Skip to comments.A day in the life of President Bush (9/16/06): photos & news
Posted on 09/16/2006 3:51:28 PM PDT by Wolfstar
PRESIDENTIAL NEWS OF THE DAY: The President and First Lady are spending a quiet weekend prior to what will be another very busy week for them. The President will address the UN next week, while Mrs. Bush will also have a busy schedule while they are in New York.
White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, a big FR favorite, has added a new and very welcome aggressive touch to White House communications efforts. The White House website now prominently features a series of rebuttals to inaccurate media reports. Called "Setting the Record Straight," the site has three rebuttals to news reports last week. All three are important, so I've linked them here, beginning with the transcript of the most significant item:
Setting the Record Straight: JAG Leaders Say Common Article 3 Provisions Would Be "Helpful"
Incorrect media assertion: The New York Times reports that JAG leaders "would agree only to say that they could not find anything illegal about the specific issue of amending [Geneva Conventions] Common Article 3." (Kate Zernike, "Rebuff For Bush On Terror Trials In A Senate Test," The New York Times, 9/15/06).
White House rebuttal:
JAG Leaders Affirmatively Say The Administration's Common Article 3 Provisions Would Be "Helpful"
According to the JAG lawyers' letter: "Indeed, we think these provisions would be helpful to our fighting men and women at war on behalf of our country."
TEXT OF LETTER to Sen. John Warner and Rep. Duncan Hunter, 9/13/06:
"We do not object to Section 6 of the Administration proposal, which would clarify the obligations of the United States under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, and Section 7 of the Administration proposal, which would address crimes under the War Crimes Act. Indeed, we think these provisions would be helpful to our fighting men and women at war on behalf of our Country."
Major General Scott Black, U.S. Army, Judge Advocate General
Major General Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., U.S. Air Force, Deputy Judge Advocate General
Rear Admiral Bruce Macdonald, U.S. Navy, Judge Advocate General
Brigadier General James C. Walker, Staff Judge Advocate to the U.S. Marine Corps
Colonel Ronald M. Reed, U.S. Air Force, Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
In an August 2 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Military JAGs support bringing definition to Common Article 3.
SEN. FEINSTEIN: "Admiral MacDonald and Admiral Black -- excuse me, General Black -- you both speak about Common Article 3 in your written comments, the prohibition -- Admiral MacDonald -- you say 'Common Article 3's prohibition upon outrages (up)on personal dignity is not well defined.' How would you suggest we define it?"
GEN. BLACK: "In its current formulation, it's entirely too vague, and it puts -- as you mentioned before -- our service members at risk, our own service members at risk." (Committee On The Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 8/2/06)
GEN. RIVES: "We welcome congressional efforts to better define which 'outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment,' amount to serious breaches worthy [of] classification as felonies. Such efforts would serve our men and women fighting the global war on terrorism by providing clearly delineated limits Congressional efforts to better define these terms for Common Article 3 purposes will provide needed clarity to the rules of conduct for our military forces." (Committee On The Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 8/2/06)
SEN. GRAHAM: "To the judge advocates, have you been consulted fairly extensively about military commissions and Common Article 3 by the administration?"
JAG GENERALS: (1) "Yes, sir, we have." (2) "Particularly of late, sir." (3) "Yes, sir." (Committee On The Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 8/2/06)
Now and Then: Editorials on the McCain Amendment
Newspaper editorials previously said the the Administration's Common Article 3 proposal would prohibit torture, but they now say it will permit torture.
The Rest of the Story: Iraq's Links to Al Qaeda
The Washington Post quotes the President without including the full context of his remarks distinguishing Al Qaeda from Saddam, and falsely reports that the CIA said Saddam did not have links to Al Qaeda.
