Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
This week, after a new book by journalist Ron Suskind reported that the White House had ordered the CIA to plant a forged letter that alleged that 9/11 lead hijacker Mohammad Atta had trained extensively in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, a White House spokesman called Suskind's allegation "absurd."
"The notion that the White House directed anyone to forge a letter from [former Iraqi intelligence chief] Habbush to Saddam Hussein is absurd," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said.
Today, washingtonpost.com columnist Dan Froomkin lays out a brief history of other recent White House statements calling past allegations similarly absurd. Froomkin:
Fratto's response is also highly reminiscent of some previous White House non-denials.
One of my favorites has always been former press secretary Scott McClellan's response to a British press report in 2005, to the effect that Bush had raised with British Prime Minister Tony Blair the idea of bombing al-Jazeera television headquarters. All McClellan would say about that is: "Any such notion that we would engage in that kind of activity is just absurd."