Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Can't Remember Saying That I Don't Recall That I Said I Forgot I Can't Recall All I Have Strategically Forgotten

By Darryl Mason

The Sydney Morning Herald claims Bill Clinton was The Master Of The "I Don't Recall" Defence.

I disagree.

He might not be as famous as the ex-president, but Howard government foreign minister minister Alexander Downer was the fucking Yoda of 'total unrecall'. As he fastidiously proved during the hearings into how the Australian Wheat Board ended up bribing the Saddam Hussein regime with hundreds of millions of dollars, and continued to bribe the regime even while Australian soldiers and special forces were fighting in Iraq.

Here's just a sample of Alexander Downer responses, in 2006, to questions about how he didn't notice all those truckloads of AWB cash reaching Saddam Hussein, given all the memos and warnings that streamed across Alexander Downer's desk, for years :

“I don't recall.”

“I don’t recall.”

“I don’t recall.”

“I just don’t recall.”

“No, not that I can recall at all.”

“I can't recall my state of mind when I read the document...”

“I don't recall being given that information.”

“Well, I simply do not recall.”

"I would have thought I'd have remembered it, but I don't recall.”

“No, I don’t recall that.”

“I don't recall them saying that.”

“I don't recall them saying that to me.”

“I could have done, but I don't recall it.”

“I am only in a position to tell you what I recall of the conversation, which is very sketchy....”

“I don't recall it being brought to my attention, but it is possible it could have been.”

“Yes, I don't recall that being discussed, but I simply do not recall it is all I can say.”

“I don't remember precisely...”

“My recollection is of a much more general nature.”

“I have no recollection of it.”

“I just can't recall it at all.”

And the classic :

“I can't, of course, recall.”

I imagine Alexander Downer will give very similar responses when he has to face questioning during the Inquiry Into The Reasons For The Iraq War (or whatever it will be called), which should hopefully get started in early 2011.