BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARYThe True Lies of George W. BushFri Sep 8, 2006 03:26The True Lies of George W. Bush
A BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY
by Jeremy Warren
When Democrats accuse George W. Bush of being a liar, Republicans -- and until recently, the media -- have responded that Bush is a man of integrity whom you can trust at his word. It was the evil Bill Clinton who lied. Remember him wagging his finger at us? That bastard!
Well, yes, Bill Clinton did indeed lie to us. He lied to us about a blow-job. It sure is good that we spent nearly $100 million to find out how semen reacts on a cotton blue dress from the Gap. Of course, it turned out that he was telling the truth to us about Whitewater and filegate and travelgate and campaign finance-gate and gate-gate and more. I'm sure we could find better uses for that money today. But, Clinton certainly did lie about that hummer. Imagine that, a man lying about sex. In America no less.
Of course, unlike another president, Clinton's lies didn't kill anyone.
Anyway, I decided to put just a short list together of lies by George W. Bush. These are not banal lies about one's sex life, these are big lies, whoppers and tall tales about his own record, who he is, what he's done and what he stands for.
1. The Iraq War.
We could really start and end with this one, since this lie has killed and wounded thousands of American soldiers and countless Iraqi men women and children. But this one certainly does not stand alone.
Let's break this out into subcategories as well, such as:
a) "The smoking gun could be a mushroom cloud." Iraq didn't even have shitake mushrooms.
b) "Saddam would not let the inspectors in." Bush has now made this claim twice. It came as quite a surprise to the hundreds of U.N. inspectors that were in Iraq in 2003 and were told by the U.S. to get out or get bombed.
c) Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. All right, I cut them some slack on this one as EVERYONE thought that he still possessed some WMD capability. The difference is that no one else felt that Hussein was any sort of credible military threat to the rest of the region, much less the United States. And, by "no one" else, I mean C.I.A., the U.N. and anyone else not named Wolfowitz, Rice, Libby, Rumsfeld, Cheney or Pearle.
d) "We know exactly where they are." So said Rumsfeld shortly after the war ended. I wonder if he's shared that bit of information with his boss yet?
e) The laundry list. Both Bush in his 2003 State of the Union speech and Colin Powell at the United Nations read through a laundry list of horrors that was quantified down to the milliliter. Powell called these charges "facts" that were unassailable. Yet we have still not found a drop.
f) "We believe that, in fact, Saddam Hussein has reconstituted nuclear weapons." Dick Cheney said this on Meet the Press in 2003. Even as Bush and others were careful of going overboard, Dick "Goebbels" Cheney kept going for not just the Big Lie, but the Grandaddy of them all.
g) Drones that could attack the United States. True, if they were launched from Padre Island. The truth is that little Timmy down the block has a more sophisticated remote control airplane than Saddam did.
h) Yellow cake uranium. The Italian press thought those documents were fake. Let me repeat that: the ITALIAN PRESS thought they were forgeries!
i) We will be welcomed as liberators. Those are bullets, roadside bombs and RPGs, not roses fellas.
j) Imminent? Who said imminent? Well, Ari Fleischer, Donald Rumsfeld and others. But, apparently Bush never said the words himself. He just used every other phrase he could think of to scare the crap out of us. And, as a point of order, isn't it the Bush Administration? When someone is speaking for the administration, don't they speak for Bush?
k) Al Qaeda and Saddam had close ties. Well, both he and bin Laden are Sunni Muslims, they both have moustaches and, to quote Cliff Clavin, neither of them have ever been in my kitchen. They must be like brothers.
l) "We have found WMDs in Iraq." Bush and others have made this claim regarding an ever so dangerous weather tracking truck.
m) "They could have been destroyed by Saddam. Or moved out of the country." I know Bush doesn't read the papers or watch the news, but does he even listen to his own staff? David Kay, his hand-picked inspector, said there obviously weren't any weapons in the first place. But, what if Bush is right and they were moved, shipped out of the country? Well, then the whole purpose of the war -- to keep Hussein from giving his WMDs to terrorists -- was a failure. Well, George, which one is it?
I could go on and on, but we've got even more real hardcore, honest to goodness, Grade A lies to address.
2. Taxes (part 1)
Bush has consistently claimed that he is against tax increases. Yet, as Governor, his 1997 tax plan would have forced tens of thousands of business to pay franchise taxes that previously did not have to pay. According to the GOP School of Taxes playbook, that's a tax increase, no if ands or buts about it.
