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Friday, January 30, 2004

Stardate: January 23, 2003
Location: White House Press Briefing Room
Situation: The U.S. is only a few months away from pulling the trigger on Iraq. People are wondering how we verify if Saddam Hussein has complied with U.N. resolutions calling for him to disarm. Those were the days, weren't they:

. . .

'MR. FLEISCHER: Well, I think there's no question that the administration is and will continue to take its case and make its case to the American people. We are a democracy, after all.'

'Q If he makes the case, why don't you produce the weapons? '

'MR. FLEISCHER: That's up to Saddam Hussein to produce the weapons. They're not in the possession of the United States.'

'Q No, if it was up to us -- we keep charging it; if we know something why don't we prove it"'

'MR. FLEISCHER: Well, let events take their course, Helen, and listen to Mr. Wolfowitz's speech today. '

'Q Are you going to pull a rabbit out of the hat?'


. . .

'Q You said that there's very little time left and that there's little maneuvering left for -- it's up to Saddam Hussein to not go the path of war. But short of Saddam Hussein either stepping down or being overthrown or killed by the Iraqi people, what are the credible options that the Iraqi regime has? To go forward and say, okay, well, there's a new declaration, here's what we really have. Or here's a site, look for yourself, these are the weapons of mass destruction we've been hiding -- I mean, those options can't seem to be credible, have any kind of credibility if Saddam Hussein is not to be trusted. '

'MR. FLEISCHER: And that's the heart of the problem. If Saddam Hussein is not willing to take on the obligations he committed to take on, then it's proof-perfect that Saddam Hussein remains just as much of a threat to the world today as he was in the 1990s when he had possession of the weapons of mass destruction and, as everybody knows, he used them.'

'He still has the weapons of mass destruction. And so the issue remains, again, the world has called on Saddam Hussein to disarm. Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction. And as Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz is pointing out in New York today, there is verifiable and visible proof on how nations that intend to disarm act. Saddam Hussein is acting just the opposite of how the nations that previously disarmed are acting. We have proof-perfect. Khazakstan did it. It was done in South Africa. It was done in the Ukraine. Saddam Hussein is doing the opposite of what the nations that showed that they were disarming is doing.'

'Q -- saying is that it's up to Saddam Hussein to show that he's disarmed, and then you're saying, he's not to be trusted, he hasn't disarmed -- what options does he have left to actually change course -- '

'MR. FLEISCHER: Disarm. Disarm. Show the world where he is hiding his weapons and disarm them.'

'Q How could you possibly know that if you don't trust what he says or what he does?'

'MR. FLEISCHER: Because we know he has weapons of mass destruction.'

We do miss Ari, that wily devil.

Andrew 5:07 PM : |


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