Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

I TakeThat As A “Yes”

Q Were there differences between Admiral Fallon and this administration about how to handle, for example, Iran, troop levels in Iraq? Were there differences inside?

MS. PERINO: Well, as Secretary Gates said, when it comes to Iran he does not believe that there was a difference, but there had built up over a period of time a perception that there was a difference. And when it comes to foreign policy it’s critical that an administration speak with one voice. And if there’s a perception that they are not speaking with one voice, then that becomes a problem. And that’s what Secretary Gates and Admiral Fallon both said yesterday.

No Dissenting Views!

MS. PERINO: I would also point out that some have suggested that President Bush does not want to have dissenting views given to him — and that is absolutely nonsense, because President Bush has always fostered an environment of robust and healthy debate. He’s had many people provide independent thoughts that may have dissented from his own views, and that policy has always worked out in the process, and then we speak with one voice when we go out, whether it be on domestic policy or foreign policy. I would also point out that some have suggested that President Bush does not want to have dissenting views given to him — and that is absolutely nonsense, because President Bush has always fostered an environment of robust and healthy debate. He’s had many people provide independent thoughts that may have dissented from his own views, and that policy has always worked out in the process, and then we speak with one voice when we go out, whether it be on domestic policy or foreign policy. 

[snip]

But I would say that one of the things that I know to be true is that Admiral Fallon would join the President on secure video teleconferences every week, both the ones — he has two a week, one on Iraq and one on Afghanistan, and then in recent months we’ve had several on Pakistan. And Admiral Fallon would join those as well. And the President goes around the room — or around the television screens — and asks everyone to provide their candid and honest advice. And Admiral Fallon was a part of that.

Q And he could — he provided a dissenting voice during those teleconferences?

MS. PERINO: Oh, I don’t know. I would say he was allowed to express whatever he wanted to. I can’t, obviously, speak to those private conversations.

Dana Don’t Know!

Q Just one more thing. He said in the Esquire article that he had been in hot water with the White House before. Is that true?

MS. PERINO: I do not know where that came from.

Q So you don’t know whether he was or not, or —

MS. PERINO: I would say I don’t know whether he was or not, and I never heard that he was.

Dana Hates CREW

Q Okay. And on another subject, White House email, the liberal group, CREW, today is calling on the FBI to investigate missing White House emails. I wonder if you can react to that, but also more broadly talk about where the White House is? You’ve spoken before about trying to recover lost emails, make sure you have them — where is the White House in that process?

MS. PERINO: Well, Mrs. Payton actually spoke to this on Capitol Hill last week, I think, when she testified. I haven’t heard about CREW asking for the FBI to investigate. They try to squeeze out a press release a week on this, so I’ll take a look at it. Scott Stanzel, in my office, is following up for us.

One thought on “Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

  1. Oh Yeah! says:

    “They try to squeeze out a press release a week on this…”
    Now there’s some imagery I wish weren’t there. Reminds me of some bathroom grafitti I once saw:
    Here I sit with cheeks a-flexin
    Giving birth to another Texan.

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