A supposedly funny thing...

News & Politics

Ever hear an alledegly amusing story second-hand and find it completely...well...not funny? You just had to be there the narrator will insist. This morning, President Bush addressed students at Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies where he shared some of his wisdom on our real challenge in Iraq: "The advance of democracy is the terrorists' greatest fear. That's an interesting question, isn't it -- why would they fear democracy?"

I imagine that was a rhetorical question -- but the Q&A session following the vacuous speech might just provide the answer: If democracy means an elected official can publicly proclaim his ignorance and be met with what sounds like the kind of laugh track that accompanies mind-numbing sitcoms, we should all be scared stupid of it.

Q: Thank you, Mr. President. It's an honor to have you here. I'm a first-year student in South Asia studies. My question is in regards to private military contractors. Uniform Code of Military Justice does not apply to these contractors in Iraq. I asked your Secretary of Defense a couple months ago what law governs their actions.

THE PRESIDENT: I was going to ask him. Go ahead. (Laughter.) Help. (Laughter.)

Q: I was hoping your answer might be a little more specific. (Laughter.) Mr. Rumsfeld answered that Iraq has its own domestic laws which he assumed applied to those private military contractors. However, Iraq is clearly not currently capable of enforcing its laws, much less against -- over our American military contractors. I would submit to you that in this case, this is one case that privatization is not a solution. And, Mr. President, how do you propose to bring private military contractors under a system of law?

THE PRESIDENT: I appreciate that very much. I wasn't kidding -- (laughter.) I was going to -- I pick up the phone and say, Mr. Secretary, I've got an interesting question. (Laughter.) This is what delegation -- I don't mean to be dodging the question, although it's kind of convenient in this case, but never -- (laughter.) I really will -- I'm going to call the Secretary and say you brought up a very valid question, and what are we doing about it? That's how I work. I'm -- thanks. (Laughter.)

Yes, ma'am.

Watch the video.

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