Sunday, January 15, 2006

Bush: Germans? What Germans?

The story of German agents staying in Baghdad through the 2003 invasion and helping the U.S. military decide targets has mushroomed into a crisis of conscience, if not confidence, for the new government in Berlin, but President Bush was completely unaware of the issue when Angela Merkel paid a visit to the White House the other day. He made a few affable asides to lighten the burden of ignorance, as is his wont, including one about the way he confuses Iran and Iraq, then went on to the well-rehearsed line of the day. Shucks, no wonder the world loves him …

From www.whitehouse.gov:

Q -- Are you in favor of sanctions against Iran in the Security Council, and what kind of sanctions should that be? And another question is, in Germany, there's a discussion about intelligence, secret service people working in Baghdad during the Iraq war. From your knowledge, did the German intelligence help the U.S. before and during the Iraq war in Baghdad?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I have no idea about the latter. (Laughter.) You did say, secret intelligence, right? (Laughter.) I understand. I really -- the truth of the matter is, the Chancellor brought this up this morning. I had no idea what she was talking about. The first I heard of it was this morning, truthfully.

Secondly, the first part of your question was Iran.

Q Iran, sir.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Okay, good. Sometimes when you mix them up, it throws us off balance, you know? …

For more on the matter, a good place to watch is Der Spiegel's English-languate site: http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international .
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