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Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged

scottyz

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WASHINGTON - It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions
President Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in
Iraq and Saturday's vote on a new Iraqi constitution.

Barber said the president was interested in three topics: the overall security situation in Iraq, security preparations for the weekend vote and efforts to train Iraqi troops.
A brief rehearsal ensued.

"OK, so let's just walk through this," Barber said. "Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?"

"Captain Smith," Kennedy said.

"Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?" she asked.

"Captain Kennedy," the soldier replied.

And so it went.

"If the question comes up about partnering — how often do we train with the Iraqi military — who does he go to?" Barber asked.

"That's going to go to Captain Pratt," one of the soldiers said.

"And then if we're going to talk a little bit about the folks in Tikrit — the hometown — and how they're handling the political process, who are we going to give that to?" she asked.

Before he took questions, Bush thanked the soldiers for serving and reassured them that the U.S. would not pull out of Iraq until the mission was complete.

"So long as I'm the president, we're never going to back down, we're never going to give in, we'll never accept anything less than total victory," Bush said.

The president told them twice that the American people were behind them.

"You've got tremendous support here at home," Bush said.

Less than 40 percent in an AP-Ipsos poll taken in October said they approved of the way Bush was handling Iraq. Just over half of the public now say the Iraq war was a mistake.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Thursday's event was coordinated with the Defense Department but that the troops were expressing their own thoughts. With satellite feeds, coordination often is needed to overcome technological challenges, such as delays, he said.

"I think all they were doing was talking to the troops and letting them know what to expect," he said, adding that the president wanted to talk with troops on the ground who have firsthand knowledge about the situation.

The soldiers all gave Bush an upbeat view of the situation.

The president also got praise from the Iraqi soldier who was part of the chat.

"Thank you very much for everything," he gushed. "I like you."
On preparations for the vote, 1st Lt. Gregg Murphy of Tennessee said: "Sir, we are prepared to do whatever it takes to make this thing a success. ... Back in January, when we were preparing for that election, we had to lead the way. We set up the coordination, we made the plan. We're really happy to see, during the preparation for this one, sir, they're doing everything."

On the training of Iraqi security forces, Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo from Scotia, N.Y., said to Bush: "I can tell you over the past 10 months, we've seen a tremendous increase in the capabilities and the confidences of our Iraqi security force partners. ... Over the next month, we anticipate seeing at least one-third of those Iraqi forces conducting independent operations."

Lombardo told the president that she was in New York City on Nov. 11, 2001, when Bush attended an event recognizing soldiers for their recovery and rescue efforts at Ground Zero. She said the troops began the fight against terrorism in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and were proud to continue it in Iraq.

"I thought you looked familiar," Bush said, and then joked: "I probably look familiar to you, too."

Paul Rieckhoff, director of the New York-based Operation Truth, an advocacy group for U.S. veterans of Iraq and
Afghanistan, denounced the event as a "carefully scripted publicity stunt." Five of the 10 U.S. troops involved were officers, he said.

"If he wants the real opinions of the troops, he can't do it in a nationally televised teleconference," Rieckhoff said. "He needs to be talking to the boots on the ground and that's not a bunch of captains."
Interesting...
 

democraticandidate

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I read about the staged military "talk" as well, I couldn't agree more with you. When I was in junior high, Dan Quayle came to visit a neighboring high school. We were loaded onto a bus and transported over to the other school's gymnasium, where some lady worked with us on clapping and yelling very loudly for him about five times. Of course it worked like a charm and the media reported that he got a rousing ovation.:roll: With that being said, I'd wager that both parties to an extent do this kind of thing. I know that LBJ would eat and stroll around a group of soldiers. Then again, the military members are a respectful bunch and will not share their views with a senator or other politician they don't like out of respect and desire to not bring anything bad down upon their own heads.
 

GarzaUK

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Of course its staged, every political speech in the US is staged. In all of Bush's public displays and speeches, the public are screened before hand. That's why the most unpopular President in decades never gets booed. The Democrats do it too, recently British political parties are doing that too.

