OK, I know I’m late with this, but I don’t get paid to blog on holidays.
Apparently, Pony Blow, Dana Peroxide and Tony Farto all had better things to do Friday so we were stuck with Snott Stanzel.
Snott Gets Helenized
Q Since no Justice Department official has been forthcoming, who drew up the list of the attorneys — the prosecutors to be fired?
MR. STANZEL: Well, I think, Helen, that’s a subject that’s been covered exhaustively on hearings on the Hill —
Q Okay. Tell me, I’m sorry, I have not read who —
MR. STANZEL: I will allow the Justice Department to help you out with that question because —
Q But I’m telling you they’re not saying.
MR. STANZEL: They’ve testified hours and hours and hours about this very issue.
Q Did they say who drew up the list?
MR. STANZEL: Well, I think it’s been testified to the fact that Kyle Sampson was working on the process, and I think they testified to that fact.
Q Did he think of the names, himself?
MR. STANZEL: I think he’s spoken at length about the review process that was underway.
Q Don’t stall, just tell me. Who drew up —
MR. STANZEL: I will refer you to the Department of Justice, Helen.
Q Well, that’s another dodge.
Q They won’t tell her.
MR. STANZEL: I got that. Thank you. Any other questions?
The Heart of the Matter
Q I mean, how important does the President feel the Attorney General’s institutional knowledge is and, sort of, experience on these foreign surveillance issues — I’m sorry, domestic surveillance issues, and (inaudible) them down in Guantanamo? How much does the President not want to lose him because of those things? Is that an issue?
MR. STANZEL: Well, I think the President believes that he is the right person to serve in that role and has felt that way for quite some time because of his knowledge and his ability to address a myriad of issues. We feel that he is carrying out the functions of the Department of Justice, and he is doing that effectively, and he has the confidence of the President and that remains to be the case.
Our Nukes Don’t Count
Q Also, if I may, on a different subject. Yesterday the North Koreans made an interesting statement. Basically your goal in Korea is de-nuclearizing the Peninsula, right?
MR. STANZEL: I’m sorry?
Q The goal in Korea is de-nuclearizing the Peninsula.
MR. STANZEL: Absolutely.
Q So they say, will that include removing the American nuclear weapons from the Peninsula?
MR. STANZEL: I’m sorry, that will —
Q Will that include removing the American tactical nuclear weapons from the Peninsula?
MR. STANZEL: The purpose of the six-party talks has been to have a nuclear-free Peninsula. And working with North Korea on that issue, we expect the North Koreans to live up to the agreement that they made on February 13th. There are — understand there are some banking issues that hopefully we’re going to get through, but the purpose of the talks is to work with North Korea on de-nuclearizing the Peninsula.
Q Right, but what about your own weapons?
MR. STANZEL: I would have to get back to you on the status of American forces there.
Q Yes, one quick one. Iraqi lawmakers are expected to take up on Sunday a resolution that would ask the United States to leave. When the President said yesterday that if the Iraqi government asked us to leave, we’ll leave, did he mean — what form does that take? Is that the resolution? Is it Maliki saying it?
MR. STANZEL: I think the President was clear, in that it is a sovereign nation, and if it — it is the choice of the government of Iraq to make that decision. That is something the President said that we would accept. So if it’s the choice of the sovereign government of Iraq, that is what we would accept.