Friday, January 30, 2009

look dumber

I get media clips from my company in the email. this is one that i got.

i think the only way Robert Wood could come away from this looking dumber, was if he had a dunce cap on and his pants on backwards.

Excerpt From State Department Daily Press Briefing

Robert Wood/Acting Spokesman

January 29, 2009

QUESTION: About a month or two ago, there was an IG report that warned that Blackwater was likely going to lose its license to operate in Iraq. That has now happened. Considering that you guys have been aware of this impending decision for some time, I presume that contingency plans have been made. What are those? What are you going to do to protect your people?

MR. WOOD: Well, let me just say, first off, you know, contingency plans are obviously being looked at, but I think it was on January 23rd when the Ministry of Interior informed the Embassy in Baghdad that Blackwater’s applications for an operating license was not going to be approved. And so we’re going to encourage, of course, contractors working for us to comply with Iraqi law. We’re right now looking at the implications of this decision by the Iraqis for us. But let me just make clear that we will do everything necessary to make sure that our personnel have the security that they need.

QUESTION: Well, what do you mean you’re looking at the implications? Isn’t the implication that they can’t work there anymore and that you’re going to lose your main contractor?

MR. WOOD: Well, again, we’re looking at, you know, the decision and we’re going to study and see what the implications will be, and then we’ll go forward.

QUESTION: I’m sorry, maybe I’m being dense here, but it seems to me that the obvious implication that you should already be aware of is that Blackwater can’t work in Iraq anymore.

MR. WOOD: I understand the decision. They were not granted an operating license

QUESTION: What more is there to look at?

MR. WOOD: Well, we have to study and see what we’re going to do next.

QUESTION: Right. Well, but you’ve been – this building has known for some time that this decision is coming down the pike, so –

MR. WOOD: Right, right, but we don’t have a decision ready to announce. We have to –

QUESTION: So Robert, who is protecting them today?

MR. WOOD: I’ll have to take a look at that. I’m not certain. I haven’t had a chance to look into that, but I’ll get the – we’ll get you something on that. I have to see who’s actually on the ground doing it. I’m just not sure at this point.

QUESTION: Do you intend to comply or do you intend to tell Blackwater to – if you’re going to – if you – you said you’re --

MR. WOOD: We have to comply with Iraqi law, period.

QUESTION: Exactly. So that means that you can’t – that your guys cannot use Blackwater as – for security guards, so -

MR. WOOD: Well, again, we’re going to comply with the Iraqi decision. We have no choice but to do that. So we’re just right now trying to formulate how we’re going to go forward. But I just wanted to make clear that we’re going to do everything, you know, to make sure that our Embassy employees have the security they need.

QUESTION: How long do you have to comply? I mean, when does this take effect?

MR. WOOD: I don’t know, haven’t seen the details on that yet.

QUESTION: Wouldn’t you have decided how to go forward already since you knew it was coming?

MR. WOOD: Well, it’s not a question of knowing that it was coming. We wanted to make sure that we had a clear-cut response from the Iraqis, an official response. We have now – you know, we received that on January 23rd, as I said, and we’re looking at next steps. That’s about as much as I can give you at this point.

QUESTION: Would next steps be just, what, another contractor?

MR. WOOD: We’re looking at a variety of possibilities, but I’m not here to outline those possibilities at this point.

QUESTION: While you’re not here to outline the possibilities, wasn’t this contract part of the global contract where there were three that – companies that bid on the security? So couldn’t one of the other ones step in?

MR. WOOD: Well --

QUESTION: I mean, isn’t that the whole idea of having these massive contracts?

MR. WOOD: That’s a possibility, but we haven’t made a decision on how we’re going to go forward yet.

QUESTION: But you have two other contractors that are working in Iraq, DynCorp and Triple Canopy, right?

MR. WOOD: Right. That’s right.

QUESTION: So you could ostensibly just move Triple Canopy or DynCorp over, because you’ve done all the RFP work and other stuff, right?

MR. WOOD: Well, we haven’t made a decision as to how we’re going to go forward yet, as I said. So I really don’t have any more to give you on that.

QUESTION: Is there a temporary security in place? I mean --

MR. WOOD: Like I said, I’m going to find out and get an answer to that question, because I’m not sure at this point.

QUESTION: It seems to be a bit irresponsible for the State Department not to have a backup plan and especially since you knew this was coming.

MR. WOOD: I did not say the State Department didn’t have a backup plan, but I said we’re looking at options and we haven’t made a decision as to how we’re going to go forward.

QUESTION: Well, doesn’t it seem to be – I mean, wouldn’t it be appropriate to have had an idea in place so --

MR. WOOD: I’m not saying we don’t have ideas, you know.

QUESTION: Well, one that you were – had been approved and you were ready to go ahead with?

