White House: You are all stupid

Dealing with criticism that national security adviser Condoleezza Rice wouldn’t testify in public before the 10-member commission investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, White House spokesman Scott McClellan complained last month that when she testified in private, “only five members showed up” to hear what she had to say.

What McClellan didn’t tell reporters was that on Nov. 21 — long before Rice met with the five commissioners in February — the White House counsel’s office had sent the commission a letter saying no more than three commissioners could attend meetings with White House aides of Rice’s rank.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-04-06-white-house-criticism_x.htm

Chet

They’re not only liars, they’re exceptionally bad liars. I’m still trying to decide if it’s due to total incompetence, or the result of trying to use age-old Republican flim-flammery techniques in the Internet age.

If only three were allowed to attend, then how did five attend? Sounds like what happened was that the administration tried to limit it to three, the commission didn’t play ball, and let in all the members who wanted to attend.

So the commission never agreed to the terms…

And the meeting was eventually scheduled for the entire commission.

Hrm…looks like the administration changed its mind. So while it’s a bit hypocritical to ask for only 3 attendees and then criticize that only 5 showed, it’s still a valid point to raise.

Why do you say the commision never agreed to the terms? Is it somehow important what the commision agreed or disagreed with?

Simply having five from the commision show up is not the same as the White House agreeing to meet with the entire commision and then criticising low attendence numbers.

So we have the WH asking for 3 and the commision disobeying and sending 5. Fine. But for the WH to then turn around and criticize low attendence is bizarre.

Commission want to meet with Rice.

Administration says “Ok, but only send 3 members.”

Commission says “No, we don’t agree to those terms, we’ll send as many as want to go.”

Adminsitration send Rice to meeting. Commission sends five (half) of their members.

Commission says they want Rice to testify publicly.

Administration says “Why, when you met privately, half didn’t bother to show up?”

Sure it’s a little hypocritical, but not bizarre.

That the commission never agreed to the “only 3” terms makes the WH request completely irrelevant, as it was never policy.

Actually, it seems to have gone more like this, from the information in this thread given by you:

Commission want to meet with Rice.

Administration says “Ok, but only send 3 members.”

Commission says nothing.

Adminsitration send Rice to meeting. Commission sends five (half) of their members.

Commission says they want Rice to testify publicly.

Administration says “Why, when you met privately, half didn’t bother to show up?”

I fail to see how whether the commission formally refused or just ignored the terms proposed by the administration makes any substative difference.

Well, you make it sound like they got all up in W.'s face, and said “Man! Fuck you, man! We don’t take orders from you, pig! We’ll send as many guys as we want, and you can’t do shit to stop us!” and then only sent five.

Argumentum ad headcountem?

I fail to see how whether the commission bravely stood up to the “man” and refused or just did as they had planned and ignored the terms proposed by the administration makes any substative difference.

The administration asked for a limit, but one way or another the commission was not held to it. Half the commission didn’t bother to show up. That’s a legitimate, if hypocritical, point to raise when the commission asks for a second bite at the apple.

Hypocritical and legitimate?

A smoker telling you that you shouldn’t smoke has a legitimate point, although he’s being hypocritical.

Perhaps the commison was attempting to comprimise by sending half its members.

But that’s not even the point. The point is you don’t know. You can’t know becasue there is no record. All you can know are the facts, which are:

  1. the WH limits attendence to three
  2. five commision members attend
  3. the WH criticizes low attendence

Don’t forget 2a), commission complains they can’t get a public hearing.

Exactly. Another valid reason for low attendence.

And when we say low attendence, it is important to note that the attendence was almost twice as much as the WH intended.

What reason would you say they have for not attending the private Rice testimony? Are you trying to imply they’re just slackers and need Rice to show up repeatedly to hear what she has to say? Is this your big legitimate point?

So, um, no it wasn’t a compromise.

You missed 2b) So the “limit” wasn’t really a limit. I mean if “the attendence was almost twice as much as the WH intended” then it’s pretty obvious that what the WH intended didn’t amount shit.

The limit was most definitely what the WH wanted, since the WH set the limit. It’s also likely that the WH intended to limit participation by requesting the meeting on a Saturday, since by having the meeting on a Saturday, they are able to achieve their stated goal of limiting commission attendance. If that’s what you mean by not really a limit, we’re going to just have to disagree.

Since we’re discussing the WH setting limits for low attendance, then complaining when there actually is low attendance, I think it odd that you would say the WH intentions don’t matter. Sure they matter! If they don’t matter, why engage in a discussion defending this bizarre WH behavior?

And don’t forget the underlying reason they want here to talk now.

They want here to swear under oath and be accountable for what she says. She was not under oath in the private meetings.

Chet

The WH didn’t set any limit, Tim. They requested that a limit of 3 be set. It was not. The discussion ended then.

There was no limit, the hearing went ahead and only 5 showed. That’s a perfectly legitimate gripe. The limit that the WH wanted before the hearing is entirely irrelevant, making Chet’s “A-ha!” ridiculous.

I’d say it’s petty/stupid/silly more than hypocritical, but it’s definitely valid.