What Would You Ask Bush?


Editor & Publisher's John Dobbe, in high dudgeon, provides "help for the starstruck media" in the form of 13 suggested questions that reporters will presumably be too frightened to ask at tonight's rare presidential press conference. My favorite two presumptive doozies:

Given that finding no WMDs in Iraq represents an intelligence failure of the greatest magnitude, why was no one dismissed? [?]

Do think it was wise for the U.S. commander in Iraq to vow on Monday to "kill or capture" Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, since the shutting down of the newspaper that supports him precipitated the recent uprising in Iraq?

I might ask the prez if he still considers Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar a better "friend" to the United States than the president of France, but I guess we all have our hang-ups. Other suggestions? (Link via Romenesko)

NEXT: Who Says Government Doesn't Stimulate the Economy?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Do you feel that leaving for an extended vacation immediately after the August 6 PDB reduced the government's readiness to protect the country? I have a follow up.

    Since your answer is no, then what exactly do you do?

  2. Do you think Iraq is a distraction from our original stated goal of bringing down Bin Laden?

    If the Iraqis think we are liberators, why are we still getting killed?

    Why is it that on September 12, 2001, every plane in the US was grounded except for the charter jet picking up Bin Laden family members and taking them to Arabia?

    Have you ever thought that your speech would be less garbled if your mouth were no longer occupied sucking the collective dick of the Saudi oil industry?

  3. Briefs or boxers?

  4. Do you honestly not know that the word is pronounced "NOO-clee-er," are you incapable of the correct pronunciation, or is it something you do to seem like "just folks?"

    (Sorry, personal pet peeve. If the man can launch the rockets, he should be able to pronounce the word correctly.)

  5. Why did no heads roll after 911 , such as FBI,CIA,BATF,NSC,FAA,NORAD,U.S. MARSHALS,INS and
    any other Gov. Security branch head.

  6. ok count me out of these wankers piling on with drivel like "why did you go golfing on ___ day after such-and-such." I wonder where Matt Welch's evidence is for this statement: "the shutting down of the newspaper that supports him precipitated the recent uprising in Iraq?" Answer: he pulled it out of his arse.

  7. -joe
    He spends the majority of his time lounging
    on his dOoD ranch playing with G.I. Joe's.

    Mr. Pres.

    At what point in time do you feel that launching this war with Iraq reduced the terrorist threat towards the U.S.?

    What the fuck were you really doing 9 months prior to 9/11?

  8. joe,
    That`s the way people from Connecticut that were in the "all bidness" in Texas pronounce nuclr.

  9. split lip -- I don't have any evidence for that statement, which is one of the reasons why I didn't make it. It was a quote from the linked column.

  10. NOo-kLEr-eR....i think?

  11. Apple,

    Let's see, 9 months prior to 9/11 I think the President was preparing to take over from the Clinton Administration (9 months prior puts the time table in December of 2000). Perhaps your question is best addressed to that administration, considering that it had prior notice of Al-Qaeda's intent due to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, as well as the Embassy bombings in Kenya, and the subsequent bombing of the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen.

    Oh, as for reducing the terrorist threat, any time that a muslim is killed, whether it be in Afghanistan or in Iraq, the terrorist threat is reduced. Period. I say kill them all. Every time a liberal or libertarian gives in to a terrorist demand, that's when the terrorist threat increases because they know they have you by the balls. Either you have some sack or you don't. The President does. Many on this blog don't.

  12. YeeEEE-HaWww.... We gone get these sum bithches !

  13. -anonymous

    If you think that by killing one or two or 50 muslim radicals anywhere in the world is going to reduce terrorism your fucking retarded. If anything this is what fires it up your little cowboy mentality is what fuels the hate those people and others have for our country if you think that by some lame attempt to exterminate the enemy will prevent this bloody mess we are in you are wrong my freind. The presidents sack is full of pussy juice if you ask me. The only way to beat terrorism is with some brain not braun you dumb fuck.

  14. Crackpot City welcomes you.
    We hope you have a pleasant stay.

  15. How about:
    "What was the basis for Condi Rice's (excuse me,
    Dr. Rice's) phone call telling the mayor of San Francisco to stay off airplanes the week of 9/11? If you do not know, what steps will you direct be taken to find out?"

