Friday, October 14, 2005

Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged

WASHINGTON Oct 13, 2005 — It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions President Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday's vote on a new Iraqi constitution.

"This is an important time," Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary, said, coaching the soldiers before Bush arrived. "The president is looking forward to having just a conversation with you."

Barber said the president was interested in three topics: the overall security situation in Iraq, security preparations for the weekend vote and efforts to train Iraqi troops.

As she spoke in Washington, a live shot of 10 soldiers from the Army's 42nd Infantry Division and one Iraqi soldier was beamed into the Eisenhower Executive Office Building from Tikrit the birthplace of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

"I'm going to ask somebody to grab those two water bottles against the wall and move them out of the camera shot for me," Barber said.

A brief rehearsal ensued.

"OK, so let's just walk through this," Barber said. "Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?"

"Captain Smith," Kennedy said.

"Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?" she asked.

"Captain Kennedy," the soldier replied.

And so it went.

"If the question comes up about partnering how often do we train with the Iraqi military who does he go to?" Barber asked.

"That's going to go to Captain Pratt," one of the soldiers said.

"And then if we're going to talk a little bit about the folks in Tikrit the hometown and how they're handling the political process, who are we going to give that to?" she asked.

Before he took questions, Bush thanked the soldiers for serving and reassured them that the U.S. would not pull out of Iraq until the mission was complete.

"So long as I'm the president, we're never going to back down, we're never going to give in, we'll never accept anything less than total victory," Bush said.

Article from ABC News , continue reading Here

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posted by NYCtexan (forgot password)

It seems to me from reading the transcript that the lady was coordinating who would answer questions on each topic. She doesn't seem to be telling them what to say or what the question will be. If a CEO comes into a board room and asks a question, the person most familiar with the area with which the question is concerned should be the one answering the question. Likewise, when the president asked a question, the soldier most familiar with the topic should answer. If the soldiers had scripts written by the bush administration or the pentagon then I might be concerned.

October 14, 2005 6:05 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

What gives the game a way a little is when Barber says " now when you talk to the president about New York , pause there and take a breath , this is powerfull stuff"

In my view it was of course sripted , can you Imagine the president coming up against say a soldier from New Orleans who is going to shout at the president about his home city or whatever

they obviously knew every point that would be raised in advance ...

To me the point is not that it is scripted , most leaders of most countries would do the same , It is a PR event , so they must ensure that it is good PR

The Point is being silly enough to allow such a moment to be filmed , so that the press can exploit it .

It would concern me if people actually thought they were watching unscripted events when the leader of the country is present

I remember as a child the British Queen came to where i lived and 2 hours before they had people spraying the grass with green paint to make it look good on TV

Somebody messed up here , it reminds me of the "Major league ass hole" comment a few years ago

Thanks for your comments NYCtexan , I apreciate your thoughts

October 14, 2005 6:28 pm  

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