Depressed Bush Speaks at Brooke Army Medical Center

Good morning. Happy New Year to you all. Thanks. You're welcome. I can't think of a better way to start 2006 then here at this fantastic hospital -- and that's not the least of my problems. This is a hospital that's full of healers and defibrillators and pills that make everything okay again.  It's also full of courageous young soldiers, Marines, airmen -- yow!! Don't let em... don't let em...  I'm just overwhelmed... Oh man... I am... it's hard work...

As you can possibly see, uh, wait, let me lower my pants, see. I have an injury myself -- I uh, see... in combat with a Cedar. I eventually won. The Cedar gave me a little scratch. Heh, heh... can you imagine, for just a second, how... how funny that would have been if you were working at Cedar-Sinai Hospital... in LA, and then the president makes a joke with your name in it... the name of your hospital, that is. The Colonel asked if I needed first aid when she first saw me. I don't know...

I've been thinking long and hard about 2006. You know, I've been doing a good job... a heck of a job... I just hope I can continue. And I hope for peace around the world. And for people to just quit being so shrill all of the time. I don't know... anybody that wants to find a job can find one. Or maybe not. I don't know.

With that, I'll be glad to answer a couple of questions. Toby. Or, Deb. You are Deb, right?

Q No, sir, it's Nurse Thatcher if you don't mind. Mr. Bush, were you aware of any resistance to the launching of the NSA program at high levels of your administration, and if so, how did that influence your decision to approve it?

THE PRESIDENT: Well... The NSA program is one that listens to a few numbers, called from the outside of the United States and of known al-Qaeda or affiliate people. We call them the al-Filiates, heh heh. I knew you would laugh at that one, but it's good... In other words, the enemy is calling somebody and we want to know who they're calling and why. Ring, ring, that incessant ringing, but, uh,  that seems to make sense to me, as the Commander-in-Chief, if my job is to protect the American people...

Q: And that does seem to make sense to you?

THE PRESIDENT: If my job is to protect the American people. You gotta hear my if. Now, some say, well, maybe this isn't a war; maybe this is just a law enforcement operation. What do you think?

Q: We're here for you, Mister Bush. Your opinion is what we want to hear.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I strongly disagree. We're at war with an enemy that wants to hurt us again, and the American people expect the Commander-in-Chief to protect them, and that's exactly what I intend to do.

Q: How exactly do they want to hurt you?

THE PRESIDENT: They want to kill me, Nurse Thatcher, and now I want to talk to somebody else. Doctor Toby.

Q: Yes, George. Let's go back to last year. In 2004, when discussing the Patriot Act, you said that any wiretapping required a court order, and that nothing had changed. Given that we now know you had prior approval for this NSA program, were you in any way misleading? Just a wee bit? Hmm?

THE PRESIDENT: I was talking about roving wire taps, I believe... I know I was. This is different from the NSA program. The NSA wire taps are called Bluganzi jobs, after Eddie Bluganzi. And, and... I was elected to protect the American people from harm. And September the 11th, September the 11th we was attacked...

Q: Go on...

THE PRESIDENT: And after that day, I vowed to use all the resources at my disposal... And, and the fact that somebody leaked this program causes great harm to the United States.

Q: How, George? You need to explain. How does this cause great harm?

THE PRESIDENT: I'm Pluribus Unum, can't you see that? There's an enemy out there. They read newspapers, they listen to what you write, they listen to what you put on the air, and they're... they're out there.  And it seems logical to me that if we know there's a phone number associated with al Qaeda - it's area code 119 for god's sake, they just transposed the digits - and they're making phone calls, it makes sense to find out why. They attacked us before, they will attack us again if they can. And I'm Pluribus Unum, I'm Pluribus Unum... sniff... last question. Nurse Tilley.

Q: Mister President, would you like something to calm you down and help you sleep for a while.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, please, Nurse Tilley, a nice quiet room. And maybe some ribs....



2006. Mark Hoback