In a Labour Party conference a few weeks ago, a physically ill 83 year old man was dragged off and detained under the terrorism act for shouting "nonsense" to the foreign secretary on his speech about Iraq.

Is this the freedom we're defending? lol
 

Stinger

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>>A brief rehearsal ensued.

"OK, so let's just walk through this," Barber said. "Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?"

"Captain Smith," Kennedy said.

"Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?" she asked.

"Captain Kennedy," the soldier replied.

And so it went.

"If the question comes up about partnering — how often do we train with the Iraqi military — who does he go to?" Barber asked.

"That's going to go to Captain Pratt," one of the soldiers said.

"And then if we're going to talk a little bit about the folks in Tikrit — the hometown — and how they're handling the political process, who are we going to give that to?" she asked.<<

OK what is the problem here. They are about to do a conference with the participants being half-way around the world from each other, where they can't actually see each other so they go over who will speak first, where the mike will go next and who is handling which subjects. No where in what you posted or what I saw on TV was anyone coached on the substance of their response. So what exactly are you trying to say?
 

wxcrazytwo

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The whole Bush Presidency was staged. This is a freaking ruse, and I am ashamed to be an American under Bush.
 

JOHNYJ

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President Bush is afraid of the American people.That is not a secret,his public ppearances are all staged.Only Pro-Bush people are allowed any where near them.Which I personaly believe it violates the Freedom of Assembly clause of the Constitution.Why the ACLU doesn't go after hm for that I don't understand.
AS I said President Bush will not appear befor unscreened crowds.
 

danarhea

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Stinger said:
>>A brief rehearsal ensued.

"OK, so let's just walk through this," Barber said. "Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?"

"Captain Smith," Kennedy said.

"Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?" she asked.

"Captain Kennedy," the soldier replied.

And so it went.

"If the question comes up about partnering — how often do we train with the Iraqi military — who does he go to?" Barber asked.

"That's going to go to Captain Pratt," one of the soldiers said.

"And then if we're going to talk a little bit about the folks in Tikrit — the hometown — and how they're handling the political process, who are we going to give that to?" she asked.<<

OK what is the problem here. They are about to do a conference with the participants being half-way around the world from each other, where they can't actually see each other so they go over who will speak first, where the mike will go next and who is handling which subjects. No where in what you posted or what I saw on TV was anyone coached on the substance of their response. So what exactly are you trying to say?
From the portion of the news item you yourself posted, the teleconference certainly looks scripted to me. It doesnt take a genius to see that if they are determining which Captain gets the mike at each question, then the question is already known in advance. If the question is already known before it is asked, and the Captain who answers is already known in advance, then it stands to reason that the answers to the questions have been rehearsed. That is just Plain and Simple Logic 101. And whats this about all the Captains? What about the boots on the ground?

Finally, if everything is going so great in Iraq, and Iraq is such a moral war, why script and stage the teleconference? You would think that if the war was going Bush's way, as he claims, he would not need to do the propaganda piece.
 
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cnredd

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danarhea said:
From the portion of the news item you yourself posted, the teleconference certainly looks scripted to me. It doesnt take a genius to see that if they are determining which Captain gets the mike at each question, then the question is already known in advance. If the question is already known before it is asked, and the Captain who answers is already known in advance, then it stands to reason that the answers to the questions have been rehearsed. That is just Plain and Simple Logic 101. And whats this about all the Captains? What about the boots on the ground?

Finally, if everything is going so great in Iraq, and Iraq is such a moral war, why script and stage the teleconference? You would think that if the war was going Bush's way, as he claims, he would not need to do the propaganda piece.
If you were the President how would you feel if another "Kanye West" was on the panel?
 