GOVERNOR ANN RICHARDS FUNERAL: Former Commerce Secretary Don Evans, a Texan and close personal friend of President and Mrs. Bush, will attend the funeral services to be held for Governor Ann Richards at the University of Texas Frank Erwin Center on Monday, September 18, on behalf of President and Mrs. Bush. The first couple will be in New York for the UN General Assembly address and meetings. The White House released a statement that said: "As a lifelong Texan, Secretary Evans had the highest regard for the Governor, and he appreciated her tireless efforts on behalf of the state and her zest for life that endeared her to the entire country. The President regrets being unable to attend her funeral, and he and Mrs. Bush send their deepest condolences to the Governor's family."
Fans of Press Secretary Tony Snow will enjoy hearing the news that he has hired a new assistant. Tony Fratto, currently Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of Treasury, will be coming over to the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President and Assistant Press Secretary, or Deputy Press Secretary [title to be determined], a week from Monday [i.e., 9/25/06].
THE WEEK AHEAD: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, President and Mrs. Bush will be in New York to participate in the 61st United Nations General Assembly and related events. In addition to the formal UN-related events, the President will meet bilaterally with several other world leaders during the visit. The Palestinian Authority issued a statement today that President Bush will meet with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas. However, the White House had not confirmed this meeting as of early evening today.
_ Sept. 18, the First Lady will be highlighting the importance of literacy for both individual and national growth by hosting the first White House Conference on Global Literacy. The conference will be held at the New York Public Library.
_ Sept. 19, President Bush will address the Plenary Session of the General Debate of the General Assembly. He will meet with Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Sheikha Haya bint Rashid al Khalifa, who assumes the presidency of the General Assembly this month, to discuss a range of issues. GWB will host a meeting of leaders from democratic states and civil society organizations involved in building the institutions of democracy around the world. He will also attend a luncheon hosted by the Secretary-General. That evening, President and Mrs. Bush will host a reception for Heads of Delegation.
_ Sept. 22, President Bush will welcome President Pervez Musharraf of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the White House. The two Presidents last met during President Bush's historic visit to Pakistan in March.
_ Sept. 26, President Bush will welcome President Hamid Karzai of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the White House. The visit will be an opportunity for the President to congratulate President Karzai on the progress Afghanistan has made over the last five years and to reaffirm America's commitment to stability and reconstruction in Afghanistan.
_ Sept. 26, First Lady Laura Bush will attend a fundraiser at the Hotel Utica, upstate New York, for State Senator Raymond Meier's congressional campaign. Sen. Meier is running for the open seat of retiring Rep. Sherwood Boehlert.
_ Sept. 29, President Bush will welcome President Nursultan Nazarbayev of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the White House. Kazakhstan is an important strategic partner in Central Asia.
_ Oct. 3, President Bush will visit Northern California to campaign for two Republican congressional candidates. GWB will visit Stockton to headline a fundraiser for Rep. Richard Tracy. The breakfast is expected to be at the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium. Later that same day, President Bush will headline a fundraiser for Rep. John Doolittle at the El Dorado Hills Country Club. Both incumbents represent Republican-leaning districts that the President carried handily in 2004.
_ Nov. 28-29, President Bush will travel to Tallanin, Estonia, for meetings with the President and Prime Minister of Estonia. He will then travel to Riga, Latvia, for the NATO summit.
VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: The Vice President has been on a hectic schedule of campaign stops, including one in California last Friday. On Monday, he will visit northeastern Pennsylvania to raise campaign funds for Republican Rep. Don Sherwood. He will also attend a fundraiser for Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. The Santorum campaign announced that the visit will be next week, but no specific date was given. Although no date has been announced yet, the VP will be traveling to Houston soon to raise funds for the Congressional campaign of Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, several sources told the Fort Bend Herald this week.
THE PRESIDENT: Dave. He's back. [Gregory had not been covering the WH recently while NBC shuffled its deck after Katie Couric left for CBS.)
Q Sorry, I've got to get disentangled -- [As he stood up, Gregory got tangled in electrical and TV wires.]
