Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Most Nauseating Lie in Bush's New Book


George W. Bush has had two years to carefully work out a strategy for rehabilitating the legacy of his disastrous presidency. And now, we are seeing the first major salvo in that effort: Bush's new book, Decision Points.

As could be expected from a man who brazenly lied his way through his presidency, Decision Points is a book filled with outrageous lies and distortions of history.

Clearly, Bush is channeling his mentor, Karl Rove. Rove's credo has always been: if you want to get a message out, don't worry about whether it's true. Just repeat it loudly, over and over. It's a blunt force tactic that usually works with the sort of simple-minded people who voted for Bush and who are lining up to buy his book today.

Reading Decision Points is a surreal experience. It's from a man whose worldview comes straight from the likes of Fox News and Rush. It is remarkably detached from reality.

The most nauseating lie in Bush's new book comes, as you might expect, from the central event that defined the Bush years: the disastrous Iraq War.

In his book, Bush writes that he was astonished to find after the invasion that there were no WMDs in Iraq. "No one was more shocked or angry than I was when we didn't find the weapons," Bush writes. "I had a sickening feeling every time I thought about it. I still do."

Indeed, Bush should have had a "sickening feeling" every time he thought about the non-existent WMDs. It should haunt him for the rest of his life.

But the record shows otherwise. In fact, a mere year after he ordered the Iraq invasion, Bush was already flippant about the missing WMDs. Incredibly, he even thought the topic was suitable fodder for humor.

In one of the most jaw-droppingly offensive performances by any U.S. politician in history, Bush laughed and joked about the missing WMDs in Iraq, during his March 24, 2004 appearance at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

To Bush, the non-existent WMDs were nothing more than a butt of a joke that night. While an overhead projector displayed photos of a puzzled-looking Bush searching around the Oval Office, Bush recited a comedy routine.

"Those weapons of mass destruction have gotta be somewhere," Bush laughed, while a photo showed him poking around the corners in the Oval Office. "Nope--no weapons over there! Maybe they're under here," he said, as a photo showed him looking under a desk.

Meanwhile, the assembled "Liberal" media elites at the White House Correspondents Dinner were laughing heartily during Bush's performance.

Bush joked about the same non-existent WMDs that represented his case for taking the nation to war with Iraq. Recall how in the 2002-2003 build-up to the invasion of Iraq, every other word out of Bush's mouth was "WMD."

Bush and the other chickenhawk NeoCons constantly did their best to make the case that Saddam had WMDs that posed a threat to America. The NeoCons in effect used WMDs as a club to beat over the head of anyone who dared question whether the U.S. was following a wise course in invading Iraq.

We Progressives never bought Bush's case for war. We tried to point out to anyone who would listen that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. We also tried to point out that Iraq was a small Third World nation with less than one-tenth of America's population, a nation with little industry.

Indeed, if Iraq did pose some sort of threat to America, we argued, then the question wasn't whether the U.S. should invade. Instead it was this: exactly why wasn't the Pentagon, with its trillion-dollar budgets, up to the job of protecting America? (Note that the U.S. spends more on its military than the rest of the world combined).

Indeed, many of us progressives rejected the very term, "Weapons of Mass Destruction." It was nothing more than a deliberately scary, propagandistic term, meant to frighten Americans into doing whatever the Bush/Cheney regime wanted. WMD was a term that belonged in a Marvel comic book, not in the real world.

Fast-forward to 2010. Bush is now trying to whitewash his presidency and hawk his book--the advance for which he reportedly pocketed a cool $7 million. Apparently unaware of the existence of sites like YouTube, Bush is now trying to pretend the 2004 White House Correspondents Dinner never happened. And now, he have us believe that the non-existent WMDs left him feeling "shocked," "angry" and with a "sickening feeling."

Actually, that exactly how I felt upon reading Bush's pack of lies.

