THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. I appreciate the fact that the United States Senate is going to take up the free trade agreement with Peru today. This agreement will level the playing field for American goods and services. It will create new opportunities for investment. It will strengthen our friendship with a fellow democracy. The House of Representatives has passed this bill; I congratulate the House leadership. And I certainly hope the Senate will pass it, as well. This will be a very positive step.
But Congress still has a lot to do, and doesn't have very much time to do it.
[And neither do I.]
Congress expects Americans to pay their taxes on time, and the least the Congress can do is make sure Americans get their refunds on time.
Americans also expect their tax dollars to be spent wisely.
[But don't use my administration as an example.]
The holidays are approaching and the clock is ticking for the United States Congress.
[You might call it a ticking time bomb.]
Based on the record so far, Americans could be forgiven for thinking that Santa will have slipped down their chimney on Christmas Eve before Congress finishes its work.
[My Iraq war gave you the slip when I shoved it down your chimneys.]
Mr. President, a new intelligence report says that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program four years ago, and that it remains frozen. Are you still convinced that Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb? And do the new findings take the military option that you've talked about off the table?
I think it is very important for the international community to recognize the fact that if Iran were to develop the knowledge that they could transfer to a clandestine program it would create a danger for the world.
[Just as the Internets transfer this information and it's a danger for the world.]
The best diplomacy, effective diplomacy, is one of which all options are on the table.
[Options that include Shock and Awe and Pre-emptive bombing.]
Mr. President, Iraq's WMD turned out not to be there, and now Iran halted its nuclear program in 2003. Are you concerned that the United States is losing credibility in the world, and now may be seen as the boy who cries -- who called wolf?
THE PRESIDENT: Actually, I am
I want to compliment the intelligence community for their good work.
[Except for 9/11].
Right after the failure of intelligence in Iraq [But its successful fabrication], we reformed the intel community so that there was a lot of serious considerations of NIEs in a way that would give us confidence
[And more cover for future cover-ups].
One of the reasons why this is out in the public arena is because I wanted -- and our administration believed that, one, it was important for people to know the facts as we see them.
[And the facts as we need them to be seen.]
Mr. President, when you talked about Iraq, you and others in the administration talked about a mushroom cloud; then there were no WMD in Iraq.
When it came to Iran, you said in October, on October 17th, you warned about the prospect of World War III, when months before you made that statement, this intelligence about them suspending their weapons program back in '03 had already come to light to this administration. So can't you be accused of hyping this threat? And don't you worry that that undermines U.S. credibility?
THE PRESIDENT: David, I don't want to contradict an august reporter such as yourself, but I was made aware of the NIE last week.
[Butter him up first before I lambast his credibility and then baste 'em with my own lies.]
In August, I think it was [I do think sometimes] Mike McConnell came in and said, we have some new information. He didn't tell me what the information was; he did tell me it was going to take a while to analyze. Why would you take time to analyze new information?
[To give me time to talk about WWIII.]
One, you want to make sure it's not disinformation. You want to make sure the piece of intelligence you have is real. And secondly, they want to make sure they understand the intelligence they gathered: If they think it's real, then what does it mean? And it wasn't until last week that I was briefed on the NIE that is now public.
[I wonder who really believes me anymore?]
And the second part of your question has to do with this. Look, Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.
[It's like a quote that says that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.]
And the best way to ensure that the world is peaceful in the future is for the international community to continue to work together to say to the Iranians, we're going to isolate you.
[And then bomb the hell out of you.]
Now, the Iranians -- the most difficult aspect of developing a weapons program, or as some would say, the long pole in the tent, is enriching uranium.
[I hate that word poll...long or short.]
Mr. Bush, how can you say nothing has changed? You may see it this way, but the rest of the world is going to see the lead as the fact that the nuclear weapons program was halted in 2003.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
[But I don't give a damn about what the rest of the world sees.]
When you first saw this, weren't you angry? You didn't know about Syria. In 2005, you had the same assessment, "with high confidence that Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons." And now, quite the opposite. How can you possibly think the rest of the world is going to continue -- to the degree it did -- to rally around you and your intelligence?
THE PRESIDENT: Because many in the world understand that if Iran developed a nuclear weapon, the world would be a very dangerous place.
[But the world is not a dangerous place when peaceful and freedom-loving democracies like ours, Great Britain and Israel develop nuclear weapons.]
And I think this is a -- it's a -- to me, it's a way for us to continue to rally our partners. That's why I'm working the phones and Condi Rice is working the phones.
I'm having such a good time, I forgot what passed.
[Was it gas?]
Thank you very much.
IT'S THE OIL STUPID!
"Our badly misguided foreign policy has already driven this country's economy to the brink of bankruptcy with one war based on misinformation. It is unthinkable that despite the lack of any evidence of a threat, some are still charging headstrong into yet another war in the Middle East when what we ought to be doing is coming home from Iraq, coming home from Korea, coming home from Germany, and defending our own soil. We do not need to be interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and waging war when honest trade, friendship, and diplomacy are the true paths to peace and prosperity."
Rep. Ron Paul