The Plank

The Dana Perino Show

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Yesterday, on the anniversary of George W. Bush landing on an aircraft carrier in a flight suit, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino ripped Democrats for a "trumped-up political stunt." How very rich.

Actually, Perino's press gaggle yesterday makes for entertaining reading. Here's an excerpt:

Q Is there any, shall we say, reluctance on the President's part to actually go through the veto today, being that it's the fourth anniversary of the "mission accomplished" banner, his speech --
MS. PERINO: Obviously, that is -- even though the Democrats won't say so on the record, it is a trumped-up political stunt that is the height of cynicism and it's very disturbing to think that they possibly held up this money for the troops and the troops' families and the resources they need to try some PR stunt on this day.
The President realizes that today is the fourth anniversary of the day he gave a speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln. As I said last Thursday in the briefing, that speech has been widely misconstrued, and I encourage people to go back and read it. The President did say we had a long and difficult road ahead of us. We're moving from a dictatorship to democracy.
But in addition to that, the President has since said that we did not anticipate the amount of sectarian violence that would happen in the year of 2006, especially fomented by al Qaeda with the Samarra mosque bombing in February of 2006. The President said where there have been mistakes, those mistakes -- that responsibility for those mistakes rests with him....
Q Does the President -- does the President regret the "mission accomplished" speech?
MS. PERINO: Look, I've never heard him describe it that way, absolutely not. Let me just remind everybody, in case you need it, that speech there, I encourage people to read it. The President never said "mission accomplished." I realize that the banner said "mission accomplished." That was specific to the mission of that ship. They were supposed to be deployed for six months. They were deployed well beyond that. I think they'd gone to both Iraq and Afghanistan. And that's what that banner was referring to.

P.S. Perino repeats here the convenient White House line that "we did not anticipate" the sectarian violence that followed the 2006 Samarra shrine bombing--treating that event as a major and unexpected turning point in the war. But many experts say the trajectory of sectarian hatred was already quite clear by then.

P.P.S. If you feel like reading Bush's speech from the carrier it's here.

--Michael Crowley

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