|The Mudville Gazette|
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
GREYHAWKS WARTIME PRESS CONFERENCEOr: "Why I'm not in Charge"
The press is lucky I don't run the CENTCOM press briefing. If I did the Q & A would look like this:
And NOTE: Yes these are the actual questions from the actual reporters at the actual briefing on this actual day!
CENTCOM NEWS RELEASE
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
April 15, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TRANSCRIPT OF 4/15 CENTCOM BRIEFING
UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND OPERATIONAL UPDATE BRIEFING
LOCATION: IN MY DREAMS
TIME: 7:04 A.M. EDT
DATE: TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 2003
GREYHAWK: Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Yadda yadda yadda okay now your questions. Yes, Adi.
Q Adi Rival, ABC News. Regarding fugitive regime leaders, there are reports now that some of them may have left Iraq to go into Syria and other countries. Is there a rewards program set up for every single member of the top 55? And also, do you have DNA of most of these regime leaders in your -- at CENTCOM? Thank you.
GREYHAWK: 'Maybe' on the reward thing. Would that lead you to tell us where they are? And DNA? we might have some. Why, do you want to donate from your collection? Or do you want DNA as a reward for turning someone in?
Q James Forlong (sp) from Sky News. You've mentioned you've got Saddam Hussein's DNA. Do you also have Bashar Al-Assad's DNA?
GREYHAWK: You people's obsession with DNA is really creeping me out here, okay? Can any of you explain DNA? Or do you just use it in sentences? Are you collecting and trading this stuff? I mean really, do you want to clone somebody or what?
Q Pam Sampson (sp), Associated Press. Can you please comment on reports that the Iraqi army's western An Bahr (ph) command surrendered today to U.S. forces?
GREYHAWK: We do have a rumor that the 12 guys who may have survived Air Force bombing runs might have given up.
Q General, Paul Adams, BBC. Do you have details of an incident reported in Mosul which may have involved fatalities and possibly involved American forces?
GREYHAWK: I think your referring to what we call the war. People are getting hurt and even killed.
Q (Inaudible) -- New York Times. Not to beat a dead horse, but to return for a second to the DNA question, you said you do have samples of DNA material from the Hussein family. Please tell us where, when, how and from whom they were obtained.
GREYHAWK: Listen freak, we're not giving you any DNA samples, okay? If you have some youd like to contribute we'd appreciate that. Otherwise forget about it.
Yes, ma'am, in the back.
Q (Inaudible) -- BBC. We have reports that you are searching sites -- this is fairly constantly raised -- for weapons of mass destruction. Will you be bringing in or inviting in any impartial body to help you with the search, possibly the U.N. weapons inspectors?
GREYHAWK: Yes, as soon as it can be reliably determined that Hell has frozen over.
Yes, sir, please.
Q Michael Weiskopf, Time Magazine. What is the price on Saddam's head?
GREYHAWK: Two Billion Iraqi Dinar.
Q (Inaudible) -- ABC Television Australia. Can you confirm this report around that the commander of the Republican Guard Baghdad reached an agreement with American forces to surrender and get his men to quit and go home in exchange for transfer, via an Apache helicopter, to an undisclosed safe haven?
GREYHAWK: It's true, these people will do anything for a helicopter ride. In fact the reward for Saddam is now Two Billion Iraqi Dinar and a helicopter ride.
Yes, sir, please.
Q (Inaudible) -- Al Jazeera. Actually, I've just been back from southern Iraq up to Nasiriyah, and I've witnessed the humanitarian efforts. And they were going up -- I mean, finding our way slowly. And actually can you give us some sort of a breakdown as to how much human aid have you injected into that area? What was taken from Iraqi warehouses from the stocks of the oil-for-food? What did you provide yourselves? And on the medical sort of thing, do you have all the answers to all the cases that are there?
GREYHAWK: I said please and you forgot to say "thank you". So sit down and shut up.
Yes, please, Chas?
Q Chas Henry, WTOP Radio. Thank you Greyhawk. Can you give us a sense of the scope and scale of the coalition's effort to hunt for weapons of mass destruction? How many people are involved in this effort? Dozens? Hundreds? And how are they focusing their efforts?
GREYHAWK: Now, this is a good question. I believe we've got 250,000 armed inspectors combing Iraq freely right now, with no UN or Iraqi restrictions.
In the back, please? And then I'll come to you next.
Q Pat Doyle (ph) from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Given the emphasis in the beginning of the campaign on eliminating weapons of mass destruction and getting rid of Saddam Hussein, if coalition forces are unable to capture or verify that Hussein is dead, either using DNA or some other process, and if they are unable to find unambiguous weapons of mass destruction, will the campaign have been less than a success?
GREYHAWK: Yes, dipshot. It will be declared a complete failure and we'll all go home in shame. By the way, thanks for making the trip from Viking country, moron. Hot enough for ya?
Yes, please, Paul. I'm sorry, I promised to go to her, and then I'll come right back to you. Please?
Q I'm Karen Sloan (ph) with AP Radio. I had two questions. One was getting back to the antiquities issue. Asking people to return things now is kind of like shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted. Why did the coalition, when it went to great lengths to protect oil facilities not go to any lengths at all apparently to protect some of the museums in Baghdad that had great antiquities?
My second question is we are hearing some reports of anti-American demonstrations in Nasiriyah in conjunction with the political meeting going on there. Do you have any comment on that?
GREYHAWK: We are here for a war. Someone should have told you before you came over to see the museum. I see where you are disappointed. Sorry our troops were busy dealing with people who were trying to kill them. It's criminal what happened. Why didn't the AP protect the museum? As to the demonstrations, as I am trying to explain to you, we just had a war and a lot of these people are a little ticked off at us for shooting at them, okay? We hope they'll get over it but we'll see.
Q Hi, it's Paul Hunter, from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Yesterday you came close as Tikrit was falling. Do you today declare the major military operations in this war finished?
GREYHAWK: Okay, sure. The war is over. Anyone else gets killed by US troops from now on it's a crime and we'll investigate it as such, okay dipshot?
Q General, Pete Smallowitz from Knight Ridder. With more than 50 Iraqi leaders who are captured or who surrendered, what happens next with them? Is there a trial? Is there a sentencing? And how long does that process take? How will it work?
GREYHAWK: This is war. Trial, sentencing, execution, two weeks tops. So don't try anything stupid.
Yes, ma'am, please?
Q (Off mike) -- of Reuters. Can I ask what the situation is along the Syrian border? I know in the past you've said you control at least one of the border crossings. Do you control the whole border? Is it possible for leaders to cross over there? Is there evidence that they are doing so or that weapons of mass destruction have been taken over there?
GREYHAWK: Yes. We've got men spaced every six feet along the entire length of all borders of Iraq. No one leaves til we find the Top Dogs, the WMD, and all that stuff from the museum. I suggest you people check your luggage very carefully to make sure no one "planted any antiquities" on you, okay?
Thanks very much, I'll be here all week...