Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

Helen Has The Floor

MS. PERINO: Helen.

Q The President has said publicly several times, in two consecutive news conferences a few months ago, and you have said over and over again, we do not torture. Now he has admitted that he did sign off on torture, he did know about it. So how do you reconcile this credibility gap?

MS. PERINO: Helen, you’re taking liberties with the what the President said. The United States has not, is not torturing any detainees in the global war on terror. And General Hayden, amongst others, have spoken on Capitol Hill fully in this regard, and it is — I’ll leave it where it is. The President is accurate in saying what he said.

Q That’s not my question. My question is, why did he state publicly, we do not torture —

MS. PERINO: Because we do not.

Q — when he really did know that we do?

MS. PERINO: No, that’s what I mean, Helen. We’ve talked about the legal authorities —

Q Are you saying that we did not?

MS. PERINO: I am saying we did not, yes.

Q How can you when you have photographs and everything else? I mean, how can you say that when he admits that he knew about it?

MS. PERINO: Helen, I think that you’re — again, I think you’re conflating some issues and you’re misconstruing what the President said.

Q I’m asking for the credibility of this country, not just this administration.

MS. PERINO: And what I’m telling you is we have — torture has not occurred. And you can go back through all the public record. Just make sure — I would just respectfully ask you not to misconstrue what the President said.

Q You’re denying, in this room, that we torture and we have tortured?

MS. PERINO: Yes, I am denying that.

Elaine, did you have one?

7 thoughts on “Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

  1. Okay. Dana CAN be accurate because we have redefined torture.
    ‘It’s depends on what your definition of torture is.” That is the question.
    Dana: Have we waterboarded, but THAT’s not torture. We did that, but it’s not torture.
    This is how they do it. They are linguistically changing the term torture so it does NOT include things we do.

  2. Someone needs to get ahold of Helen’s hairbrush so we can clone her when she goes (fingers crossed, not for many, many years).
    Think Progress has the video, and even though her voice sounds scarily weak, HT does not give up. God bless her.

    Seeming to acknowledge her colleagues’ absence on this story, an exasperated Thomas said out loud after her exchange with Perino: “Where is everybody? For God’s sakes.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/2008/04/23/thomas-chides-colleagues-torture/

  3. a hundred years from now, there will be at least one statue, if not more, (or the digital/space/plasma equivalent) of Helen Thomas. Helen Thomas has lived and will die an honorable human being, a principled journalist, a patriot, a hero.
    If, at that same time, someone utters the words “Dana Perino,” there will be one of two reactions:
    1)some variant of scorn/derision/disgust, in the same ballpark ss the reaction we have now to mention of the better-known Nazi underlings
    or
    2)”Who?”

  4. “Elaine, did you have one? Elaine? Elaine?!”
    Damn, just once I’d like one of those wet noodles to stand up and say, “No, I’d just like to hear you answer Helen’s questions honestly for a change.”

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