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I am just shocked that so many are willing to believe these brave, honorable men and women would just go along with a staged interview. I mean for cris sake, give these people a little credit, they are certainly not stupid, now you think they can be convinced to lie? Wake up people, once again the media has you by the short curly ones, and you look stupid as usual, God bless America indeed!:roll:
 

JOHNYJ

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President Bush got general franks to invade Iraq without the equipment his troops needed and in many cases still don't have.He got Collin Powell to go against his own written advice. To support an in vasion and occupation of Iraq "withou overwhelming force.
He has gotton several generals to keep parroting the phrase " we have enouh troops " when an idiot could tell they didn't.
So, would a few jumior officers and noncoms make a propaganda video with President Bush, hell yes !
 

Deegan

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JOHNYJ said:
President Bush got general franks to invade Iraq without the equipment his troops needed and in many cases still don't have.He got Collin Powell to go against his own written advice. To support an in vasion and occupation of Iraq "withou overwhelming force.
He has gotton several generals to keep parroting the phrase " we have enouh troops " when an idiot could tell they didn't.
So, would a few jumior officers and noncoms make a propaganda video with President Bush, hell yes !
This is exactly what I'm talking about, perfect example, thank you sir.;)

Some Generals thought we had enough troops, some did not, and voiced that opinion. We are the best equiped force on the planet, and no one expected the amount of I.E.D's we would soon face, but factories worked night and day to get them that equipment, another lie the media has you believing, hook, line, and sinker.
 

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Deegan said:
This is exactly what I'm talking about, perfect example, thank you sir.;)

Some Generals thought we had enough troops, some did not, and voiced that opinion. We are the best equiped force on the planet, and no one expected the amount of I.E.D's we would soon face, but factories worked night and day to get them that equipment, another lie the media has you believing, hook, line, and sinker.
Yes, the military types I know will follow a direct order from a higher up to keep their mouths shut when appropriate, but nobody is going to tell them what to say about what they think about anything.

I personally think staged events are pretty dumb because they fool only the most gullible, but it is naive to think this is a Bush phenomenon. Every president in my memory has done this--Bill Clinton to the extreme.

What is stunning is the way the media treats these things. As Deegan points out, the media could have given the whole picture re troop strength, equipment, strategy, etc., but most of the MSM buries the whole picture underneath a plethora of facts worded to make the administration look bad. The administration has made enough mistakes in some areas to look bad if the media had reported honestly, but the way it has been done has distorted the truth about many things leaving erroneous impressions with the public.

The media gleefully reports the advance teams preparations for the arrival of a President Bush. They did not report such efforts of advance teams in advance of a President Clinton visit, however. I know for a fact that such preparations were done in advance of Clinton appearances, however, both from reading the 'underground' stuff and witnessing it happening on a visit here in in New Mexico. Hecklers are minimized or shut out altogether. The impression of adoring crowds is engineered.

But media types are mostly card-carrying Democrats and Clinton was their guy. They wanted him to look good and to succeed. Bush isn't, and reporting of his activities is therefore treated quite differently. So they show that Bush's crowds are 'engineered' while they didn't do that with Bill Clinton.
 

gordontravels

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scottyz said:
Interesting...
Actually, for those who want to comment against the President in this thread, this original post is the only one I could consider intelligent, even though it may be from bias as well. Before condeming me, please read my explanation:

I am a former member of the American media in both radio and television. I took courses related to the field in college and worked on 4 radio and 3 television stations. I have some expertise in the presentation of a live remote event.

This live remote event between the President and the troops was definitely staged but I have watched the clips and read the entire transcript provided and it definitely wasn't rehearsed. I won't bore you but just go to dictionary.com and look up staged (preparing for presentation) and rehearshed (preparation from a script). You have to stage a live event because of time constraints of either television or satellite time and so the passing of the microphone can go smoothly and not waste time. Nowhere in this event was anyone told what to say and in fact, the troops were given standard information any producer for a Republican or Democrat would provide.

