Downing Street Memo Booby Prize

So why did the backers of the Downing Street Memo Prize go all Scottish on us? They offered $1000 to anyone ("a journalist, blogger, politician, adult, or student, either American or not") who would ask Bush about the Downing Street Memo, Steve Holland of Reuters asked Bush about the Downing Street Memo, and now the organizer tells the Boston Globe that Holland is "eligible" for only $250 -- "even though Bush did not answer 'Yes' or 'No.'"

What part of this "no" don't they understand?

BUSH BLAIR: Well, I can respond to that very easily. No, the facts were not being fixed in any shape or form at all.
We thought it was the Republicans who liked to change the rules if it looked like they were losing. Oh, well -- maybe Dean hasn't raised enough money to cover the grand yet. Perhaps they didn't understand it because it was in a British accent. Bush's answer goes on at some length and has nothing as definitive as a "no." Just, "There's nothing farther from the truth," which, uhm, doesn't leave a lot of wiggled room either. But he could be lying!

UPDATE: We had to say something because we know Holland won't: He can't accept the prize in any case. And yet are still chiseling the poor guy. What happened to solving problems by throwing money at them?

UPDATE UPDATE: Yes, we got our world leaders confused. The booby prize is ours.

Bush, Blair deny memo assertion of 'fixed' intelligence [Boston Globe]

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, I -- you know, I read kind of the characterizations of the memo, particularly when they dropped it out in the middle of his race. I'm not sure who "they dropped it out" is, but -- I'm not suggesting that you all dropped it out there. (Laughter.) And somebody said, well, you know, we had made up our mind to go to use military force to deal with Saddam. There's nothing farther from the truth.

My conversation with the Prime Minister was, how could we do this peacefully, what could we do. And this meeting, evidently, that took place in London happened before we even went to the United Nations -- or I went to the United Nations. And so it's -- look, both us of didn't want to use our military. Nobody wants to commit military into combat. It's the last option. The consequences of committing the military are -- are very difficult. The hardest things I do as the President is to try to comfort families who've lost a loved one in combat. It's the last option that the President must have -- and it's the last option I know my friend had, as well.

And so we worked hard to see if we could figure out how to do this peacefully, take a -- put a united front up to Saddam Hussein, and say, the world speaks, and he ignored the world. Remember, 1441 passed the Security Council unanimously. He made the decision. And the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power.


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