The McClellan quote isn’t about Iraq being an imminent threat to the US, but Turkey requesting NATO aid because it faced an imminent threat because the about to start hostilities in Itaq threatened to embroil Turkey:
McCLELLAN: Well, again, I think what’s important to remind NATO members, remind the international community is that this type of request under Article IV goes to the core of the NATO alliance
“QUESTION: What about NATO’s role? Belgium now says it will veto any attempt to provide help to Turkey to defend itself. Is this something the administration can live with, or is it a major obstacle?
MR. McCLELLAN: Two points. We support the request under Article IV of Turkey. And I think it’s important to note that the request from a country under Article IV that faces an imminent threat goes to the very core of the NATO alliance and its purpose.
The Bartlett quote is more ambiguous and i think could be called an administration use of the prahse imminent threat in regard to Iraq, though the situation is cloudy because it also refers to “American interests” and because Bartlett evokesthe idea of “we can’t let it become an imminent threat”
BLITZER: But the question is, he’s a threat based on what the information you’re suggesting, to his own people, to his neighbors.
But is he an imminent threat to U.S. interests, either in that part of the world or to Americans right here at home?
BARTLETT: Well, of course he is. He has made it very clear his hatred for the United States of America. He’s made it very clear through the past years and since he’s been in power his desire to dominate the region.
And as he acquires these weapons, particularly if he were to get a nuclear weapon, it would change the game in the entire world if Saddam Hussein, based on his past, based on his history of aggression, to acquire the type of weapons and then potentially to marry up with terrorists so he wouldn’t have the finger prints, is a scenario that we can’t afford to take.
BLITZER: But you’re saying there is evidence that he would do that, he would provide some of those weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons, biological weapons, to known terrorist organizations?
BARTLETT: The history is clear. He has them, he’s used them in the past on his own people and on invading, in invading other countries, he has a relationship, his regime has had a relationship with terrorist organizations throughout his tenure, particularly with al Qaeda, as well.
This is the type of scenario we can’t afford to wait until the last minute. We cannot let this threat materialize to the point where there’s nothing we can do about it.
Richard Henry Morgan – 6/
Oops. I had to come back for this one. Gore cites the investigation as saying that there was no “meaningful relationship” — they actually said no evidence of collaboration. Of course, Richard Clarke said otherwise — he said they collaborated on the pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan. So what we have is a slow slide from talking about a lack of evidence of collaboration on 9/11, to a lack of collaboration period (refuted by Clarke, Clinton, and Clinton’s federal attorney in NY, Mary Joe White), to talk of a lack of a meaningful relationship, to — and this is the fun part — the claim that there was no relationship at all!! Yeah, the Al Gore slide:
Nothing to do with the organization al Qaeda? But even the staff statements don’t say that. Slick Willie. Slick Al.