3. Taxes (part 2)
Throughout the 2000 campaign and through 2001, Bush claimed that his mega tax cut for the mega rich was actually a tax cut for the working folks. In fact, he said "the vast majority" would go to "the bottom." As Al Franken has so ably pointed out, "by far the vast majority" usually means more than 14.7 percent that the bottom 60 percent received. Consider that "fuzzy math."
4. Taxes (part 3)
In 2003, Bush claimed his latest sop to the uber-wealthy would create jobs. In fact, the special interest, Rockefeller tax cut was -- in true Orwellian fashion -- named the Jobs and Growth Act of 2003. Someone wake me when those 2.6 million jobs Bush promised in 2004 start being created. He needs to create around 300,000 jobs a month through Election Day to reach his pledge.
5. Taxes (part 4)
Bush, who tried to extend taxes to thousands of businesses and not call it a tax increase, now claims that if his 2001 and 2003 tax cuts are not made permanent, that is a tax increase. Now, remember, the law as written says those taxes automatically phase out if nothing is changed. Bush now says if the law as written -- the law he signed -- is not changed, that is a tax increase.
6. "I fulfilled my duty."
"He didn't take his flight physical because his doctor was in Houston." The entire National Guard spin is falling apart before our eyes. The facts of the issue have remained the same, but the Bush Team's laughable responses become "inoperable" by the day. Despite their ever-angrier denials, the issue won't go away. Last Friday night's document dump and run still hasn't answered the key question: where were you during the war, George? At least 1972. You can say it's "trolling for trash" all you want, but you can't make the issue go away without some proof.
7. "I'm a uniter not a divider"
Bush's 2000 mantra -- bought hook, line and sinker by much of the media -- was that only he could come to Washington and end the partisan bickering. Within weeks, this proved to be completely untrue. His heavy-handed partisanship even cost him control of the U.S. Senate for a time, as Republican Jim Jeffords bolted the party.
In 2002, Bush showed his unifying skills by saying that Democrats who disagreed with his behemoth vision for the Department of Homeland Security -- a plan he had opposed for nearly a year -- "didn't care about the security of the country." You know, guys like Senator Tom Daschle, who was actually a terrorist target. He then thanked Max Cleland and Mary Landrieu for their steadfast support by targeting them and backing opponents who questioned their patriotism and, in Louisiana, sent out mailers to black neighborhoods with the wrong election date.
Well, Bush is a uniter in one way: He has united the Democratic Party like never before, and is driving independents back to the Democratic Party in droves. Please, keep uniting us.
8. The 2004 budget.
From front to back, the latest Bush budget is one of the most fraudulent documents ever created by the U.S. government. Well, at least since the last budget. Like 2003, Bush doesn't count the cost of Iraq or Afghanistan into his fantasy land accounting. He also counts in billions of spending cuts that are flat out pipe dreams that even the GOP won't support. According to the White House, the deficit -- which has gone from hundreds of billions in the black to $518 billon in the red in just three short years -- will be cut in half. This from an administration that has overestimated growth and underestimated projected deficits each year. But, according to George, prosperity truly is just around the corner.
9. "I won't run a deficit."
During the 2000 campaign, Bush responded to those who -- quite correctly -- said his voodoo economic plan would drive us right back into the gutter that he would not operate a deficit. He said that he was "a governor. I believe in balanced budgets." Yes, the same way kids believe in the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny.
10. "I hit the trifecta."
Following our steady plummet back into deficit land, Bush used the handy excuse of "the trifecta": war, national emergency and recession. He explained away his past statements that he wouldn't run a deficit by claiming he had made an exception for those three things. Of course, he never actually said that. Paul Begala, Al Franken, Paul Krugman, Joe Conason and others have all reviewed every statement printed during the 2000 campaign and Bush never made any such qualification. Of course, why should we hold them to what he actually said? As Larry Speakes, Ronald Reagan's press secretary once said, "No it wasn't true, but it sure sounded good."
11. "I released all my National Guard records in 2000."
On Meet the Press, Bush once again fell back to his standard behavior when confronted with an uncomfortable subject: he lied his ass off. Four years after reporters first asked him to release his records -- and a nearly a week after he promised to -- Bush finally followed in the footsteps of John F. Kennedy, John McCain, John Kerry, Bob Kerrey and Wes Clark and released his full military record.
12. "I'm spending less than Bill Clinton."
