Friday, May 15, 2009

From the Daily Show to the WH Briefing Room

The absurdity of Obama's positions on the torture photos (He wants to conceal them because their publication might endanger the troops) and Don't Ask Don't Tell (He's okay with qualified Arabic translators getting fired because they're openly gay) hadn't struck me until Jon Stewart and his British sidekick did this bit on it last night:

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Then today, Robert Gibbs gets the following line of questioning at the daily briefing:

Q: Well, the President says that releasing the detainee photos poses a danger to our troops, but doesn’t dismissing otherwise qualified soldiers also pose a danger? Is it a question of degree?

MR. GIBBS: No, no. What I talked about in terms of “don’t ask, don’t tell” was the President—the President, as you know, supports changing that because he strongly believes that it does not serve our national interest. He agrees with former members of the Joint Chiefs in that determination.

But unlike photos, the only durable solution to “don’t ask, don’t tell” is through a legislative process, and the President is working with Congress and members of the Joint Chiefs to ensure that that happens.

Q: But couldn’t he in the meantime put a moratorium on these discharges until that can be accomplished?

MR. GIBBS: But again, the President has determined that that’s not—that’s not the way to seek any sort of lasting or durable solution to the public policy problem that we have.

Q: Then how would you respond to the criticism, though, that dismissing a qualified linguist endangers the troops?

MR. GIBBS: I think I would respond by saying that the President has long believed that the policy doesn’t serve our national interest.


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