Friday, October 14, 2005

Bush's Potemkin Teleconference

It was billed as "just a conversation" between the President and some of his Captains in Iraq, but it was totally choreographed. Since Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary, knew what questions Bush was going to ask, they had to make sure they had the right people in place to give the right answers.

Scott McClellan tried to explain it away: "With satellite feeds, coordination often is needed to overcome technological challenges, such as delays, he said."

That is important, given Bush's notoriously short attention span. In a natural conversation, by the time they figured out which Captain would answer the question, Bush would have forgotten what he asked. They also had to make sure there were no shiny distractions
''I'm going to ask somebody to grab those two water bottles against the wall and move them out of the camera shot for me,'' Barber said.

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