Was Bush’s Team Making Fun of Saudi King’s Night Habits on the Eve of the Bush-Abdullah Meeting?

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bush abdullah twn.jpg
This was strange exchange between a “senior administration official” traveling with President Bush in the Middle East and a journalist today in the United Arab Emirates at the Emirates Palace Hotel.
I’m not completely sure, but the exchange seems to be asking the press “not to put something out” that involves the details of a new arms package that President Bush will announce tomorrow in Saudi Arabia. Or it may be that the “senior administration official” (who I assume is someone like Stephen Hadley) does not want something out in the media before the White House formally notifies the Congress. But the cryptic short-hand makes the true meaning murky.
But then there is a giggling exchange between the official and the press about the start time for the official meeting between Bush and Saudi King Abdullah.
Again, I’m not sure — but the exchange and comments from the “senior official” seem to undiplomatically poke fun at the Saudi King’s late night habits.
Maybe this is just nothing, but if I were the Saudi King’s chief-of-staff, I’d really want to know what the “senior administration official” was trying to telegraph with this exchange on the eve of an important meeting between President Bush and King Abdullah.
Here is the clip:

Q I checked the — I was confused about the Saudi arms sales, what’s expected. What I saw that the administration originally proposed was only about $620 million for AWACS and targeting — sniper targeting pods, and no question of the JDAMs and things like that. Can you talk about how the sale is going to be modified and when you’re going to announce it?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: It’s a big package that we have offered to the Saudis. It actually gets sort of negotiated between us and the Saudis in pieces, and those pieces then get notified to the Congress. But it is overall a pretty substantial package — we can get you the details on that — but it is being rolled out in pieces as we get definitization, as I say, between us and the Saudis and are ready at that point to notify to the Congress.
Q Isn’t there something being announced tomorrow in conjunction with his arrival?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: There’s some discussions. We’ll probably — if we have an announcement tomorrow, we will make it. But I think there will be a —
Q When should we expect it, early or late?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Probably pretty early. There will be a notification in the Hill going up.
Should we put this out? No? No, I’m told not to put it out.
Q This is separate from the stuff I just referred to?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: This is one of the elements of the overall package that will be notified tomorrow.
Q The President is kind of an early-to-bed guy — (laughter) — and the King likes to stay up late, and the meeting tomorrow starts at 9:00 a.m. What do you think, how long is it going to go?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, we’ll see.
Q We have a wager, hence the giggling. (Laughter.)
Q We have a wager. (Laughter.)
Q You think it could go pretty late, though, right? I mean — (laughter.)
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: You know, this is a matter of great sensitivity and I don’t really want to be wading in — (laughter) — very significant. But if someone wants to offer me 10 percent on the side, I could see what I could do. (Laughter.)
Q Well, the meeting is supposed to be, like, at 9:00 a.m. — we were thinking 9:10 a.m. (Laughter.)
Q All right, enough.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

6 comments on “Was Bush’s Team Making Fun of Saudi King’s Night Habits on the Eve of the Bush-Abdullah Meeting?

  1. tower defense says:

    I see he’s amped up the rhetoric against Iran again. And, in turn, I see none of the so called “presidential hopefuls” have seen fit to call him on it, despite the fact that this recent “incident” in the Strait seems to be an sensationalized non-event.
    Meanwhile, Rodriguez has told Congress that he has nothing to hide, and that he will tell Congress what exactly it is he doesn’t need to hide as long as he is granted immunity from prosecution for doing whatever it was that he has no reason to hide.

    Reply

  2. TonyForesta says:

    More weapons to the wababi nurturing, jihadists massmurderer funding Bush government “good friends” in SA is both treacherous and treasonous.
    Hedging Iran, by arming the a nation (85% of whose population loathes America) may benefit the fascist warmongers and wanton profiteers in the Bush government, – but it is a recipe for disaster for America, and 99.5% of Americans.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  3. erichwwk says:

    POA. I think you miss the point. In this case, Steve appears to me more perceptive than you. Try reading his post again, looking for the “true meeting”. Steve might do the same. And help us all by getting us closer to the source of that clip, with a URL. This is important, and ties in nicely with the more recent NYTimes article.

    Reply

  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Yet, meanwhile……
    http://www.bbvforums.org/cgi-bin/forums/board-auth.cgi?file=/1954/71287.html
    New Hampshire’s 2008 primary election may prove to be the most fascinating presidential preference race in history.
    – Both Democrat and Republican candidates have requested recounts
    – More than half of New Hampshire’s elections administrators hand count paper ballots in public at the polling place, with a public chain of custody. The rest of New Hampshire’s towns and cities use Diebold voting machines to count votes in secret, with a secret chain of custody.
    – Hand count and machine count locations, when calculated statewide, show an eerie statistic:
    Clinton Optical scan 91,717 52.95%
    Obama Optical scan 81,495 47.05%
    Clinton Hand-counted 20,889 47.05%
    Obama Hand-counted 23,509 52.95%
    – Two hand count towns reported “zero” votes for candidate Ron Paul to the media, even though they did have votes for him. The town of Sutton reported zero, but had 31 votes; the town of Greenville reported zero, but had 25 votes. The two towns had misreported results affecting exactly the same candidate in exactly the same way.
    – Results in many locations arrived up to four hours late on Election Night, surprisingly, from machine-counted locations — not hand count locations;
    – A single private entity had control over coding for every memory card in New Hampshire. According to the contract for LHS Associates, this firm requires a right of access to any voting machine at any time, services the machines, maintains the machines and handles repairs, replacements and troubleshooting on Election Day.
    – Ken Hajjar, a key employee of this sole source private entity, LHS Associates, has a criminal record for narcotics trafficking. The state of New Hampshire knew of this conviction but approved the contractor anyway. According to a complaint filed with the New Hampshire Attorney General, Hajjar had called the Dan Pierce radio show in 1999 and threatened to rig an election.
    – A high number of “other” votes appeared in Manchester, where over 570 people apparently decided to go to the polls and choose none of the first tier OR second tier candidates.
    – The voting system in New Hampshire was updated, but to a version that had been proven to be vulnerable in studies in Florida and California. Instead of upgrading to newer versions which at least claim to address known security vulnerabilities, New Hampshire chose to implement none of the beefed up procedures or upgraded versions that other states are using.
    Citizens from many different states are now examining New Hampshire’s ballot chain of custody, because if that is as weak as their voting machine controls, the recounts will just produce new questions.
    A newly aroused citizenry in New Hampshire and elsewhere is telling New Hampshire “trust us” is NOT the way to run elections.

    Reply

  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Anyone that has seen more than one example of Bush spewing forth at the podium cannot fail to note his arrogant manner. Bush does not require the assistance of his spokespeople to come across as a patronizing jackass.
    I see he’s amped up the rhetoric against Iran again. And, in turn, I see none of the so called “presidential hopefuls” have seen fit to call him on it, despite the fact that this recent “incident” in the Strait seems to be an sensationalized non-event.
    Meanwhile, Rodriguez has told Congress that he has nothing to hide, and that he will tell Congress what exactly it is he doesn’t need to hide as long as he is granted immunity from prosecution for doing whatever it was that he has no reason to hide.
    And gee golly, remember those nasty ‘ol “former Baathists”, “Saddam loyalists”, and “Sunni insurgents” that we invaded Iraq to depose, and are responsible for the vast majority of our soldier’s deaths? I wonder, will any of these posturing assholes come clean and tell the American people the REAL reason “the surge is working”?
    All these dead American kids, and all those dead Iraqis. For what?
    If you aren’t mad and ashamed, you aren’t paying attention.

    Reply

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