- but some of that information will likely be highly classified. So we think that they will have all the information they need to go back and piece all this information together and report back to the American people what lessons we've learned from September 11th and what recommendations they have that might help us, in addition to the steps we've already taken, to win the war on terrorism.

Q One more question. Doesn't this leave you open to charges that -- doesn't this leave -- doesn't this put a cloud, put a sort of little fuzziness over the proceedings where somebody could go back and say, well, this is not what I meant to say, the note-taker was wrong. Doesn't this make it a little less definite for future -- for historians?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't look at it that way at all. I look at it as the President is taking an extraordinary step in sitting down with the commission and answering whatever questions they may have, and providing them with information that can help them piece together all the information that they have been previously provided. That's the way I look at it. And the commission will be able to provide the American people with as complete a picture as possible about the events leading up to September 11th and the threat that was building and emerging for quite some period of time, going back more than a decade....

Q Can you just clarify. You said he was going to be -- the President is always under oath. I mean, he -- as we understand the procedure and the protocol before the 9/11 --

MR. McCLELLAN: When he came into office --

Q That I understand. But in terms of the Q&A session, he will not be under oath.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, that's what I -- but he will tell it exactly how it happened.

No recording device, no stenographer, no oath. My, isn't that credible.

posted by Jeff | 5:02 PM |
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