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the charmed life of George W. Bush, his conditioned response to any stimulus has
been to lie. More often than not he has lied poorly, and has always depended on
the blindness of strangers. Bush has been deceptive about his childhood, his
academic career, his free lance military stint defending Alaska from the Viet
Cong, his illicit wheeling and dealing in the Texas oil patch, the municipal
welfare grant he received from the city of Arlington, his criminal dalliances
with controlled substances, the theft of the presidency, and literally any other
subject that has arisen. He is the living embodiment of the conservative
philosophy: “If something is worth talking about, then it is worth lying
performances during the presidential debates were a tour de force of deceitful
versatility. On every issue from taxes to Social Security to national defense to
restoring dignity to the Oval Office, Bush showed a relentless dedication to
dishonesty that gratified his supporters in the mainstream media, while
apparently leaving his opponent dazed in amazement. At one point, the Texas
governor was nearing the thought-to-be unattainable fifty-six consecutive lie
streak of the legendary Ronald Reagan.
who has been paying attention knows that Dubya treats the truth as though it has
leprosy. Life has taught him that, in our country so richly steeped in the Judeo
Christian ethos, there is nothing you can’t achieve if you’re just willing
to take the time and make the effort to deceive enough people.
lies that Bush and his operatives are now telling about last year’s terrorist
attack are a fascinating case study in shameless audacity. They are the brazen
lies of someone whose personal experiences have taught him that there are no
consequences to getting caught when betraying a trust.
Secretary Ari Fleischer is the mouth that Bush uses when he wants to communicate
with the world in complete sentences. On 9/11, Fleischer, said that there had
been no prior warning of an impending terrorist attack. He was lying. The FBI,
the CIA, and the head of the counter terrorism unit had alerted the
administration of an impending al-Qaeda attack within the United States. In
fact, for three months CIA Director George Tenet had been so frantically
insistent that al-Qaeda was preparing for a terrorist strike in America that
administration officials had come to view him as a paranoid nuisance.
confronted last week with evidence that he lied for Bush, Fleischer acknowledged
that the administration had really been alerted to the danger in August. This
was another lie, designed to create the false impression that there simply had
been insufficient time to prevent the hijackings. The warning that al-Qaeda had
mobilized for an attack on the United States was actually delivered in May, and
the federal government had gone on the highest state of alert as of July 5. The
Bush team then took a month long vacation and just kind of forgot about the
state of alert thing.
Bush was at the Crawford ranch manfully castrating bulls the old fashioned Texas
way - using nothing but his teeth - he was officially briefed about the urgent
threat posed by al-Qaeda . The briefing occurred on August 6, thirty-six days
before the attack. On September 9, two days prior to the mass murder, Bush was
presented with a military plan to launch a preemptive strike against bin Laden.
And yet, after seeing videotape of a plane plowing into the World Trade Center,
Dubya announced that his first thought had been, “There’s one terrible
pilot.” We are left to wonder whether this individual is mentally defective or
pathologically driven to lie.
Fleischer, Condoleeza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld have repeated the exact verbiage
that they “had no advance warning that commercial airliners would be used
as missiles to attack the World Trade Center”. Why such unnecessary
and lockstep specificity? No one asked them about using airplanes as missiles to
attack the World Trade Center. They were asked whether they had been alerted to
an imminent terrorist attack, yet each responded with the same artful dodge.
Even their artful dodge is false.
Since 1995, the intelligence community has been aware of an al-Qaeda plan to use
hijacked planes as missiles with which to bomb buildings. The target in question
was CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. This technically means that the
Bushites’ identical answers were merely extraordinarily manipulative
falsehoods designed to mislead the listener, as opposed to lies.
The cynical rhetorical deception
might pass for honesty among those Americans who live by the conservative credo
that the ends justify the means. Unfortunately, the contemporary Washington
model is the universally respected William
Bennett Standard Of Phrasing Things So It Is Impossible To Misinterpret Them Or
You Are A Lying Degenerate Who Is Responsible For The Decline Of Western
Civilization. As a result, any moral person who loves God must
reluctantly conclude that the sophistry of the Bush administration requires the
immediate drafting of articles of impeachment.
Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta has said that he warned the airlines of
an impending attack. The airlines - all of the airlines - say he never did. The
pilots’ association denies Mineta’s claims that they were alerted. Is
another functionary lying to protect Bush? Could this possibly occur in an
administration that Dubya pledged would avoid “even the appearance of
impropriety”? Or are the airlines and their so-called “pilots” engaged in
the most nefarious conspiracy since Obstructionist Daschle colluded with arctic
caribou to persecute the American Petroleum Institute?
administration is telling a myriad of lies to direct attention away from the
fact that their malfeasance allowed our nation to be victimized and our
countrymen to be slaughtered. But more importantly, at least for those of us who
cherish family values, there is great moral strength to be drawn from the fact
that no one on the Bush team has yet been evasive about oral sex.
Why is the administration wallowing
in deceit when it appears that it could have just told the truth without
suffering any consequences? Why has the Bush propensity for being dishonest
suddenly morphed into a tidal wave of transparent lies by everyone involved?
This is a case with many loose ends that requires skillful investigative
If only John Stossel were still
is not to suggest that anyone in the Bush Administration would ever do anything
untoward, or even have impure thoughts. To imply such a thing is to undermine
the future of this country, as Dick Cheney announced on Thursday.
since I saw “The Godfather”, I have wondered what happened to the other end
of that horse. Now I know: it is
just a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Cheney has questioned the patriotism of
anyone who asks Bush about the regime’s many lies surrounding the events of
9/11. Cheney is an established expert when it comes to lacking patriotism; he
supported the Vietnam War, but was unwilling to fight in it because military
service would have conflicted with cruising the streets of Wyoming while in a
mainstream media certainly does not want to be unpatriotic, at least not if it
involves harming Bush. Both Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post and Michael
Isikoff of Newsweek have implored Americans to understand that the Bush White
House has never believed in sharing information with the people it governs. They
argue that it naturally follows Bush should receive credit for being ethically
consistent by sheltering the public from the truth about what really happened
leading up to 9/11.
and Isikoff were not being sarcastic. They represent the prevailing view of the
mainstream media that the importance of gathering and disseminating information
to consumers of news is highly overrated. It remains to be seen whether the
Fourth Estate can convince the American people that Bush should be exalted for
consistency, as manifested by his willingness to always lie.
far, the most incriminating statements about Bush have not come from the
fluffers in the corporate press or the timid congressional Democrats, but from
the friendly fire of talk radio. Rush Limbaugh and his callers have excused
Dubya for not protecting America from the worst terrorist attack in our history
because the ruffians in the ACLU and the Hollywood left would have assaulted
their guy with harsh words if he had taken preventative action. This spirited
conservative defense is thundering across the fruited plains: “Bush had to let
three thousand Americans be annihilated because he was justifiably frozen in
fear at the prospect of being verbally assailed by Barbra Streisand”. The
message is being especially well received in the pious red states, where
majorities of the citizenry call their favorite aunt “Ma”. From the
right wing perspective, Bush is completely innocent, regardless of whatever he
did - or failed to do - because liberals are a herd of nagging yentas. This
really is the current conservative rank and file defense of Bush, and they
believe in it passionately.
Senate Democrats do not believe in anything passionately. They have the means to
expose Bush and bring him to justice by using the subpoena power of the
Intelligence Committee. They could methodically demonstrate to the American
public that Bush has been completely derelict in his duty to protect this
nation, and extremely dishonest in attempting to cover up his failure. They
could explain that Dubya rejected the Gore plan to spend an additional two
billion dollars on airport security - a plan that would have stopped clowns with
box cutters from terrorizing the most powerful country in the world – because
Bush wanted to give the money to Enron. They could carefully deconstruct the
cover-up to expose whatever he is hiding. They could effectively checkmate lies
Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham is already making soft whimpering
noises that sound suspiciously like a prelude to capitulation. Too bad. What
magnificent payback it would be for a Democrat from Florida to end an
illegitimate presidency that was born during a fascist riot in Dade County. It
would be conclusive proof that the Hindus are right about karma, and might well
compel legions of grateful Democrats to start worshipping cows.
