Last Night's Non-Answer Photo Op

Last night I watched my daughter’s favorite new show, “Lie to Me,” on Fox, which meant I missed “Lie to America” showing on the other networks at the same time. I caught most of last night’s press conference posing as a self-congratulatory photo op later on the cable channels though, and I probably should have called it “Confuse the Heck Out of America with Non-Answers” instead. I particularly liked Lee Cary’s description of Obama’s convoluted answer about the use of enhanced interrogation techniques at American Thinker.

4. To what lengths will the President go to keep Americans safe from another terrorist attack? Here’s the key language that addressed that.

Q…And if part of the United States were under imminent threat, could you envision yourself ever authorizing the use of those enhanced interrogation techniques?

A…ultimately I will be judged as commander in chief on how safe I’m keeping the American people. That’s the responsibility I wake up with and it’s the responsibility I go to sleep with. And so I will do whatever is required to keep the American people safe. But I am absolutely convinced that the best way I can do that is to make sure that we are not taking short cuts that undermine who we are. And there have been no circumstances during the course of this first 100 days in which I have seen information that would make me second guess the decision that I have made. OK?

Let’s see if we heard his answer, or non-answer, correctly.

The President will do whatever is required to protect us except authorize the enhanced interrogation techniques that the previous administration used that yielded information that kept Americans safe but were an unnecessary “short cut” to gaining information that could have been gained through other means.

It’s not all my fault if that last sentence is hard to follow. It’s an inherently circuitous lawyerly route to saying, “It won’t be necessary for me to use those techniques to keep us safe. Why? Because I said so.”

Update: Mary Katharine has a great roundup report on the presser. And for some funny commentary, check out Jim Treacher (” Thanks, Mr. President, for interrupting primetime to tell me to wash my hands. Hey, has the government taken over Unilever yet?”) and Allah Pundit’s Twitter pages:

# Did President Tool really not apologize to NYC for Scare Force One? I thought for sure that’d be his opening statement.

#”How about a simple, “Hey, sorry for momentarily making you think you might have to jump out of skyscrapers again?” Too much to ask?”

# “Hey, sorry for scaring the shit out of eight million people. My bad.” Something like that.

# “Hey, sorry for using Air Force One to re-create 9/11. Mix-up at the office.” Good enough!

# If I’d been in Manhattan the other day, I totally would have barfed from fear but then forgiven him when he said he was furious or whatever
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