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Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The blind leading the blind. Over a cliff.

I can't top Josh Marshall's description of this morning's press conference about Bush's new "immigration policy": Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and a clutch of top officials gave a press briefing today on President Bush's new National Guard-infused border security program. Hilarity ensues:

You should go read the whole thing, but this is too good to pass up. Question from a reporter:

Mr. Secretary, if I've understood everything I've heard, you don't yet know what missions the 6,000 National Guardsmen will do, you don't know who is going to pay for them, you don't know what the rules of engagement will be for them, you don't know what size units there will be or how long -- whether they'll be two-week or six-month deployments, and you don't really know exactly which equipment they're going to have. So my question is, how long have you been working on this?

Chertoff's response (in part):

[I]t is true that, sitting here right now, I do not have in my head every single mission set. . .

[At this point, Assistant SecDef for Homeland Defense Paul McHale tosses Chertoff an anvil.]

We don't know how many helicopters we're going to put up, but we know to a near certainty that we'll have helicopters. . . We don't know where we will place censors [sic] to detect illegal movement, but it's almost a certainty that we will have censors [sic]. . . We don't know how many barriers or roads we're going to build, but clearly, we will be putting new barriers in place, and clearly, we will be building new roads . . . So your question, sir, is a fair one.

But then the summary is priceless....

QUESTION: What I'm really trying to understand, is this a well-thought-out plan, or is it something that's just been --


SECRETARY CHERTOFF: in quite exquisite detail...

As they say, you can't make this stuff up.

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