    That ought to stump the little piss-ant human wannabe.

  16. Dink,

    I go commando.

  17. Has Karl Rove decided yet whether the next terrorist attack will be scheduled for just prior to the election, or just prior to the GOP convention?

  18. So. . .if killing any random Muslim reduces the threat of another 9-11, does this mean that killing any random Christian reduces the chance of another Oklahoma City?

  19. Whoops--that last question was to Anonymous, not Bush.

  20. Killing everyone oughtta solve the problem!

  21. Frustrated reporter: Mr. President, you're nuts!

    President: What about 'em.

    Reporter: I hear their full of pussy juice.

  22. Ruined another one. They're, not their.

  23. Has God told you who he wants you to kill next?

  24. What would have to happen for you to consider the Iraqi invasion a mistake?

    I'd like to see him weasel out of that question. Unfortunately I already know the answer. "Nothing."

  25. What are your current plans for vote-rigging? Which states have been targeted, and what methods will you use?

  26. do things really go better with coke?

  27. When did you stop beating Laura?


    (Sorry for the all caps, I know it's considered shouting, that was sort of the point.)

  29. How soon can you get those internment camps for "liberals" activated?

  30. Dhex-
    HA HA HA HA HA! That was great. Maybe we'll be cellmates in Gitmo, huh?

  31. Why have you kept on so many incompetent disloyal Clintonistas to foul your administration?
    Why do you expect gratitude from a Democrat?

    [Liberals hate cowboys because cowboys know you can't bullshit a cow. Cows are not impressed with credentials, just with a handy rope or warm milking hands.]

  32. Did you throw up during Dan Rather's
    pre-invasion love-fest with Saddam?

  33. Would you like flies with that?

  34. What's Laura look like from behind?

  35. HAHAHAHAHAHA. *wipes away tear*

    That's great. This is the best honey pot H&R post for venomous Bush-haters ever.

    I mean, come on, folks, lots of us disagree with the Admin's policies, but you don't have to HATE the man. It's sad, really. You could be spending your time coming up with reasonable arguments against the administration, but no. It's a lot more effective to insult the president.

  36. Milking cowboys? That's just dumb.

  37. What's America look like from behind?

  38. Why does Jennifer continue to repeat discredited rumors about the bin Ladens flying to Arabia on September 12?


    Re: Bill Felton's claim: Why did the evil Bush administration, which knew about the 9-11 attacks before they occurred but let them happen anyway to increase Halliburton profits, decide to save the life of Willie Brown, of all people? I suspect the Illuminati are involved somehow.

  39. Does Dick Cheney let you play with the copy machine?

  40. David-
    Let me respond by "cut'n'paste." This was posted by Jon H. on the thread Rashomon in the White House:

    While testifying under oath, Richard Clarke answered a question about just such a flight. The only issue in question is the precise dates of the flights.

    From the transcript:

    ROEMER: You made a decision after 9/11 to, I think -- and I'd like to ask you more about this -- to allow a plane of Saudis to fly out of the country. And when most other planes were grounded, this plane flew from the United States back to Saudi Arabia. I'd like to know why you made that decision, who was on this plane, and if the FBI ever had the opportunity to interview those people.

    CLARKE: Now, as to this controversy about the Saudi evacuation aircraft, let me tell you everything I know, which is that in the days following 9/11 -- whether it was on 9/12 or 9/15, I can't tell you -- we were in a constant crisis management meeting that had started the morning of 9/11 and ran for days on end. We were making lots of decisions, but we were coordinating them with all the agencies through the video teleconference procedure.

    CLARKE: Someone -- and I wish I could tell you, but I don't know who -- someone brought to that group a proposal that we authorize a request from the Saudi embassy. The Saudi embassy had apparently said that they feared for the lives of Saudi citizens because they thought there would be retribution against Saudis in the United States as it became obvious to Americans that this attack was essentially done by Saudis, and that there were even Saudi citizens in the United States who were part of the bin Laden family, which is a very large family, very large family.

    The Saudi embassy therefore asked for these people to be evacuated; the same sort of thing that we do all the time in similar crises, evacuating Americans.

