Dana, Just How Incompetent Is Condi?
Q Dana, the Secretary of State was just in the Middle East, she’s just back — I mean, was there something — what was there that she didn’t accomplish that the President thinks the Vice President — and is this any way, would you say, a comment on the state of the peace process? Is this a rescue mission?
MS. PERINO: Kathleen, I think that that is really — I think it’s a little bit outrageous to suggest that.
Poland Needs Missiles To Protect Our Missiles That Are Not Aimed At The Russians From The Russians? Nice Foreign Policy There, Chimpy
Q Dana, what does it say that the missiles we want to put in Poland that are not a threat to Russia, we are willing to provide Poland missiles to protect from Russian missiles? In other words, if we’re going to provide patriots to keep — to prevent a Russian attack on the missile interceptors we want to put in Poland, we are now providing a threat to Russian missiles, yes?
MS. PERINO: I don’t know of anyone — except maybe some in the media — no one is suggesting targeting Russia in this regard. We do not want to deny any ally the ability to defend themselves, and some allies ask us for help in making sure that their defenses are above board, that they are modern. And in this regard, in this particular case, Poland has said that they don’t think their air defenses are good enough.
Q But we are willing to provide Poland with the means to protect those interceptors from an attack from Russia.
MS. PERINO: Who is suggesting that Russia is going to attack anybody? Certainly no one from here is.
Q We would not be thinking about putting Patriots in Poland were it not for Russia’s threat to re-target missiles on Poland if we put the interceptors in Poland.
MS. PERINO: I really don’t know where you’re getting that, Wendell. It’s not at all in any of the discussions that we’ve been involved in.
Q That was certainly a part of the security guarantee.
MS. PERINO: No, it’s not. I just sat in on the meeting.
Q It is not? We are not going to provide Patriots to Poland to protect the interceptors?
MS. PERINO: I just told Ben Feller that I don’t know exactly what the package will look like at the end of the day. Secretary Rice has said that she’ll work with Secretary Gates, and it could take several months to do the analysis and decide what we think we can do to help them modernize their air defenses.
Q Let me try one more time —
MS. PERINO: But no one is suggesting that we should defend — that Poland needs to defend themselves against Russia.
Q Is that not precisely what the Polish Prime Minister said he needed protection for, those interceptors — because Russia had threatened to re-target Poland if we put them there? That is not — that was not the conversation today?
MS. PERINO: In that regard — when they talk about missile defense, it’s not about Russia. And when he talks about air defenses, it’s that their systems, they feel, are not modern, and that they want to modernize it. But no one was talking about Russia attacking Poland. If that is a concern of the Polish government, I’ll refer you to them and they can talk about that.
$4,600 Per Second
Q What are the administration’s latest cost estimates on the war? Are you familiar with the Stiglitz article that came out over the weekend — the Nobel Prize-winning economist, former Clinton advisor, Joseph Stiglitz — $12 billion a month he’s now estimating.
MS. PERINO: I’m not going to dispute his estimates. I don’t know exactly where he gets all of it.
Q So what’s your estimate of the monthly cost of the war?
MS. PERINO: I don’t have it. We’ll have to — you know, OMB could give it to you, but obviously it’s very expensive.
News Flash! Dana Peroxide: Not An Economist
Q Dana, back on what Peter was talking about. How has inflation since 2003 impacted the cost of the war?
MS. PERINO: I’m sure it’s had an impact, but, April, I’m not an economist, and we’ll either try to get you an answer or refer you to OMB.
And Now, Your Daily Les
Q Governor Rick Perry of Texas has just written a new book entitled, “On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For.” And my question: Does the former governor of Texas who is now President agree or disagree with this title?
MS. PERINO: I don’t know if he’s even aware of the book. And Governor Perry was around last week and talked to him. I’m going to move on.
Q Wait a minute —
MS. PERINO: No, Les —
Q — you don’t want to leave the impression —
MS. PERINO: Les, stop.
Q –that the President opposes both his fellow Texas governor and the Boy Scouts of America, do you?
MS. PERINO: Of course he doesn’t.