Couric Anticipating 2,000th Death In Iraq; Russert Pits Father Against Son

After running down all the bad news for the Bush administration on the CIA leak case and front and Harriet Miers fronts Katie Couric and Tim Russert bagged on Bush for Iraq. Couric, completely ignoring the historic election in Iraq just one week ago, instead chose to highlight the expected 2000th death while Russert used Brent Scowcroft to pit father (George Sr.) against son (George W.)

The following is the conversation that took place during the 7:00am hour:

Katie Couric: "As if the White House didn't have enough trouble right now Iraq is still looming. It's going to be the 2,000, we're gonna get up to the 2,000th death of U.S. servicemen and women in Iraq very soon. I think we're four away from that. Meanwhile Brent Scowcroft gave some scathing criticism of the Bush administration in this week's New Yorker. He, of course, was the national security advisor for the first President Bush and he was saying, basically, that Iraq is, is encouraging terrorism. What's happening over there. And he also said the, 'the real anomaly in the administration is Cheney. I consider Cheney a good friend, I've known him for 30 years but Dick Cheney I don't know anymore.' What do you make of him coming out at this time. It can't be helpful to the administration."

Russert: "Well yeah not at all and it's being interpreted that way. Brent Scowcroft also in the lead up to the war, Katie, was very critical. Remember back in 1991 the first Gulf War then Secretary of Defense Cheney and national security advisor Scowcroft were locked together in not going into Baghdad and toppling Saddam Hussein because they worried about the post-invasion consequences, if you will. The other interesting thing in this piece that you just referred to, former President George Herbert Walker Bush, Bush 41, sent an email to the writers saying, 'Brent Scowcroft was invaluable to me because he told me what I needed to know and what I didn't, sometimes, want to hear.' That was a very important message, I thought."

Couric: "And was that a message to his son?"

Russert: "I do not know. It was certainly a message to the writer of this article but it underscored former President Bush's strong support and friendship with Brent Scowcroft and Brent Scowcroft has been quite critical of, of the way the war has been conducted."

Couric: "Right well it will be an interesting week in Washington to say the least. Tim Russert, Tim, thanks so much."

Russert: "Thanks Katie."

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