Okay, aside from the bamboozlement on Iran talk, I think I’ve found the real gem in Scott McClellan’s comments today in the gaggle.
You probably saw the Post piece today that says the DIA had decided definitievely that those ‘mobile labs’ trailers were not for bio-weapons a couple days before the president went before the public and presented them as the conclusive evidence that the Iraqis had weapons of mass destruction. McClellan seems to imply that the president and the White House is so fastidious about the proprieties of declassification that the president wasn’t at liberty to tell the public that he was lying (emphasis added to main bamboozlement passage) …
I think the CIA will tell you — and I spoke to them earlier today — that a finished product like this, a white paper like this, takes coordination, it takes debating, it takes vetting, and it’s not something that they will tell you turns on a dime. It’s a complex intelligence white paper and it’s … one derived from highly classified information takes a substantial amount of time to coordinate and to run through a declassification process. And they will tell you this. And the intelligence comes in many different forms
— human intelligence, signals intelligence, open source — and it’s not a trickle, it’s a constant flood, is what they told me this morning. And weighing and assessing it is something that takes a lot of time and is a technology-intensive process. So you’re making an assumption that something is immediately taken and assessed by your comments.
You can see the rest of what he said this morning here.
(ed.note: Fred Hiatt take note — this delay related to declassification angle might be good material for a future Post editorial.)