    The request came to me and I refused to approve it. I suggested that it be routed to the FBI and that the FBI look at the names of the individuals who were going to be on the passenger manifest and that they approve it -- or not.

    I spoke with at that time the number two person in the FBI, Dale Watson, and asked him to deal with this issue.

    The FBI then approved -- after some period of time, and I can't tell you how long -- approved the flight.

    Now, what degree of review the FBI did of those names, I cannot tell you. How many people there are on the plane, I cannot tell you.

    But I have asked since: Were there any individuals on that flight that in retrospect the FBI wishes they could have interviewed in this country. And the answer I've been given is no, that there was no one who left on that flight who the FBI now wants to interview.

    ROEMER: Despite the fact that we don't know if Dale Watson interviewed them in the first place.

    CLARKE: I don't think they were ever interviewed in this country.

    ROEMER: So they were not interviewed here. We have all their names. We don't know if there has been any follow up to interview those people that were here and flown out of the country.

    CLARKE: The last time I asked that question, I was informed that the FBI still had no desire to interview any of these people.

    ROEMER: Would you have a desire to interview some of these people that...

    CLARKE: I don't know who they are.

    ROEMER: We don't know who they are...

    CLARKE: I don't know who they are. The FBI knew who they were because they...

    ROEMER: Given your confidence in your statements on the FBI, what's your level of comfort with this?

    CLARKE: Well, I will tell you in particular about the ones that get the most attention here in the press, and they are members of the bin Laden family.

    CLARKE: I was aware, for some time, that there were members of the bin Laden family living in the United States.

    And, let's see, in open session I can say that I was very well aware of the members of the bin Laden family and what they were doing in the United States. And the FBI was extraordinarily well aware of what they were doing in the United States. And I was informed by the FBI that none of the members of the bin Laden family, this large clan, were doing anything in this country that was illegal or that raised their suspicions.

    And I believe the FBI had very good information and good sources of information on what the members of the bin Laden family were doing.

    ROEMER: I've been very impressed with your memory, sitting through all these interviews the 9/11 commission has conducted with you. I press you, again, to try to recall how this request originated. Who might have passed this on to you at the White House situation room? Or who might have originated that request for the United States government to fly out -- how many people in this plane?

    CLARKE: I don't know.

    ROEMER: We don't know how many people were on a plane that flew out of this country. Who gave the final approval, then, to say yes, you're clear to go, it's all right with the United States government to go to Saudi Arabia?

    CLARKE: I believe, after the FBI came back and said it was all right with them, we ran it through the decision process for all of these decisions we were making in those hours, which was the Interagency Crisis Management Group on the video conference.

    I was making or coordinating a lot of decisions on 9/11 and the days immediately after. And I would love to be able to tell you who did it, who brought this proposal to me, but I don't know. Since you pressed me, the two possibilities that are most likely are either the Department of State, or the White House Chief of Staff's Office. But I don't know.

    Posted by Jon H at April 12, 2004 02:12 AM

  41. David,
    It seems well-documented that Condi did indeed make such a call.
    We are entitle to wonder why, and I think that Bush ought to consider that some of us might like, even feel we're entitled to, an answer.
    As to the Illuminati, you'd know better than I.


  42. By the way, if you look carefully at (i.e. read) the Snopes link, you'll see it says that the flights DID happen. It just wasn't true that the FBI couldn't question the Bin Ladens first. Remember: just because a web address has the letters "rumors" in the title, does not automatically mean that everything therein is false.

    A person who constantly sees threats and crimes where none exist is called paranoid delusional. Is there a term for the opposite delusion, the refusal to admit to crimes and threats even when the evidence is right in your face? (Insert Bush-fan joke of your choice.)

  43. Bill/Jennifer-

    If what you're saying about this Condi Rice phonecall is true, could you explain to me why I haven't heard about it until just now?

    Please keep in mind, I do not live in a cave, I watch television fairly regularly, and I read at least a dozen politically-minded blogs and websites each several times a day.

    If it was as crushingly blatant and obvious as you're saying, then why hasn't every major news outlet jumped all over it by now? I'll agree right off the bat that it's lazy of me to assume that it's someone else's job to shove the truth in my face every day, but given the media's evident dislike/distrust of the current Administration, not to mention the fact that big news makes big money... why aren't they beating me over the head with catchy slogans, convenient soundbites, and attractive graphics pertaining to this particular bombshell of a controversy?

