Brokaw and the Man

BROKAW: Why not fold in some of the U.N. inspectors to this effort, not turn it over to them, but make them a part of it? Would that help with the credibility, do you think?

THE PRESIDENT: I think there’s going to be skepticism until people find out there was, in fact, a weapons of mass destruction program. One thing there can’t be skepticism about is the fact that this guy was torturous and brutal on the Iraqi people. I mean, he brutalized them, he tortured them, he destroyed them, he cut out their tongues when they dissented. And now the people are beginning to see what freedom means within Iraq. Look at the Shia marches, or the Shia pilgrimages that are taking place.

The world will see that the United States is interested in peace, is interested in security and interested in freedom.

BROKAW: But it is important to find the weapons of mass destruction, or the evidence that he had a massive program underway, isn’t it?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. I think we will. I’m pretty confident we will.

Full transcript at NYT. Note that in his response to the inspectors question, Bush never mentions weapons inspectors, just the brutality of Saddam. I’m looking forward to the 2004 debates:

LEHRER: President Bush, unemployment has reached a 12 year high under your administration, the stock market remains lackluster, deficits are at record levels, and your only substantive economic policy remains more upper income tax cuts. If elected, what is your plan to help the economy and does it involve programs other than tax cuts?

THE PRESIDENT: Jim, I’m glad you asked that question. Until April of 2003, the Iraqi people were horribly oppressed by the evil dictator, Evil Saddam Hussein. He even had rape rooms — rape rooms — Jim. Now the people of Iraq are free from the evil dictator, Saddam Hussein, and his evil, evil regime.

Ok, I’ve wandered a bit into fantasy land, Jim Lehrer would never ask the president that question. But somehow I suspect that if he did, this would be the answer.


UPDATE: Typos corrected 4/26