I like Mother Jones writer David Corn. But I have to admit, I was a bit dismayed to see his Nov. 19 piece, "Bush's Biggest WMD Lie?" which makes exactly the same point as my Nov. 9 article above. (No, I'm not saying Corn copied my article----I doubt he's aware of my obscure blog). But the coincidence is spooky indeed.


Anonymous said...

Great post. You are exactly right.

Anonymous said...

WMD = Words of Mass Deception

Anonymous said...

Nor should we ever forget that he turned war into a profit center for his friends. Non-competitive bidding for the profits of creating a corporate military where corporations could provide substandard food, housing and deadly showers to the troops. Where former soldiers of fortune and death squad members could be called by the innocuous name "contractors", who were under no threat of punishment for any actions and who now comprise a corporate army in the US stationed in San Diego. An there will never be the threat of an audit to find whether the privatization of the military has improved or saved any money.

Anonymous said...

if this wasnt such a tragedy, it would be funny

zencomix said...

The scam was so obvious at the time, but the cheerleading mass media would not call him on it. Bush wouldn't allow the weapons inspectors to continue their work, and insisted on invading. They couldn't find the WMDs, even as Rumsfeld was saying they knew where the WMDs were located.

Anonymous said...

Too bad the book won't just be boycotted and he'd have to pay back his advance...

Batocchio said...

Spot on. They have video of that performance up at C&L now. Zencomix has covered part of this, but additionally, Bush claimed that they had actually found WMD in May 2003, and as Rampton and Stauber have shown, the re-writing of reality on the war started almost immediately, and it was brazen. Remember Bush in July 2003, claiming he had to invade, because Saddam Hussein wouldn't let in weapons inspectors? You know, those weapon inspectors who were scouring Iraq in March 2003? Even if one believed Iraq was an imminent threat, clearly Bush and the gang wanted war, because they started one even after Iraq had complied with the demand for weapons inspectors. Virtually no American news agency called Bush on the invasion or his reality re-writing claims months later. I think it's because they just didn't give a damn. They supported the war, so what was one more false pretense?

Bill Press was on Thom Hartmann's show the other day, and pointed out that Bush's two biggest regrets – not landing the plane in Louisiana and the "Mission Accomplished" banner – were failures of PR. Bush didn't express regret over the underlying, substantive failures.

The element of the interview that I thought was sincere was that Bush seems to have acted throughout his presidency as he thought a strong, manly, inflexible cowboy-Rambo type might act. Almost every decision was based on image and self-image, with a tremendous, mean, bullying insecurity underneath. Bush is cognizant enough to lie, as he did on some points in the interview, but I think he's always bought some of his own bullshit. The entire Cheney apparatus was designed to keep Bush in a bubble of flattering bullshit without him doing much work or even reading, and Bush was thrilled with this set-up. Remember this one? "Every morning, Josh Bolten, the chief of staff, greets Bush with the same words: "Thank you for the privilege of serving today.""

Starting the war was awfully shameful, but with Bush it's hard to choose just one disaster. The economic damage he did is truly staggering and unprecedented, and Bush did more to turn America into a plutocracy than even Reagan. Hurricane Katrina is the one that finally turned the American people permanently against Bush, and for good reason. Meanwhile, Lauer ignored Bush brushing off that 8/6/01 PDB "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S." by saying "All right, you've covered your ass now." Finally, Lauer didn't fact-check Bush on his lies about torture, and when Lauer actually challenged him (!) on the precedent of torturing prisoners and how that would affect American prisoners elsewhere, Bush just said, read the book. That, you see, is leadership.

Anonymous said...

Toon is as Toon does...always was, always will be the 2nd most-successful Toon in U.S. political history...

Court Jester said...

About 2 years before the Iraq War started, on 24 February 2001, Colin Powell gave a briefing in Egypt. He was asked about the continuing sanctions on Iraq. In his reply, he said:

"...frankly they have worked. He[Saddam] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."

Yet soon after 9/11, The Bush administration "discovered" that Saddam has a WMD program.

Court Jester said...