THE PRESIDENT: Would you like me the go to somebody else here, until you -- (laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: But take your time, please. (Laughter.)
Q I really apologize for that. Anyway --
THE PRESIDENT: I must say, having gone through those gyrations, you're looking beautiful today, Dave. (Laughter.)
Q Mr. President, critics of your proposed bill on interrogation rules say there's another important test -- these critics include John McCain, who you've mentioned several times this morning -- and that test is this: If a CIA officer, paramilitary or special operations soldier from the United States were captured in Iran or North Korea, and they were roughed up, and those governments said, well, they were interrogated in accordance with our interpretation of the Geneva Conventions, and then they were put on trial and they were convicted based on secret evidence that they were not able to see, how would you react to that, as Commander-in-Chief?
THE PRESIDENT: David, my reaction is, is that if the nations such as those you named, adopted the standards within the Detainee Detention Act, the world would be better. That's my reaction. We're trying to clarify law. We're trying to set high standards, not ambiguous standards.
And let me just repeat, Dave, we can debate this issue all we want, but the practical matter is, if our professionals don't have clear standards in the law, the program is not going to go forward. You cannot ask a young intelligence officer to violate the law. And they're not going to. They -- let me finish, please -- they will not violate the law. You can ask this question all you want, but the bottom line is -- and the American people have got to understand this -- that this program won't go forward; if there is vague standards applied, like those in Common Article III from the Geneva Convention, it's just not going to go forward. You can't ask a young professional on the front line of protecting this country to violate law.
Now, I know they said they're not going to prosecute them. Think about that: Go ahead and violate it, we won't prosecute you. These people aren't going to do that, Dave. Now, we can justify anything you want and bring up this example or that example, I'm just telling you the bottom line, and that's why this debate is important, and it's a vital debate.
Now, perhaps some in Congress don't think the program is important. That's fine. I don't know if they do or don't. I think it's vital, and I have the obligation to make sure that our professionals who I would ask to go conduct interrogations to find out what might be happening or who might be coming to this country, I got to give them the tools they need. And that is clear law.
Q But sir, this is an important point, and I think it depends --
THE PRESIDENT: The point I just made is the most important point.
THE PRESIDENT: And that is the program is not going forward. David, you can give a hypothetical about North Korea, or any other country, the point is that the program is not going to go forward if our professionals do not have clarity in the law. And the best way to provide clarity in the law is to make sure the Detainee Treatment Act is the crux of the law. That's how we define Common Article III, and it sets a good standard for the countries that you just talked about.
Q No, but wait a second, I think this is an important point --
THE PRESIDENT: I know you think it's an important point. (Laughter.)
Q Sir, with respect, if other countries interpret the Geneva Conventions as they see fit -- as they see fit -- you're saying that you'd be okay with that?
THE PRESIDENT: I am saying that I would hope that they would adopt the same standards we adopt; and that by clarifying Article III, we make it stronger, we make it clearer, we make it definite.
And I will tell you again, David, you can ask every hypothetical you want, but the American people have got to know the facts. And the bottom line is simple: If Congress passes a law that does not clarify the rules, if they do not do that, the program is not going forward.
Q This will not endanger U.S. troops, in your --
THE PRESIDENT: Next man.
Q This will not endanger U.S. troops --
THE PRESIDENT: David, next man, please. Thank you. It took you a long time to unravel, and it took you a long time to ask your question.
Pinging you to the Saturday Dose.
Next week, she will host a conference held to underscore the need for sustained global and national leadership in promoting literacy and encourage greater international and private-sector involvement in literacy programs, according to Sonya Medina, director of projects for the White House Conference on Global Literacy. It also will highlight successful programs supported by the United States, UNESCO and private or local groups around the world. Over 60 first ladies and spouses of leaders and education ministers are expected to attend, Medina said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - First Lady Laura Bush will have her own agenda when she and President George W. Bush leave on Monday for the annual U.N. General Assembly in New York.
