Helen Thomas Opens Mouth, Scott McClellan Inserts Foot
This is a lovely exchange between Helen Thomas, the "grand dame" of the White House press corps, ABC News' Terry Moran, and White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. Thomas was being her usual center-of-attention self, and McClellan smacked her down. The problem is that he rebutted Terry Moran's defense of Thomas with that weasel word "may." He should have stuck to his guns and reiterated his statement about Thomas' opposition to any US-led war on terrorist groups.
I also love Helen's statement at the end where she states an opposition to unprovoked pre-emptive wars. I am in agreement with her on this. We should not attack sovereign nations who have done nothing to us nor to our allies, and we should not attack nations who do not make threats towards us nor to those who do not provide safety and comfort for those who wish to harm our nation. Sadly for Helen Thomas, Iraq does not fit the bill there. Even after the first Gulf War, Saddam Hussein sought to do harm to the people of the United States. Knowing this would be suicidal if he tried it directly through military force, he provided a safe haven for al-Qaeda to such a degree that one of his circle of bodyguards acted as personal chauffeur to various al-Qaeda delegates in the 2000 meeting in Malaysia. Providing support for terrorists and granting safe haven to terrorists such as Abu Nidal is proof enough that the invasion of Iraq was indeed provoked.
Helen Thomas is wrong on the war and Scott McClellan shouldn't have tried to spin his initial statement. Overall, the victory goes to McClellan.