the issue of Bush lying about 9/11 is beginning to more closely resemble the
Florida recount. Having been caught in lie after lie, the Republican strategy is
to chant in unison that the Democrats are “despicable”. As always, the
Democratic strategy remains a closely guarded secret, but it appears to again
consist of confidently waiting for Sandra Day O’Connor to do the right thing.
anguished corporate media is certainly ready for this “tempest in a teapot”
to end. When reporters rose to question Fleischer about his serial deceit on
behalf of Bush, they were solicitous to the point of being apologetic.
Repeatedly, White House correspondents prefaced their questions with the
preamble, “We’re not accusing anyone in the administration of doing anything
wrong…” They know that their multinational corporate employers are
financially indebted to Bush. America’s mainstream journalistic guardians of
the truth desperately want Dubya to weasel out of this mess so they can return
to the comfortably familiar terrain of bashing Clinton, Daschle, or anyone else
whose name happens to appear on the shit list of the Chamber of Commerce.
Bush would just come out and say, “I completely screwed up”, the corporate
media would lavish him with praise for candor and humility, contrasting him
positively with the Evil One who preceded him. Even if Bush admitted to planning
and organizing the attack on the World Trade Center, you just know that the Wall
Street Journal and Fox would cite this as conclusive evidence that his liberal
detractors should feel humiliated for underestimating his logistical skill. All
he has to do is come clean, because liberals are only capable of holding grudges
against each other. There is no Democratic Tom DeLay to obsessively pursue the
opposing party’s leader. If Bush just tells the truth about 9/11, then he’s
home free, no matter how foul the truth is.
remains unclear is whether he is capable of telling the truth, even if doing so
would benefit him.
Nixon was forced to resign, the right wing vowed to never let it happen again.
They created a political infrastructure of think tanks and pundits to shield
conservative presidents from the consequences of committing felonies. As a
result, Reagan and Poppy Bush survived the Iran Contra assault on the
Constitution that should have landed both of them in prison. It is highly
unlikely that Dubya will ever be held legally accountable for any crime he
commits, if for no other reason than the majority on the Supreme Court has a
vested interest in keeping him sanitized. Even if Bush gets caught red handed,
he will skate. And politically, the modern Democratic Party couldn’t work up
the courage to impeach him if he set the American flag on fire and then used it
to club Pope John Paul II to death during Easter services on live national
Bush is in danger nonetheless. Given that he is not known as a make-work type
guy, the vast campaign of lies about 9/11 must be hiding something really
horrible; there would be no other reason to exert all that effort coordinating a
cover-up that ranges through several Cabinet departments, the Pentagon, and the
intelligence community. Bush has always chosen to coordinate his lies only with
his tight inner circle, but this matter now involves a lot of people
collaborating to deceive the public. Why?
history serves as a guide, the courts and the politicians and the mainstream
press will go into Three Monkey Mode in order to avoid finding out what Dubya is
so intent on obscuring. Yet ominously, over the last few days the alternative
media has featured one well researched story after another dealing with the
fraudulent Bush account of 9/11. It has become clear to many talented and
industrious journalists around the world that the actions of Bush and his
handlers are consistent with the behavior of people who are covering up
something grotesque. The genie appears to have escaped from the bottle, and so
it would be unsurprising if whatever the former Texas governor is lying about
this time ultimately is dragged into the sunlight.
that happen, Bush would still have a corporate convoy of political and media
sycophants to shield him from democracy. Regardless of what he has done, the
right wing will be as hysterically frenzied in defending their guy as they were
in attacking Clinton.
It might not matter this time. The terrorizing of the United States and the subsequent lies of George W. Bush are so serious that there is the very real potential – finally – for the reflexive dishonesty of Pavlov’s chimp to be his undoing with the American people.
More David Podvin
Podvin, the Series