Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

In today’s gaggle Little Scottie was channeling the Queen of Hearts.

Damn, she even looks like Scottie, doesn’t she?

Q There’s a report out that Iraq could become an important breeding ground for terrorism. Is the President concerned about that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think the report talks a lot more — about a lot more than that. We welcome the report. I think the report confirms that our strategy of staying on the offensive and spreading freedom to win the war on terrorism is the right approach. We are in a struggle of epic proportions and the stakes are high, and the President believes it’s important to continue to advance freedom in a dangerous region of the world because it will make the world a more peaceful place, and make America more secure. And so I think that’s the — this report is a speculative report about things that could happen in the world, but we welcome the report and —

[snip]

Q But has the war — did the war create a vacuum that has made it more conducive for terrorists to use Iraq as a base?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President talked about that during the campaign. I mean, that’s just a misunderstanding of the war on terrorism.

Q — the President to talk about this, as a central front of the war on terrorism, when essentially, what the report is suggesting is that it is a central front created by and essentially helping terrorism.

MR. McCLELLAN: Did the report say that?

Q — insinuating that it’s a place where it’s a breeding ground for —

MR. McCLELLAN: I think the report, like I said, confirms that we have the right strategy for winning the war on terrorism, which is to stay on the offensive and go after the terrorists, and to work to spread freedom and hope to regions of the world that have only known tyranny and oppression. And the war on terrorism is won by staying on the offensive and spreading freedom.

[snip]

Q Does the President disagree with the report’s conclusion that the war and the uncertainty on the ground has created a breeding ground for terrorism?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think we just answered this question. We just went through it, so I would go back to what I just said, and those are, I think, the points to make.

Q I mean, the reason that we keep asking the question again is that it’s just confusing to me how you can say it confirms your strategy is the right approach when there is terrorism in Iraq now, a terrorist breeding ground in Iraq now and growing there, and wasn’t there before. So how does that confirm your approach?

MR. McCLELLAN: That’s assuming that terrorists would just be sitting around doing nothing if we weren’t staying on the offensive in the war on terrorism.

[snip]

But I disagree with the characterization of the report, because I think the report confirms that we have the right strategy to win the war on terrorism, because of what I said a minute ago. So I would disagree with that. And this is — the report looks at much more than just that. It’s a speculative report that looks at a number of areas in the world, and we welcome the report. It’s important to look at what the report has to say. And I don’t think we’ve had time to look at the whole report, and I would encourage each of you to look at the whole report, as well, and maybe — because I think some of the characterization is off the mark

Q Excuse me just — are you talking about our characterization, or the characterization in the report?