Q Since the President -- since it's pretty clear the task force, the Kaye task force can't find any weapons of mass destruction, why did the President invade Iraq?
MR. McCLELLAN: Did you see the report?
Q No, I didn't. But all the leaks indicate that he hasn't found anything yet. Are you denying that?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, let me go to your first question about why we went to war. Because in a post-9/11 world, in a post-September 11th world, the threat posed by Saddam Hussein became even more real --
Q What's the threat?
MR. McCLELLAN: The threat was spelled out by the United Nations, by the intelligence agencies across the world, and by the United States -- three administrations here in the United States.
Q And we went based on that --
MR. McCLELLAN: Saddam Hussein possessed and used chemical and biological -- or used chemical weapons against his own people. He had a history of possessing and using --
Q Thirteen years before --
MR. McCLELLAN: -- using weapons of mass destruction. He had a history of invading his neighbors. He had large, unaccounted-for stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. He defied the international community for 12 years and some 17 resolutions. Remember, 1441 gave him one final chance to comply, or there would be serious consequences. The President believes in following through on what you say, and the President acted, and America is safer because of the action we took. The world is safer and better because of the action that the President --
Q You don't deny the President --
MR. McCLELLAN: -- that the President took.
Q -- told the American people that there was an imminent, direct threat?
MR. McCLELLAN: The President made it very clear that we need to act to confront threats in a post-September 11th world before it's too late, before those threats reach our shores and it's too late.
Q Let me follow up on that, Scott. The President has said that since the war, America is safer. And not just America, but our allies are safer, as well, because Saddam Hussein will never be able to use weapons of mass destruction.
MR. McCLELLAN: That's right.
Q Well, if you can --
MR. McCLELLAN: Or give those weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.
Q Precisely. So if it -- if you are unable to account for Saddam Hussein or for the weapons of mass destruction or the materials of mass destruction, how can you make such a claim?
MR. McCLELLAN: His brutal regime has been removed from power. We have captured or killed many of the deck of 55 that is often referred to. So we are continuing to go on the offensive and pursue remnants of the former regime, as well as foreign terrorists, and we are bringing those people to justice.
Q You've never been able to say whether those weapons, whether actual weapons or weapons parts may have been spirited out of the country. And again, since you can't account for them, and you can't account for him, how do you know that everybody is safe?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think you can speculate all you want, but it doesn't change the facts. Dr. Kaye is continuing to do his job, lead the Iraq survey group and pull together a complete and full picture of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and his weapons of mass destruction programs. So that is an ongoing effort. He's continuing to go through miles of documents. He's continuing to interview Iraqis, continuing to interview leaders that have been captured. So that's a process that's ongoing at this point, and the truth will come out.
Q Why should Americans -- speculation is indeed, what you and the President are claiming, and that is that America is safer now that Saddam Hussein has been removed. Why isn't that speculation --
MR. McCLELLAN: Because this was a brutal, oppressive regime. It doesn't change the facts -- just what I said -- this is a brutal, oppressive regime that had a history of using chemical weapons, that had a history of invading its neighbors. This is a regime that defied the international community for some 12 years and 17 resolutions. The threat was spelled out by the international community. The President said in a post-September 11th world, we're not going to let that threat gather before it's too late; we're going to confront it and we're going to take it out. And that makes America more secure, it makes the world a better place.
Q But, Scott, you missed the focus of David's question, which is, how can the President say one thing is for sure -- Saddam will never transfer weapons of mass destruction to terrorists -- when you don't know where Saddam is --
MR. McCLELLAN: Because he's been --
Q -- when you don't know where Saddam is and you don't know where the weapons are?
MR. McCLELLAN: Because he's been removed from power.
Q How does that stop him from making a transfer?
MR. McCLELLAN: It's a matter of time before we find him. This is one person who no longer has the power to oppress his people, to invade his neighbors. He is removed from power.
Q But if you don't know where he is and you don't know where the weapons are, how can you be sure he won't transfer weapons to terrorists? How can you make that definitive statement?
MR. McCLELLAN: Because the full might of the American military is pursuing him and going to find him. It will be a matter of time. We continue to go after him, just like we have brought other people that are in the leadership of the former regime to justice.
McCellan refused to answer the question but not by saying, "I won't answer the question." No, he just gave non-answers.
If that's the way they are going to act, they deserve no respect. None.