Is that right? Not an error in the transcript? Surely the President of the United States didn’t refer to the conclusions of a National Intelligence Estimate as “just guessing,” did he?
No, intelligence estimates aren’t always right. But they aren’t just guesses, either. I’m not sure which is more troubling: that the President has so little interest in knowing what’s actually going on, or that he displays such casual contempt for the folks who actually do the hard work while he’s busy cutting brush and attending fundraisers.
[Additional note: in addition to the stupid and offensive”just guessing” remark, the President’s answer contained a bald-faced lie. It’s not true that the NIE “laid out several scenarios that said, life could be lousy, like could be okay, life could be better.” The report said that the BEST we could hope for from Iraq was “tenuous stability,” while the worst was full-scale civil war. But the President’s pattern of flat-out mendacity is such that the press won’t even bother to comment on it.]