WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of a White House press briefing conducted by Tony Snow:
The White House
James S. Brady Briefing Room
12:32 P.M. EDT
MR. SNOW: Good afternoon all. The President's schedule: at 7:30 a.m. , he, the Vice President and Mrs. Cheney attended a service of prayer and remembrance at St. John's Episcopal Church. The President and Mrs. Bush , and the Vice President and Mrs. Cheney participated in a moment of silence on the South Lawn at 8:46 a.m. Normal briefings this morning.
At 2:55 p.m. , the President will meet with bicameral and bipartisan leadership in the Cabinet Room. Participants will include the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, Senator Reid , Senator Durbin , Senator McConnell , Senator Lott , Speaker Pelosi, Congressman Hoyer, Congressman Clyburn and Congressman Blunt. Congressman Boehner will be attending services in memory of Congressman Paul Gilmor. He will not be in attendance.
In addition, the President today has announced Henry C. Lozano to be Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the USA Freedom Corps. Mr. Lozano recently served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Californians for Drug-Free Youth, Incorporated, as a nonprofit organization working to bring parents, youth, schools and communities together to create and support safe and healthy communities. The President created USA Freedom Corps to build on the countless acts of service, sacrifice and generosity that followed September 11th. As we remember the lives lost six years ago today, the President continues to encourage all Americans to serve causes greater than themselves.
Q Some Republicans started expressing skepticism about what they were hearing in the hearings with General Petraeus. And Senator Norm Coleman said, "Americans want to see light at the end of the tunnel." Is the President, when he addresses this, going to be able to talk about light at the end of the tunnel, point to the end?
MR. SNOW: Well, I don't know precisely what one would mean by that. What do you mean by "light at the end of the tunnel"?
Q It's not me, it's Senator Coleman speaking.
MR. SNOW: I know, but you're asking -- you're asking me to respond to a figure of speech was a little difficult.
Q I think he was referring to --
MR. SNOW: No, I watched the colloquy.
Q Okay, then you know --
MR. SNOW: I think what General Petraeus was pointing out is that we have seen considerable signs of progress. And frankly, I'm not going to get into the business right now of trying to anticipate what the President might say. But, look, war is a complicated business, but I think what you have seen -- and this is something that General Petraeus pointed out in considerable detail -- are a series of trend lines that have been promising, not merely in terms of suppressing violence and reducing the slaughter of innocents in Iraq , but also of generating among Iraqis a kind of passion in defense of their government and in defense of the democratic system that had not existed before and is beginning to spread not merely in Shia areas, but also -- I mean, in Sunni areas, but also in Shia areas, as you've seen also reactions against recent bursts of violence by Jaish al-Mahdi and also Iranian-backed forces.
All of these are signs that the Iraqis want peace. They want a light at the end of the tunnel, which is a stable democracy where they are able to handle the means of security and so on. And that is something that remains the goal of U.S. involvement. But I'm not going to try to presage what the President may say.
Q Tony, one of the things that you've been seeing in the press, that's accompanied a lot of the analysis of what's going on right now, is the idea of bottom-up de facto partitioning has been taking place in the country, and that that's where Iraq seems to be moving. What does the White House and the administration feel about the idea of some sort of de facto partitioning taking place?