While her husband is in meetings with the leaders of Malaysia, El Salvador, Honduras, Tanzania, France and Iraq, Laura Bush will host a round-table discussion on Myanmar, formerly Burma, and a global literacy conference, the first lady's office said.
The United States wants the U.N. Security Council to deal with Myanmar, whose junta government has jailed opponents, persecuted minorities and sent refugees fleeing into neighboring states.
Laura Bush on Tuesday will host the discussion to try to gain support for a proposed U.S.-sponsored Security Council resolution to pressure Myanmar to have an "all-inclusive political process" and release detained Nobel Peace Prize-winning opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
She will also call on the Myanmar government to ensure access and security for humanitarian workers, take steps to end ethnic violence and address HIV/AIDS and drugs and human trafficking.
Same gesture a year later at his press conference yesterday.
Woohoo! Saturday Dose!
Did you forget to have an adult write your question for you?
Dear Lord, can you assign Helen to some other beat for the next couple of years?
Hmmmm...maybe at the next White House barbeque for the media and Congress, we can serve some of that packaged spinach...
You people can't even get your facts straight on a light news day, and you dare to call me dumb?
OK, which one of you reporters is it who only bathes once a month?
A word to the wise...don't mess with me after I just came out of a meeting with McEgo. I need time to decompress from breathing all that hot air in the room.
LOL! Love your captions. I believe you have gotten into his head for sure! :D
Here is a heartwarming story about that event, and some more photos.
President Bush Pays 4TH CAG Marines and Sailors an Honorable Visit on The Night They Deploy to Iraq
by Cpl. Virginia Lawrence, Naval District Washington
NAVAL DISTRICT WASHINGTON, Washington D.C. Marines and sailors of the 4th Civil Affairs Group (CAG) were surprised by a visit from President Bush on Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland the night of their deployment to Iraq.
After lining up outside to watch Air Force One land, the Marines and sailors stood by as he approached them to shake their hands and thank them for their service to their country.
The President thanked the Marines on an individual basis while shaking their hands. Lance Cpl. Steven G. Gillespie was honored to personally have the President of the United States of America thank him for his service.
Look, I still have goose bumps, said HN Jan R. Maddela after President Bushs departure.
The Marines appreciated the surprise visit by the president on the night of their deployment.
I think its great someone that important and that busy can take the time and come see us, said Cpl. Jason Voorhees, a Marine with the 4th CAG.
The support from the president enhanced the morale of the Marines and was an honor, giving them more motivation in preparation of their third deployment, said HM2 JoseDaniel Perez.
President Bush was not the only VIP to visit the 4th CAG. Major General Cornell A.Wilson Jr. also made an appearance to support the Marines and see them off.
I support them in every aspect and I want to say Godspeed and Semper Fi, Said Wilson.
This is the third deployment to Iraq for the 4th CAG. The CAG serves as a liason between commander and the Iraqi civilians working to provide civil-military operations in the western provinces of Iraq.
The unit is made of over 200 Reserve Marines that have been activated since June 15 to deploy to Iraq for seven months to a year.
The Marines proudly march out after having their photos taken in front of Air Force One. They left shortly afterwards for Iraq.
Afterwards, the Marines assemble in their squads prior to being transported to their plane. God bless and keep them all.
Hi LUV W. :)
Hi Carolinamom. A bit of a mixed collection today.
I think so, too, plus the WH communications effort has been much more aggressive in correcting the record. Like those three very important items I linked at the top of the thread.
I pray this will be a very quite and restful weekend for President and Mrs. Bush. They have had a hectic week. God bless them.
LOL! Either that, or he's gotten into mine. After all, I had that pathetic old saw "Bushbot" thrown at me again today. ;-)
They sure have, and next week is going to be just as busy. There was zero word in news reports I saw as to where they are spending the weekend. They often go to Camp David, but there were none of the usual photos of them getting on Marine One.