Wednesday, July 21, 2004 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: A Passel of Pomp and a Circus of Circumstance: Historic Conventions...
2004-07-21

Helen Thomas Takes On White House Over Iraq

DONATE →
This is viewer supported news

We hear veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas confronting White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan on the reasons for invading Iraq. [Includes transcript]

Both President Bush and British Prime Minister Blair have each had to confront a damning report on the intelligence failures leading up to the Iraq war. Although both leaders still insist that the war was justified, Blair has since said "I accept full personal responsibility for the way the issue was presented and therefore for any errors made." Bush has yet to make any such statement.

This past Monday, veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas took on White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan on the issue.

  • White House Press Briefing, July 19, 2004.

TRANSCRIPT
Helen Thomas: Prime Minister Blair took full personal responsibility for taking his nation into war under falsehoods —- under reasons that have been determined now to be false. Is President Bush also willing to take full, personal responsibility -—

Scott McClellan: I think Prime Minister Blair said that it was the right thing to do; that Saddam Hussein’s regime was a threat.

Helen Thomas: Those were not the reasons he took his country into war. It turned out to be untrue, and the same is true for us. Does the President take full, personal responsibility for this war?

Scott McClellan: The issue here is what do you to with a threat in a post-September 11th world? Either you live with a threat, or you confront the threat.

Helen Thomas: There was no threat.

Scott McClellan: The President made the decision to confront the threat.

Helen Thomas: Saddam Hussein did not threaten this country.

Scott McClellan: The world —- the world, the Congress and the administration all disagree. They all recognized that there was a threat posed by Saddam Hussein. When it came to September 11th, that changed the equation. It taught us, as I said -—

Helen Thomas: The Intelligence Committee said there was no threat.

Scott McClellan: As I said, it taught us that we must confront threats before it’s too late.

Helen Thomas: So the President doesn’t take full responsibility?

Scott McClellan: The President already talked about the responsibility for the decisions he’s made. He talked about that with Prime Minister Blair.

Helen Thomas: Personal responsibility?

Scott McClellan: Terry, go ahead.

Recent Shows More

Full News Hour

Stories

    2014-0730_siegman1
    "A Slaughter of Innocents": Henry Siegman, a Venerable Jewish Voice for Peace, on Gaza
    Today, a special with Henry Siegman, the former executive director of the American Jewish Congress, long described as one of the nation’s "big three" Jewish organizations along with the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League. Henry Siegman was born in 1930 in Frankfurt, Germany. Three years later, the Nazis came to power. After fleeing Nazi troops in Belgium, his family eventually moved to the United States. His father was a leader of the European Zionist movement, pushing for the creation of a Jewish state. In...

Headlines

    There are no headlines for this date.


Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.