Some here insist on complaining that these are "Captains" and not the "boots on the ground". Please understand that the rank of Captain is the grade that takes his men into battle. He is the Squad or Company Commander on the scene; in the fighting and usually up front. These men were all combat veterans and to think that they somehow are sitting in a resort while the "boots on the ground" are doing the fighting is ill informed at best. My Captain was killed in front of my eyes and it wasn't in a tent. If Captain Mata was alive today he would second my understanding that these "Captains" spoke their mind and to think they would lie for President Bush is sick and twisted at best. Don't like that assessment? How about spin?

Did some of you who cry "coached and staged" with your definition that the Administration put words in these men's mouths and got them to lie actually read even what is posted at the beginning of this thread? "Who will answer a question on Tikrit?" "Who will answer a question on how we train with the Iraqi Military?" This is scripted? Where do any of you who believe this get your information on how scripting works? You are dead wrong just as some of these "Captains" may be dead for a democratic country in the Middle East.

Eat what the media feeds you because it is edible. It is not necessarily organic but of course after the polish of the "scandal" wears off the media will leave it for more fertile administration and troop bashing ground which some here relish and this story will then decompose and return to the nowhere that it came from. Our media has no shame when it comes to making this a story that isn't while our troops sit there in front of our eyes putting their lives on the line daily.

The Iraqi soldier is said to be "gushing" to the President. He says, as quoted from the opening article in this thread, "Thank you very much for everything," he gushed. "I like you." On Keith Olberman's "Countdown" on MSNBC, Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank mimicks the Iraqi soldier while greeting Olberman, even mocking his accent (imagine if a conservative did that) saying, "I just want to say thank you, Mr. Olbermann. I like you's, I like anything."

For those of you that don't understand what you read I have sympathy for a mind wasted. For those of you that seek a purely partisan foothold at the expense of our Administration and troops who, of course, lie for the President while working and maybe losing their lives to guarantee democracy, I expect you to be that way - politics trump don't they? For those who simply look at this story for what it is, the media has their own agenda and the words positive, good or thank you are again missing in action.
:duel :cool:
 

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gordontravels said:
Actually, for those who want to comment against the President in this thread, this original post is the only one I could consider intelligent, even though it may be from bias as well. Before condeming me, please read my explanation:

I am a former member of the American media in both radio and television. I took courses related to the field in college and worked on 4 radio and 3 television stations. I have some expertise in the presentation of a live remote event.

This live remote event between the President and the troops was definitely staged but I have watched the clips and read the entire transcript provided and it definitely wasn't rehearsed. I won't bore you but just go to dictionary.com and look up staged (preparing for presentation) and rehearshed (preparation from a script). You have to stage a live event because of time constraints of either television or satellite time and so the passing of the microphone can go smoothly and not waste time. Nowhere in this event was anyone told what to say and in fact, the troops were given standard information any producer for a Republican or Democrat would provide.

Some here insist on complaining that these are "Captains" and not the "boots on the ground". Please understand that the rank of Captain is the grade that takes his men into battle. He is the Squad or Company Commander on the scene; in the fighting and usually up front. These men were all combat veterans and to think that they somehow are sitting in a resort while the "boots on the ground" are doing the fighting is ill informed at best. My Captain was killed in front of my eyes and it wasn't in a tent. If Captain Mata was alive today he would second my understanding that these "Captains" spoke their mind and to think they would lie for President Bush is sick and twisted at best. Don't like that assessment? How about spin?

Did some of you who cry "coached and staged" with your definition that the Administration put words in these men's mouths and got them to lie actually read even what is posted at the beginning of this thread? "Who will answer a question on Tikrit?" "Who will answer a question on how we train with the Iraqi Military?" This is scripted? Where do any of you who believe this get your information on how scripting works? You are dead wrong just as some of these "Captains" may be dead for a democratic country in the Middle East.

Eat what the media feeds you because it is edible. It is not necessarily organic but of course after the polish of the "scandal" wears off the media will leave it for more fertile administration and troop bashing ground which some here relish and this story will then decompose and return to the nowhere that it came from. Our media has no shame when it comes to making this a story that isn't while our troops sit there in front of our eyes putting their lives on the line daily.

