Bush: "I wasn't kidding."

Because these things never cease to amaze me. And by “amaze”, I mean “amuse” and “horrify”. The link is a WMV of Bush fielding a question on the pitfalls of private military contractors in Iraq not being bound by a legal system.


EDIT: Direct link to the movie didn’t work, so the link goes to Crooks and Liars, where you can find the video. Scroll down to “Leaker in chief can’t answer the question.”

If it’s the one I think it is - the 2nd year Johns Hopkins East Asia Studies student - I watched that this morning. I love the way he tried to turn it into a positive attribute of his - he started to say ‘See, that’s the way I am, if…’ - and then trailed off.

I was gobsmacked.

Yep, that one, metta. Except she’s a first year student. :)


Can we get a transcript/synopsis for those of us who can’t wait until 5pm to view this?

A first-year South-Asian Studies major asks Bush that, if private military contractors aren’t subject to military law, and since the Iraqi government isn’t able yet to properly police them, who is in charge of policing private military contractors in Iraq?

Bush states that he has no clue, and that he’d ask Rumsfeld about it. Seriously, he’s not kidding. He doesn’t know, and he’ll go ask Rumsfeld when he has time.

From http://www.crooksandliars.com

"Q Thank you, Mr. President. It’s an honor to have you here. I’m a first-year student in South Asia studies. My question is in regards to private military contractors. Uniform Code of Military Justice does not apply to these contractors in Iraq. I asked your Secretary of Defense a couple months ago what law governs their actions.

THE PRESIDENT: I was going to ask him. Go ahead. (Laughter.) Help. (Laughter.)

Q I was hoping your answer might be a little more specific. (Laughter.) Mr. Rumsfeld answered that Iraq has its own domestic laws which he assumed applied to those private military contractors. However, Iraq is clearly not currently capable of enforcing its laws, much less against – over our American military contractors. I would submit to you that in this case, this is one case that privatization is not a solution. And, Mr. President, how do you propose to bring private military contractors under a system of law?

THE PRESIDENT: I appreciate that very much. I wasn’t kidding – (laughter.) I was going to – I pick up the phone and say, Mr. Secretary, I’ve got an interesting question. (Laughter.) This is what delegation – I don’t mean to be dodging the question, although it’s kind of convenient in this case, but never – (laughter.) I really will – I’m going to call the Secretary and say you brought up a very valid question, and what are we doing about it? That’s how I work. I’m – thanks. (Laughter.) "

That’s how I work.

And you’re doing a heckuva job, Mr. President.

Make sure you watch it, though, Stoker. It really is an impressive bit of work. Bush unplugged.


I hate the man with a passion, but delegating such a legal detail to another seems like just the sort of thing the president should do.

Except that he didn’t delegate anything, since this is obviously the first time he’s even contemplated the issue.

Is that not true for the rest of us in this thread?

Perhaps. But the rest of us in this thread aren’t in charge of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, last I checked.

Ah. I wonder if Bush knows the population of Canada?

You know, I actually respect it when someone comes out and admits they don’t know the answer to something rather than make shit up and guess.

Bush doesn’t know the answer to how he’s going to bring private contractors in Iraq under the rule of law? Because that’s the question he was asked, Ryan.

And to be fair, it could have been handled like a softball question leading to the normal talking point about how we’re making progress. But the President was so flummoxed that he came across as an utter simpering idiot.


Actually, I had thought about this. The poor handling of law and order, mistreament of the locals, and zero accountablity has been a large factor in how the occupation of Iraq has gone so wrong for the US.

However, while I don’t mind the man delegating such issues to another, or having the courage to say he didn’t know (although I think that was just an "aw, shucks! ploy), I’d much rather have a competent president who took responsibility for his mistakes.

I Agree. What did you want him to do? Make something up like… Oh Umm I Belive The United Nation will be responsable for policeing that?

That’s a ploy. He needs to be seen as the honest and trustworthy common man doing his best – with nothing but good intentions. For example, see the thread where people talk about why they still support Bush, and the rational used by those who still do.

I hope this video is funny when I finally get to see it!

I wanted him to have thought about stuff like that before we invaded Iraq, not several years after. I’m not criticizing his honesty in answering the question–I’m criticizing his competence as a leader. Not lying about the issue is commendable, I suppose, but it’s not like it makes it all better.