MR. WOOD: Matt, as I said, when we have something in terms of a way forward, we’ll certainly be happy to let you know. But at this point, we’re looking at our options, and that’s the prudent thing to do.


Peg C. said...

It's funny, he said "I'm an idiot" about 10 different times and ways. This is our government? God help us.

I like Blackwater. It would be interesting if their loss of the contract led to worse protection and more deaths of protectees.

ELC said...

Would I be mistaken if I thought that mainstream media would skewer that fellow alive were he a spokesman for a department in a Republican administration?

Anonymous said...

Obama quoted: "Woodie, you're doin' a helluva job"

C T said...

Maybe the Department of State has to keep quiet about which contractor it's considering until a new contract has been worked out with their backup plan. Or maybe the public affairs person here is just poorly informed on the subject. I'd hesitate to take from this press conference the conviction that State doesn't take appropriate steps to safeguard its employees. My experience as a Foreign Service Officer was that a great deal of attention is given to security concerns and arrangements.

Maggie45 said...

Holy Mother!

GM Roper said...

How pathetic! And this guy is paid through my tax monies?

2yellowdogs said...

Doesn't a State Department spokesman have to, you know, actually know something before he steps up to the podium? Sheesh.

Cargosquid said...

That's assuming that Mr. Wood had planned to convey any information. It is the State Dept., after all....

MarkJ said...


Mr. Wood should familiarize himself with The Eleventh Commandment for Press Spokesmen:

"It is better to die than to look bad."

DVS1 said...

Saw the acronym "RFP" above from the Questioner's statement, after Mr. Wood answers him, "Right. That's right."

RFP = Request For Proposal (from DynCorp, Triple Canopy, etc.)

In Mr. Wood's case:

RFP = Really Freakin' (or choose your own F-word) Pathetic

M. Simon said...

If I was more cynical and we had a government led by a Chicago politician, I'd say they were looking for the best bribe.

Two hundred visits with a $1,000 an hour hooker plus 1/2 million in cash or 50 hooker visits and $600,000 cash.

Decision, decisions.

Eric said...

It's probably bad form to say:

"Well, the Iraqis said that, but we're not going to bother to do what they say, because we'll just bribe somebody and things will go on pretty much as usual."

Throw em all out! said...

Or the Dems on the oversight committee are still fighting over how big a kickback they will get-oops,I mean campaign contributions.

Anonymous said...

Utterly clueless. The White House press office has also had problems lately, and FEMA is not exactly putting on a stellar performance in Kentucky. I understand that this administration is new, but they have had a couple of months since the election to come up to speed and be ready to go on inauguration day. I hope that they will get their act together soon- if this continues it could lead to real problems.

Anonymous said...

After there vicous attacks against Bush for using high paid "mercinaries" is it any wonder the Obamatrons are skitish about answer such questions.

Denny, Alaska said...

Well, we knew the "change" part was coming. And the "hope" part is well on display here, too. Sorta like, "I hope this guy stops asking questions, 'cause, like you know, I don't have a clue what I'm talking about. Things were *so* much easier on the campaign trail! I thought you guys were in our pocket?"

Don Meaker said...

The good news is that most Department of State functionaries are anti American turncoats (like Joe Wilson IV) in waiting. Losing a few of them isn't a big problem. Losing the Blackwater guys is a bigger deal to me.

Jimmy said...

"Losing the Blackwater guys is a bigger deal to me."

most all of them will probably just jump from Blackwater to whoever takes over. this isn't the kind of job where people are lining up back home to do. the American public is woefully ignorant at just how much danger these guys face.

Anonymous said...


Clinton's were the first to hire Blackwater and I guess the last to continue it on according to this tard.

Old boss meet the old boss.

Occupied Territory said...

Problem solved: given that BO just signed an executive order that requires workers from an expired federal contract to be first in line to be rehired if that contract is then given to someone else, our friends at Blackwater can just get some new letterhead of DynCorp or Triple Canopy and report for duty early Monday morning, just as before. Wow, governing is so easy!

Anonymous said...

I think these guys have made a real contribution to the war on terror, by keeping civilians and our diplomats safe. There are many places where our soldiers are inappropriate and these people cover the gap.
This is dangerous and we owe them our thanks.

I think it is a great tragedy that they were not guarding Benazir Bhuto. She would probably be alive now.

Ken said...

Given that this is the State Department, which has been working for Obama for over a year, you'd think he's okay some security. But laziness and incompetence trump self interest I guess.

buck said...

@Anonymous 11:30: Pakistan apparently offered all three of these security companies the chance to bid on the contract to protect Bhutto. The thinking behind it being, "She'll be safest behind Americans, they can't be bribed." All three turned the opportunity down. I think they were smart to do so.

Anonymous said...

Ma'am, I answered your question. I answered the darned... I'm cooperatin' here!