Today’s gaggle makes me wonder what the defition of the word “unacceptable” is.
Q Tony, one week ago the President said in the East Room that a missile launch, a test firing would be unacceptable.
MR. SNOW: It still is.
Q If I could follow, if the first test firing was unacceptable, what’s the potential second test firing?
MR. SNOW: Well, look, we’ve had seven firings. They’re all unacceptable, each and every one of them.
And in your Daily Les, Kinsolving outdoes himself.
Q Before North Korea launched its missiles on July 4th, the President said the U.S. would attempt to shoot down any missiles headed towards U.S. territory, but it was civil — but it was Cold War policy of launch on warning that kept the uneasy peace between the Soviet Union and U.S. for 40 years. And my question, has the U.S. abandoned its launch on warning policy?
MR. SNOW: I’m not going to get into the vagaries of —
Q — if I could finish. Is it not a signal of weakness to our enemies, many of them stateless terrorists, to suggest the U.S. will absorb a first strike before retaliating with their own nuclear weapons?
MR. SNOW: That’s one of the all time great preposterous questions. (Laughter.)
Q Coming from the network. And I don’t think it’s preposterous.
MR. SNOW: Well, memo to boss is, send the weak stuff back. No, look, I do think it’s preposterous. And it’s one of these things where this is something that has not come into play, and I’m not going to — the United States reserves all options to defend itself. And I am going to go no further than that.
Q Hamas has threatened to murder that 19-year-old Israeli corporal that they captured. In the even that they do and Israel retaliates by hanging one or more Hamas leaders, the President will not condemn Israel, will he, since murdering of nine confederate POWs by General Custer in 1864 was stopped by Colonel Mosbey’s hanging eight of Custer’s command? There is a precedent for stopping the murder of prisoners of war in the United States. If Israel follows that same thing, they will not be condemned by the President, will they?
MR. SNOW: I amend my characterization of your earlier question. (Laughter.)
Q You are evading the question. You are evading the question, and you know it.
MR. SNOW: Why didn’t you just — you decided upon specific means of retaliation, Lester. (Laughter.)