Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

Today brought us Dan Bartlett on gaggle duty. Or did it, the transcript header says “Press Gaggle by Dan Bartlett” but about three-quarters of the way through the person representing the Assministration is identified as “Mr. Snow”.

Be that as it may, the White House should have stuck with Pony Blow because Bartlett is downright incomprehensible. Don’t believe me? Check out this great example Bartlett’s nimble wordplay.

The morning sessions here are focused quite a bit of doing, from the standpoint of focusing on security assessments in the post — in the wake of the formation of the permanent government.

Or how about this exchange?

Q Did they talk about U.S. troop numbers?

MR. BARTLETT: Well, they’re talking about specific operations. It’s not as much as a macro discussion of end strength as it is what are different operations that are happening. As I have said before, the deployment, for example, of the 3,000 troops that are not helping in Ramadi, for example [What? Is Dan dissing Our Troops! here?] — many of the focus is in the Baghdad area and what they discussed is bolstering the Iraqi security forces in the Baghdad area and what we’re doing to help complement their efforts; how the intelligence picture is developing with regard to different types of sectarian violence, and how the new government can act on that intelligence to target the kidnappings and target those who are the perpetrators of these heinous acts of violence.

Had enough? Too bad, there’s more.

Q Did they discuss specifically his successor, Zarqawi’s successor?

MR. BARTLETT: Not by name, but by — you know, in notions of, attempts and other groups trying to take advantage of what some have viewed if there will be a leadership vacuum by Zarqawi.

Stop the gobblety-gook, I want to get off!

Ramadi is a situation where al Qaeda and other foreign fighters have tried to make as a base of operation.

Oh, the humanity!

Fundamentally, these assessments going on today is to say how can we make and help the Maliki government succeed in implementing his plan for his government and his country.

Psst…. Dan, your Freudian slip is showing.

It’s a permanent sovereign government. And so we’re taking a soup-to-nuts look across all government agencies, across both the security apparatus, but, just as importantly, this afternoon’s session will focus on different elements of American national — elements of national power — commerce, energy and other aspects to make sure this Maliki government is successful.

Oh, and as I mentioned last week, they’re ignoring the commanders on the ground.

Q But did the commanders make recommendations from the ground?

MR. BARTLETT: That was not the purpose of this meeting this morning.

Q Right, but did they make recommendations?

Q But did they talk about it?

MR. BARTLETT: That’s what I just told you, that was not the purpose of this meeting, so they didn’t.