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StateSide:Policy
Blunder
Not So "Anonymous" Official Snipes Back at Pe
White House Press Office Transcript Leaves Cheney "On Background"
By CHRISTINA DAVIDSON 02/28/2007 11:15 AM ET
Ian Waldie/Getty

Last night, the White House press office issued a release labeled "Interview of a Senior Administration Official by the Traveling Press Aboard Air Force Two en Route Muscat, Oman."

According to the transcript, among other things this "anonymous" senior official told the press corps:

"My point was that if we follow what I believe Speaker Pelosi really wants to do in terms of withdraw, that that would validate the al Qaeda strategy. I was very careful in those words I selected. I didn't say 'give aid and comfort to terrorists.' I didn't say 'unpatriotic.' I said it would validate the al Qaeda strategy."

It's not clear why the White House press office decided to make Cheney's comments available to the press strictly "on background," and even less clear why they even bothered, since the only obvious thing about this episode is the identity of the "senior Administration official."

The attempt to mask his identity becomes even more ludicrous when compared to Cheney's officially-released comments.

The "senior official" answered questions from 3:07 to 3:25, based on the timestamp on the transcript. The Q&A goes on uninterrupted until a spot near the end where **** indicates a section has been removed.

Coincidentally, the White House transcript of the Vice-President's "Remarks to the Traveling Press" run from 3:19 to 3:22, and correspond nicely to the content gap in the interview with the "anonymous" official.

I couldn't find the transcript of the "senior official's" interview on the White House site, so I've posted the full press release here.

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