    If it's so obviously, provably true, why doesn't everyone believe it?

    P.S.- Unacceptable answers include: "The media is run by conservatives," as well as "Everyone is dumber than me and only I may know the truth."

  44. Jennifer,

    If memory serves, the Snopes site confirms that bin Laden family members did get to fly within the US during the flight ban period following 9/11, but they didn't get to fly out of the country until the flight ban had been lifted. I'm no Bush fan, but I really don't see where the impropriety is here, and I would think the answer to why it was done was that the Saudi embassy requested it on the grounds that their citizens' lives were endangered.

  45. Fyodor-
    If what you are saying is true, then fine. But why am I hearing it from some pseudonymmed guy on a Website comment thread, rather than from the "elected" representatives of my government?

  46. "given the media's evident dislike/distrust of the current Administration"

    geoff, that dislike/distrust was much less evident in the weeks following 9/11. Nobody wanted to hear it.

    I recall hearing Mayor Brown report that phone callwithin a few days of the event , though I hadn't heard it was Rice that made the call.

  47. The questions offered are of the "have you stopped beating your wife" variety. They'd bring more shame on the questioner than Buah.

  48. Sorry, personal pet peeve. If the man can launch the rockets, he should be able to pronounce the word correctly.

    So you must have really hated Carter. Not only did he have the authority to launch the rockets, he worked with the stuff full-time in the Navy. And he said "nucular." And so do a lot of people from the South. It's dialect. Get over it.

  49. Fish-
    If a guy really is a wife-beater, then is the question still considered rude? If a president really did lie about a war, is it rude to call him up on it?

  50. How could a nation half a world away with a puny air force and an even punier navy and at best a puny arsenal of biological/chemical weapons honestly be considered a serious threat to the United States of America?

    Why are you more concerned with freedom and liberty in Iraq rather than freedom and civil liberties in the nation which somehow managed to elect you?

  51. we of the illuminati have no plans to take over the world. these are falsehoods promulgated by a small group of merovingians in order to conceal their plans for world domination. please cease and desist with these baseless rumors.

  52. jc-

    We've been over this before: Iraq wasn't a threat...um, well, except when it's convenient to say so...but in fact the real reason why we invaded was because it has presented us with a wonderful opportunity to transform the entire Arab world.

    And, like all schemes devised by our federal government, this plan will work flawlessly.

    And we have always been at war with Eastasia, and Eurasia has always been our ally.

  53. As it turned out, it made no difference what he was asked, the answer was always the same: Saddam was a threat, the world is better off without him, he had WMD.

  54. Take that, assholes! Your lack of cowboy knowledge proves that your political views are all bullshit.

  55. Having 20-20 hindsight, we now know what our venerable press actually asked.

    Are you sorry? Have you ever made a mistake? What's your favorite color? ...

  56. Dear Mr Bush, why is George Tenet still in a job?
    Why have you been so nice to the Saudis, at least in public?
    Why did you not put in more troops to deal with the occupation?
    Why did you not fess up about the lousy intel on WMDs when it would have disarmed some of your more honest critics?

    But perhaps mostly, I would ask: how the hell do you stay so calm when so many jerks make dumb wisecracks about your Texan drawl, background, etc?

  57. Getting us back to the subject of the moment:

    Mr. President, since Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution states that only Congress "...shall have the power ... To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;" [http://www.law.emory.edu/FEDERAL/usconst/art-1.html#sec-8]

    Could you please explain why you think you have the authority to violate the US Constitution by taking the country into armed conflict with another country, which had not directly attacked the United States or its possesions, in the absense of the Constitutionally mandated Congressional Declaration of War?

  58. Bruce-
    Because GOD told me to. Who are you peons to question the will of the Lord?

  59. The idiot who thinks cowboys don't milk cows might wonder how they get the milk to feed orphan calfs. And the warm hands comment reflects the shyness of a range cow when cold hands hit her tits.
    I wish some of the ignorance displayed here was as painful for the expressers as it is to the receptors.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.