Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Delegation

Q&A session at Johns Hopkins University:

Q Thank you, Mr. President. It's an honor to have you here. I'm a first-year student in South Asia studies. My question is in regards to private military contractors. Uniform Code of Military Justice does not apply to these contractors in Iraq. I asked your Secretary of Defense a couple months ago what law governs their actions.

THE PRESIDENT: I was going to ask him. Go ahead. (Laughter.) Help. (Laughter.)

Q I was hoping your answer might be a little more specific. (Laughter.) Mr. Rumsfeld answered that Iraq has its own domestic laws which he assumed applied to those private military contractors. However, Iraq is clearly not currently capable of enforcing its laws, much less against -- over our American military contractors. I would submit to you that in this case, this is one case that privatization is not a solution. And, Mr. President, how do you propose to bring private military contractors under a system of law?

THE PRESIDENT: I appreciate that very much. I wasn't kidding -- (laughter.) I was going to -- I pick up the phone and say, Mr. Secretary, I've got an interesting question. (Laughter.) Actually, let’s do that. Anyone want to see me pump the Secretary of Defense for information? (applause) Ok. Donny, come on out here…Yes, come out on the stage and make sure you bring your cell phone. This is Don; he’s called my personal aid. He’s the one who remembers my wife’s birthday. (Laughter.) Ok Donny, I want you to get Mr. Rumsfeld on the phone, but I don’t want him to know we’ve got an audience. Everyone: keep quiet so we don’t tip him off. Yeah, put it on speaker phone and I’ll put it next to the mic. (Ring.) Anyone got a stopwatch to see how long…

SECRETARY OF STATE DONALD RUMSFIELD: Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Rummy? I’ve got an interesting question for you.

Inspiration: http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/04/10.html#a7868

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