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McClellan Says He Never Heard of Maher Arar

Unbelieveable. Literally. Think Progress reports Press Secretary Scott McClellan today said he never heard of the U.S. sending detainees to Syria. When told it had been well-publicized, he asked, "by who, bloggers?"

Are we supposed to believe that McClelland never heard of the lawsuit filed against Attorney General Ashcroft and others over Maher's seizure at JFK, extraordinary rendition to Syria and alleged torture? The Toronto Star reported that the U.S. tried to have the lawsuit dismissed claiming the litigation would jeopardize national security. Here's the Justice Department's brief, filed in the lawsuit. (Via Democracy Now.)

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  • Re: McClellan Says He Never Heard of Maher Arar (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:22:39 PM EST
    I don't see anything unbelievable about the Press Secretary, whose main job appears to be to deliver press releases, being out of touch about something going on in the administration. The snide jab at bloggers isn't appreciated, of course. A gentleman would have said something on the order of "It's a big country and I'm not really familiar with the situation your discussing. There are always a great many people who have made allegations of wrongdoing, of which I'm not familiar off the cuff. I'll have my look into the matter so that I can respond in some fashion to your question next time."

    Re: McClellan Says He Never Heard of Maher Arar (none / 0) (#2)
    by desertswine on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:55:59 PM EST
    McClellan is, of course, paid to lie with a straight face.

    Re: McClellan Says He Never Heard of Maher Arar (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:01:40 PM EST
    The think progress article also links to this whitehouse press briefing of 02/28/2005, during which McClellan was also asked about the issue of prisoners being sent to Syria for torture:
    Q Has the President ever issued an order against torture of prisoners? And do we still send prisoners to Syria to be tortured? MR. McCLELLAN: The President has stated publicly that we do not condone torture and that he would never authorize the use of torture.
    So it's not like he's never heard of the issue before.

    Re: McClellan Says He Never Heard of Maher Arar (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:07:42 PM EST
    I'm surpirised the guy remembers his own name, it gets very confusing when you reside in a web of lies.

    Re: McClellan Says He Never Heard of Maher Arar (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:08:44 PM EST
    And cut the guy some slack, we have been party to the torture of so many people, you can't expect him to remember them all.

    Re: McClellan Says He Never Heard of Maher Arar (none / 0) (#6)
    by Sailor on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:45:54 PM EST
    Ahh, yes, they are shocked, shocked that gambling (interests) are going on here. BTW, scotty, here are your winnings.
    On Wednesday, McClellan called Abramoff’s actions “outrageous” and reiterated to reporters that Bush was not friends with the lobbyist and does not recall ever meeting him
    but ...
    In 2001, Bush tapped the lobbyist as a member of his Presidential Transition Team, advising the administration on policy and hiring at the Interior Department, which oversees Native American issues. Abramoff’s former top aide, Susan Ralston, currently serves as the top aide to Karl Rove, one of the president’s closest political advisers.
    scotty, like his boss, is a liar. someone raises $300k for you, is part of your transition team and suddenly you can't recall his name ... I bet kenny boy knows just how jack feels.

    Re: McClellan Says He Never Heard of Maher Arar (none / 0) (#7)
    by cpinva on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:50:04 PM EST
    guys, i think you're being overly harsh. how could he possibly have a clue? they only take him out of his box for press conferences. geez!

    Re: McClellan Says He Never Heard of Maher Arar (none / 0) (#8)
    by Steven Sanderson on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 04:51:34 PM EST
    The questions about the U.S. sending prisoners to Syria for torture were asked by Helen Thomas, the only journalist at the W.H. Daily Press Briefings who tries day in and day out to get answers to questions the administration would rather see swept under the rug.

    Re: McClellan Says He Never Heard of Maher Arar (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 07:21:06 PM EST
    ohwilleke wrote:
    The snide jab at bloggers isn't appreciated, of course. A gentleman would have said something on the order of "It's a big country and I'm not really familiar with the situation your discussing.
    After reading your comment and the thread on the "flooding" of the Presidental Library I must say that there is a very short supply of gentlemen.

    Re: McClellan Says He Never Heard of Maher Arar (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 06:26:52 AM EST
    I must say that there is a very short supply of gentlemen. Yes, that didn't change with your reply, which was OT, BTW, et al.

    Re: McClellan Says He Never Heard of Maher Arar (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 06:54:03 AM EST
    Dark Avenger - I see that you do not understand irony. Oh well, to each their own.

    Re: McClellan Says He Never Heard of Maher Arar (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 10:01:27 AM EST
    PPJ, as I read DA's post, he was in fact making an ironic observation, namely that you were the pot calling the kettle black. Maybe you did not understand this?

    Re: McClellan Says He Never Heard of Maher Arar (none / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 10:34:29 AM EST
    Cymro - I think that you didn't understand that I understood that he didn't understand. Let me explain it. Directly above we had a thread with all sorts of jolly attacks by the Left on Bush. No problem with that. All's fair in love, war and politics... Then we have a comment talking about gentlemen... Well, duhhhh. I should have just noted that the concept as stated was hypocritical. No fun if you have to explain'em. Hope that makes you happy.

    Re: McClellan Says He Never Heard of Maher Arar (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 05:13:34 PM EST
    Maybe you did not understand this Of course, only someone who isn't a gentleman obsesses about where 'gentlemen' can and cannot be found.