The Iraqi soldier is said to be "gushing" to the President. He says, as quoted from the opening article in this thread, "Thank you very much for everything," he gushed. "I like you." On Keith Olberman's "Countdown" on MSNBC, Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank mimicks the Iraqi soldier while greeting Olberman, even mocking his accent (imagine if a conservative did that) saying, "I just want to say thank you, Mr. Olbermann. I like you's, I like anything."

For those of you that don't understand what you read I have sympathy for a mind wasted. For those of you that seek a purely partisan foothold at the expense of our Administration and troops who, of course, lie for the President while working and maybe losing their lives to guarantee democracy, I expect you to be that way - politics trump don't they? For those who simply look at this story for what it is, the media has their own agenda and the words positive, good or thank you are again missing in action.
:duel :cool:
Very well said GT. I also was a media type trained in the old school. The modern day media would have been illegal back then, not to mention a huge embarrassment to the profession.
 

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cnredd said:
If you were the President how would you feel if another "Kanye West" was on the panel?
A President should be able to handle someone like Kanye West. The fact that Bush doesn't want to be questioned and needs to stage these events to get the results he wants is disturbing.
 

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And I guess it was just as equally disturbing when Clinton and every other president before him did it too?
 

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FinnMacCool said:
Its just politics, man, politics. Its stupid but there you have it.
No it is not "it". It is us. We are politics and we allow politics and we support politics. As long as we stand on one side or the other without forcing the two sides to the middle then we deserve any title we constantly give each other. I say we are self-absorbed victims of a system we see. Never run from an animal that can eat you. :duel :cool:
 

scottyz

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SixStringHero said:
And I guess it was just as equally disturbing when Clinton and every other president before him did it too?
Clinton staged pep rallies but I don't recall he ever staged talks with the troops during war time. Clinton was definitely a more open President. I love how Clinton is dragged into everything even though he isn't President. :lol:
 

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Clinton isn't dragged into anything. It was the media dragged into it and pointed to as having a major double standard. They try to make Bush's events somehow different.

And of course Clinton 'staged' his media affairs too--I mentioned one I observed personally. That doesn't mean he is bad. And it doesn't mean that Bush is bad either. If they didn't do it, they would never get their press conference or photo op or whatever they are doing compressed into a time frame that the media will use.

Being a dedicated 'student' of these kinds of phenomena, I can assure you that many many photo ops for Clinton were completely staged. And just like a rock concert, it is customary to have some kind of warm up to get the crowd going before the main event. This is the reality of politics and it has been that way for a very long time.

Again, the fact that the meeting was 'staged' to be media friendly does not extrapolate into the participants being 'coached' or instructed in what to say in any way.
 

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scottyz said:
Clinton staged pep rallies but I don't recall he ever staged talks with the troops during war time. Clinton was definitely a more open President. I love how Clinton is dragged into everything even though he isn't President. :lol:
Don't feel alone. I also love how Johnson, Nixon, ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush One and Clinton are dragged into everything even though they aren't President. Wonder if you saw the Washington Post article earlier this week that blames Reagan for the lack of equipment for our troops in Iraq; some journalists should just forget.

You can bet that any President from Clinton to Bush to the next 10 will always have front people out there before the camera goes on. Yes, this one was staged but it wasn't rehearsed and that is the difference between those who don't like the President an those who do. Nothing more.

Our media has a nut to crack. Can't you hear them tapping?
:duel :cool:
 

MSgt

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SCREW ALL OF YOU!!!!!!.....is what I would expect you to think is my response, but the truth is when this sort of thing occurs (televised or not) the questions being asked go through an approval process. The Chain of Command will approve questions and then the "powers that be" will approve them for the President. I'm sure that in a case like this it was a collaboration between the President and his troops to inform the American public of happenings and occurrences. It's nothing shady or crooked. However "staged" it might have felt (We in my shop could also see this), it was sincere, which was the point of the interview. This had nothing to do with talking to the troops, as it was for informing the public with the help of troops.
 
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