Wednesday, May 01, 2002

It's amazing how often the "anti-Clinton" administration uses either the "Clinton did it too" or the "It was Clinton's policy" defense of their various bumblings:

Helen gets Ari to do it once again today:

HELEN THOMAS: What is the President's rational for invading Iraq? I've been reading stories every day of preparations, no set plan yet I admit, but anyway,
all of the senior administration officials talk all the time, including the President, about a change of regime. What is the rational for that?

MR. FLEISCHER: Well, Helen, the President does believe that the people of Iraq, as well as the region, would be better off without Saddam Hussein in charge
of Iraq.

HELEN THOMAS: A lot of people would be better off in a lot of places.

MR. FLEISCHER: Can I continue? And if you recall, Helen, the Congress passed last year -- or in a previous administration -- legislation that made regime
change the official policy of the government. And that was signed into law by President Clinton. So President Bush is continuing --

HELEN THOMAS: What law was that?

MR. FLEISCHER: It's called the Iraqi Liberation Act, signed -- passed by --

HELEN THOMAS: Did it say we were going to overturn --

MR. FLEISCHER: -- passed by the House and the Senate, signed into law by President Clinton. Regime change, in whatever form it takes, is the policy of the
United States government, under President Clinton, continued under President Bush.

HELEN THOMAS: So what is President Bush's rationale for that?

MR. FLEISCHER: As I indicated, that the President believes that the people of Iraq, as well as the region, will be more peaceful, better off without Saddam
Hussein in charge of Iraq, given the fact that Saddam Hussein has invaded two of his neighbors.

HELEN THOMAS: That's not a reason. There are a lot of people all over the world --

MR. FLEISCHER: Helen, if you were the President, you could have vetoed the law. (Laughter.) President Clinton signed it, and the President will keep it

HELEN THOMAS: That's not an answer, either.

MR. FLEISCHER: Campbell.