On Meet the Press, an interview that will go down in history as one of the stupidest decisions Karl Rove has ever made, Bush claimed that government spending has actually dropped under his tenure. Even GOP stalwarts ran away from this one faster than Rush Limbaugh runs to a bowlful of Oxycontins. The truth of the matter is that federal spending has exploded under George W., just as spending exploded in Texas while he was governor. This fella just ain't your daddy's fiscal conservative.
Here is a great quote on Bush's spending:
"His dramatic increase in the size and spending of the federal government with a record deficit. With his $2.23 trillion budget, his administration will complete the biggest increase in government spending since Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society." The budget deficit predicted by the House Budget Office will hit a record $306 billion. Spending on government programs increased 22% from 1999 to 2003. A Washington Post report said, "The era of big government, if it ever went away, has returned full-throttle under President Bush." Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey commented that under President Bush, the federal government is "out of control."" The source? Liberal media publication Intellectual Conservative in an article entitled "Why Christians Should Not Vote for George W. Bush", February 15, 2004.
13. Free Trade.
George W. Bush supports free trade. That's why he slapped tariffs on imported steel. Of course, had the potentially affected steel mills been located in New York instead of Pennsylvania -- a state he hopes to win in 2004 -- Bush would still be a pure free trader.
Last week, the Bush Administration claimed that the outsourcing of high-paying U.S. jobs to other countries "is a good thing." N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, wrote a report saying exactly that. He then reiterated his belief in the wonderful attributes of Americans losing their jobs at a press briefing on the report. Once again, Republicans are fleeing from this statement as fast as they can. So is George Bush, who immediately ran to Pennsylvania to promise 2.6 million jobs by the end of the year. Unfortunately, Mankiw is Bush's hand-picked employee -- and the president has already signed the report.
As Senator Tom Harkin said: "Under George Bush, America has a new #1 export: jobs."
15. "No one could have imagined them hijacking airplanes."
Of all the lies, this one might be the most annoying. National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice made this claim repeatedly during the summer of 2002. Nevermind that Ramsey Yousef, one of the masterminds of the original attack on the World Trade Center, had his plot to hijack and crash 12 airplanes foiled by U.S. and foreign intelligence agents...in 1995. It was big news then, but apparently didn't make it all the way out to Stanford University. Rice's deceit was completely exposed in 2002 when details of the President's Daily Intelligence Briefing in August 2001 revealed that CIA and other sources warned the administration of just such hijackings. But she is never called on this or other lies when she makes her media rounds.
16. Air Force One was a target.
While everyone remembers and praises Bush's appearance with firefighters in New York City, the White House -- and the press -- conveniently ignore the actual timeline of events. That meeting took place on September 14, 2001. Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, the entire New York congressional delegation and, of course, Rudy Gulliani, had been on the scene for days, Rudy and Bill since almost minute one. On September 11, 2001, after he was notified of both the first and second plane crashes, it took nearly an hour for Bush to depart Florida. But, he did not go to Washington, or even make a statement in Florida. No, first he flew to an Air Force Base in Louisiana; then, to the safety of a bunker in Nebraska. He told Americans it was safe, while he was entombed.
Many criticized his absence, most notably Peter Jennings who asked "Where is the President." To combat such criticism, the Bush White House claimed that they zig-zagged across the country because of a "credible threat" against Air Force One. Nearly a year later, they were forced to admit that they had, in fact, received no such threat.
Now, I am not necessarily criticizing Bush's flight itinerary on 9/11/01. Keeping the President safe was the top priority and they rightly took steps to ensure his safety. So why not just say that and be done with it? Why did the White House have to put out another lie to try to make themselves look heroic? Because that's what they do.
17. Bill Clinton pillaged the White House as he walked out the door.
Well, according to the General Accounting Office in yet another investigation that spent our tax dollars, the allegations of looting just weren't true. Was there some damage and pranks? Of course, just as there are in every transition. But widespread damage? No, it wasn't true, but it sure sounded good.
18. Leave No Child Behind.
The president's key education initiative is a well-intentioned attempt to change education in the United States. It could lead to real changes, if Bush had actually funded the plan rather than treat it as a nice photo op to show he really cared.
According to Senator Edward Kennedy, the author of the legislation and Bush's main prop in 2001, "in the two years since the No Child Left Behind Act was passed, the Bush Administration has cut its funding, reneged on promised resources for better teachers and smaller classes, and worked to divert millions of dollars to private school vouchers... President Bush's new budget for 2005 will leave over 4.6 million children behind. Still pending before Congress is President Bush's 2004 budget which provides schools with over $7.5 billion less than promised in th
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