About 2 years before the Iraq War started, on 24 February 2001, Colin Powell gave a briefing in Egypt. He was asked about the continuing sanctions on Iraq. In his reply, he said:

"...frankly they have worked. He[Saddam] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."

Yet soon after 9/11, The Bush administration "discovered" that Saddam has a WMD program.

Anonymous said...

Here's a perfect example of a boy who was born on third base and thinks he got there by himself.The sickest part of this joke is the book will become a best seller and be fodder for debate. What do you expect from someone whose toad of a Grandfather ,Sen.Prescott Bush almost wound up in prison for war crimes because he was assisting the Germans and more to the point Adolf Hitler conduct trade with America during a time of world war. He should have been hung. As for George's butt buddy Karl Rove his Grandfather was Karl Heinz Roverer, the Gauleiter of Oldenburg. Roverer was Reich-Statthalter---Nazi State Party Chairman---for his region. He was also a partner and senior engineer in the Roverer Sud-Deutche Ingenieurburo A. G. engineering firm, which built the Birkenau death camp, at which tens of thousands of Jews, Gypsies, dissidents and other were slaughtered en masse. I'm not implying that Junior is a Nazi or anything but his tactics are right from the Nazi playbook, first and foremost is to just keep repeating the same lies over and over ad with time the lies become the truth. America is almost right where they want it and in a few years people like us will be such a minority that we'll have to avoid speaking and hope these blogs never get audited.

Anonymous said...

The article about Rove is from the Democratic underground free press and it has been retracted, it was just a weird rumor started up. On the other hand maybe everyone should just do what they do and keep it alive, I mean it almost sounds true,right? If they want to base their entire game on lies then I suggest fighting fire with fire.

Anonymous said...

Bush has gotten away with lying all of his life; his entire personna is a lie. His entrance into Yale was arranged. Never worked an honest hour in his life.

gillianb said...

I really cringed when he insisted that "everyone believed there were WMD's"... because I was in the street on Feb 15 2003 with the other 500,000 people in NYC that believed the war was a crock! I also remember seeing the marches and rallies in a dozen other cities across the country and around the world that shared our convictions. It is an insult to the vaunted "American people" that they seem to know so well, that in spite of the groundswell of opposition to the war, they went ahead with it. It gives me cold comfort now to know and say, "We were right!"

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Zencomix, thanks for stopping by.
>>>Bush wouldn't allow the weapons
>>>inspectors to continue their
>>>work, and insisted on invading.

Good point. I still see right-wingers making the false claim that Saddam wouldn't allow the WMD inspectors to do their job and that's why Bush ordered the invasion.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Batocchio, thanks for your comments, you make some great points.

Yes, I'm astonished at how the Busheviks continue to re-write history on a par with anything Stalin ever did.

What's bizarre is that the likes of Cheney will lie and repeatedly claim that he never said something that he in fact did say.

These people seem to be oblivious ot the fact we live in a YouTube era, where taped interviews live on forever.

The old approach of "deny, deny, deny" simply doesn't work any more.
At least it doesn't with the non-Kool-Aid drinkers.

>>Virtually no American news
>>>agency called Bush on the
>>>invasion or his reality
>>>rewriting claims months later.

Yes, and a lot of this historical revisionism has started cropping up on Wikipedia. The right-wingers are ALL OVER that site, constantly re-writing articles and giving them a pro-Bush, pro-GOP spin.

I wrote about this a while back: a few years ago, I recall reading the main Wikipedia article about Bush. It had zero mentions of Valerie Plame. I tried to raise this issue on the "Discussions" page and I found that just typing in the word "Plame" triggered a text robot that blocked any posts from mentioning her on that article.

I will give the wingnuts credit for one thing. They know exactly what they want and they'll play hardball to do whatever it takes to win. We saw this in the 2000 elections, when the GOP brownshirts staged riots and intimidated the Florida voter counters, while the Gore people just sat around politely waiting for the phone to ring.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi, Court Jester, thanks for stopping by.
re: Colin Powell's remarks.

