Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

Yet another serving of Filet of Scottie today as he desperately tries to explain away the missing 380 tons of Iraqi explosives. The White House spinmeisters seem to have settled on a strategy of criticizing Kerry because his advisors don’t know what happened to the missing munitions. Yet they readily admit that they have no clue either, and they’re the ones in charge. I’d hardly call that playing from a position of strength.

Anyway, back to obsession. First, will the presznit directly address this issue? I think you can divine the answer by reading the questions.

Q Will the President mention missing weapons, missing explosives in Iraq in any of his speeches?

Q But he won’t address the missing explosive issues, directly?

Q The President will not specifically address the issue of these missing explosives?

Q But will he actually address the 380 —

Next, it looks like the transcirption trolls at the White House are having some fun at the expense of the press corps:

Q When you say that 400,000 musicians [sic] have been seized or destroyed, what, specifically, are you referring to?

MR. McCLELLAN: What I talked about the other day and what the military has talked about: more than 243,000 munitions have already been destroyed; 400,000 tons of munitions have already been destroyed; another nearly 163,000 tons of munitions have been secured and are ready to be destroyed, awaiting to be destroyed.

Q But, Scott, that’s a meaningless number unless you know what percentage of the total that is, out of how much has that been destroyed?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, that’s what I said, these munition caches were spread all throughout the country. Literally every day our coalition forces continue to work to seize and destroy munitions. This was a regime that operated in that fashion. They spread munitions throughout the country, and I think the military can give you what they know about those.

Q Right, but there’s lots of different kinds of musicians [sic] and some are more lethal than others — the 380 —

Finally, when faced with a difficult question Little Scottie is likely to pull an answer out of his ass.

Q Is it your feeling that these weapons disappeared in the confusion of the start of the U.S. invasion, or — it was the NBC report.

MR. McCLELLAN: We don’t know the facts, but it may well be that they were removed by the regime prior to American forces — prior to American forces arriving there. And you now have Senator Kerry’s own advisors saying that they don’t know the facts, they don’t know the truth. Yet Senator Kerry is willing to use this to his own political advantage, when he doesn’t even know the truth.

Q Scott, the inspectors are saying that the seals were intact five days before the invasion. Are you saying that they regime removed the weapons in those five days?

MR. McCLELLAN: That’s another thing you might want to talk to the military about the specific time line, because my understanding is that the site was inspected in January, and they looked to see if the weapons were there. Then later, in March, they saw that the seals were still there, but that doesn’t mean that they did a full inspection of the site. And then there was a period between March and April when the invasion was going on and troops were moving toward Baghdad to remove the regime. So there’s a whole period in there when — very real possibility that the regime could have removed those weapons. We don’t know the facts — the military does not know what happened to those weapons, neither does Senator Kerry. And it is Senator Kerry who, time and time again, has shown that he will say anything for political gain. And this is all part of a pattern by Senator Kerry.

Q Do you say that the regime, that the Saddam Hussein regime was still capable of moving tons of explosives around the country after the U.S. invaded?

MR. McCLELLAN: I’m not saying that. I’m saying — military leaders have said that. Our military leaders have said that. I think that’s a fact. This was a regime that operated in that fashion. They had munitions — munition caches all across the country. They moved munitions around.

Q But isn’t it more likely that they were looted? There were reports of looters on the scene after —

MR. McCLELLAN: — based on what?

Q I believe the military said that they found looters at the scene, after the invasion.

MR. McCLELLAN: It’s more likely, how can you make that statement?

Q Because the military said there were looters at the site.

MR. McCLELLAN: They didn’t say it was more likely.

Q They said that looters were —

MR. McCLELLAN: The words you said were, “more likely.” This just shows that — Senator Kerry’s own advisors says he doesn’t — that they don’t know the truth, he doesn’t know the truth, yet he’s willing to say anything for his own political advantage. And you said, “very likely.” You don’t know that.

Q No, no, no. What you said was that it was likely that the regime moved this around at some point even after the U.S. invaded.

MR. McCLELLAN: That’s a likely possibility, that the regime could have removed those explosives before that time period.

Q But what I’m saying is that there are military reports that looters receive at the site, after the invasion. So doesn’t that make it more likely that there were looters?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, no, no, who said that?

Q The military reported looters at the —

MR. McCLELLAN: What’s your source?

Q The U.S. military.

MR. McCLELLAN: Show me the source. I’ll be glad to —

Q Scott, if you don’t know, either, how can you say it’s likely?

MR. McCLELLAN: That’s what I said — no, that it is a likely possibility.

Q Likely.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, it is a likely possibility, because of the way the regime operated. And I think commanders have talked about that, as well.