Tuesday, October 03, 2006

News In Brief - Snow: “Just, Simply, A Naughty Little Grammar Snafu”

New White House Problem: Held Report Allegedly Says Iraq History Will Have Exclamation Point, Not Comma

If a leaked National Intelligence Estimate report, a stinging blockbuster book and a Congressional sex scandal and possible cover-up isn’t enough, the White House is embroiled in yet another controversy.

Numerous sources, primarily from the intelligence community, say that an intelligence report on the decaying situation in Iraq, and being held by President Bush, marked “secret” and thereby not obligated to release it to Congress, say that it notes that Iraq history will have an “exclamation point” and not a “comma” as the President recently boasted.

Last month, in an interview with Wolf Blitzer, on CNN’s ‘Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer’ replied to a question, optimistically with;

“Yes, you see -- you see it on TV, and that's the power of an enemy that is willing to kill innocent people. But there's also an unbelievable will and resiliency by the Iraqi people. Twelve million people voted last December.

Admittedly, it seems like a decade ago. I like to tell people when the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma because there is -- my point is, there's a strong will for democracy.

These people want a unity government. The unity government is functioning. I'm impressed by President Maliki.

I've talked to him. I've seen the decision-making process that he's put in place. The Iraqi army is still recruiting and training.”

President Writing History That “Doesn’t Jive” With Own Spy Agencies Account

“The President is playing “Edit and Run”,” says Hildy Johnson, editor of the monthly newsletter What Did He Say Now? that tracks and reviews President Bush’s speeches and interviews.

“He can’t have it both ways. He’s the one, after all, with the pen-in-hand, writing all of this Iraq history and it’s not jiving with what his own government agencies are saying.”

Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA) has been pressing the White House, and National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, to release the new N.I.E. report before the November Midterm elections, however, it is anticipated that the report won’t be released until January 07, at the earliest.

“I think the President just got his words mixed up,” defended White House Press Secretary Tony Snow. “You see, it’s like this ... The document itself has commas ... In fact it has a lot of commas, along with a whole host of other punctuation. I personally think he misspoke, like going back to the days of telegrams, where you say your sentence, then say “stop” to signify the end of that sentence ... The President was just, verbally, editing his own speech ...It’s not anything to get worked up over ... “

Comma Rooted In Gracie Allen Religious Quote

Johnson says she’s “not buying” the White House version that it was just “The President was just, verbally, editing his own speech.”

Pointing to research, Johnson says that the “comma thing” is attributed to the late comedienne Gracie Allen, and used in Christian teachings, and by a number of religious groups, including United Church of Christ parishes in Massachusetts, First United Methodist Church in Chicago and the evangelist Pat Robertson.

“I believe the full quote is "Don't put a period where God puts a comma," said Johnson.

When confronted with the new information, Snow shrugged his shoulders, saying “It was just, simply, a little naughty grammar snafu... And you get the same chorus of appeasers and naysayers that want to jump all over it ...”

“He can’t have it both ways. He’s the one, after all, with the pen-in-hand, writing all of this Iraq history and it’s not jiving with what his own government agencies are saying.”

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