Good point. I believe that video of Powell's comments was included in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Anon, thank for your comment.

>>America is almost right where
>>they want it and in a few years
>>people like us will be such a
>>minority that we'll have to
>>avoid speaking and hope these
>>blogs never get audited.

I have no doubt that eventually, there will be a big right-wing crackdown on the progressive Web. These NeoNazis will introduce legislation and give it an Orwellian name like "The Internet Freedom Act" and then use it to shut down the likes of Think Progress and C&L.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Anon,
>>The article about Rove is from
>>the Democratic underground free
>>press and it has been retracted

Actually, I'm not sure what you're talking about here. Please clarify.
You seem to suggest that the progressives ought to tell lies like the GOP does.
I disagree. There's no need to sink their their level.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Gillianb, great point. Yes, millions of people around the world marched in 2002-03 against the upcoming invasion of Iraq. It was the largest worldwide mass protest in history. It's a shame our views weren't heeded.

Cirze said...

So you think Dumbya had anything to do with writing that shit?

Ha ha ha on us, huh?

The chosen don't have to write books or even make sensible arguments.

They own the media.

And they rule.

Thanks for your efforts to get the facts out.


Jack Jodell said...

Anybody with half a brain knows that W lies in virtually EVERYTHING he says. The problem is, there are a lot of people in this country with only 49% or less of a brain. These include media types who are actually taking this buffoon seriously and paying him to spout his lies and nonsense on TV.

I've said it before and I will repeat it until the day I die: George W. Bush is not only an ignorant fool and liar, but a war criminal as well, and one who should be indicted, tried, convicted, sentenced, and punished for his crimes against humanity. Also, without any doubt, he was the worst President in our entire history!

onward said...

Funny how everyone still points at Bush probably so they can feel better about Obama. Yea Bush made mistakes lots. So that helps cover up Obamas 25 lawsuits by Demo Committee that proved not American born but Citizen. Or the ruling by E.E.C. that Obama commited voter fraud and tampering for 2004 seat. Funny how Acorn was allowed to go bankrupt after getting $3 billion from bailout for taking $75 million out of housing to run Get Out Early and Vote program.Which now E.E.C. has shown 500,000 registered were illegal votes. Reminds me of primaries. Yea lets go after Bush its easier

Cirze said...

Funny how this guy "onward" (which must be code for "backward") can lie lie lie lie lie lie . . . without thinking that anyone here is cognizant of the facts.

Go back to the NeoCon world of crazies where you arose from the slime that is all-pervasive there, where lies are the norm and no one notices your intelligence level because they have none.

And stop bothering intelligent people with your bought-and-paid-for rightwingnut blather.

Anonymous said...

Holy Cow. "Onward" and downward, it would seem. How do these people justify their willful ignorance?

By embracing the disproved lies and debunked babble of the Becks of their little blindered world, apparently.

As for "Nobody knew" there were no WMDs in Iraq, tens of millions protestd in the World's streets, Scott Ritter debunked the WMD lie from a most informed perspective, Ambassador Wilson called "bullshit" in the Yellow Cake Lie and got his wife's butt handed to him on a skewer...

It's a Dog-eat Dove world out there, and the dogs are winning by dint of their superior ability to lie.

It's too bad that it does so little good to shine a light on reality for people like Onward. To paraphrase a punchline from an old American adage, "...It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

And Thanks, Marc, for your lucid appraisal of Bush's book, and for having the courage to call lies, "LIES!"

Cirze said...

This was the end for me of any type of viewing MSM for anything having anything to do with truth telling.

As well, Condi Rice and Colin Powell should be drawn and quartered as they knowingly lied (and it showed plainly on both of their faces as they testified) about all the facts concerning WMDs and 9/11 being linked to Iraq.

And much much more.

Thanks for continuing your truth watch.


Meanwhile, the assembled "Liberal" media elites at the White House Correspondents Dinner were laughing heartily during Bush's performance.