Probably one of the most scary features of the White House's training of its aides and officers deals with the programming of reactions to the highly sensitive area of news releases and personal appearances in talk shows, interviews, in depth sessions on policy and gossip in general.
It appears that a number of techniques are drilled into the loyal employees who, after a brief period, are in a position to answer any question with a non-answer. The non-answer is now a powerful tool that can neutralize with a minimum of effort, the most compromising questions and structure those inquiries that ordinarily would have elicit an honest answer. I have been wondering if the Bush White House has set up – secret of course – a special school designed to transform normal-speaking employees into mechanized units that can spit out what they consider adequate answers to any question that is asked of them. If you do not believe me, ask Tim Russert or Blitzing Wolff.
They were kind enough to provide the following examples
Question: In view of the forthcoming report on Iraq from the Study Groupaired by James Baker IV is there a possibility that some changes will be made in the strategy now followed in Iraq?
Answer: We are looking at the matter in the context of analyzing available solutions that conform to those policies followed to date. We are in the process of evaluating appropriate alternatives in order to put into effect a policy that will meet the demands of our commanders and lead us to victory.
Question: Fine, but are there new ideas proposed, new plans? How has ex-Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's memorandum influenced present thinking in the Administration?
Answer: Yes, adequate solutions are being reviewed in order to put into effect a policy that will meet the demands of the Administration. Secretary Rumsfeld's comments have been taken into account and will be considered in the formulation of modified strategies for victory.
Question: How about those changes that suggest a gradual deployment of our troops in the overall strategy?
Answer: As I indicated earlier the matter of substantive reviews of our policies are considered on a 24 hour basis. Our main concern, you will appreciate, has to do with continuing the process that will enable us to evaluate some solutions that can be adequately adapted to solve current problems.
Question: You probably did not hear me. Is there any discussion about possible changes and if so, what are they? '
Answer: Certainly, we are evaluating and studying the problem as we wish to adopt those policies that agree with the stated objectives of the Administration.
Question: Is it true that your wife is expecting twins?
Answer: Certainly, the wife and I are evaluating and studying the problem as we wish to adopt those measures that agree with the stated objectives of our family!
Question: Did you know that your fly is open?