Monday, April 10, 2006

Will somebody please call him on this?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about Dubya's long-distance relationship with the truth. My thesis was that he lies because there have never been external negative consequences to his lies, so he never developed the capacity to care about the difference between truth and fiction. Today's performance offered an excellent example of his pathology, and the obsequious retinue that enables him: he tried to dance his way out of one lie with another, and nobody seems to called him on it.

So now WPE has admitted authorizing the leak that went to from Scooter to Our Lady of the Chalabi Hobby, the spin is flying thick and fast. Here's how Dubya himself spun it today (in response to a question from a student, natch, not a reporter):

Q Sorry. (Laughter.) My question, sir, is -- well, as Anthony eluded to earlier, and as you're aware, we have many students at SAIS who are currently working for or considering working for the State Department, the various intelligence agencies, and such. And how do you respond to the recent report by Prosecutor Fitzgerald that there is, in his words, "evidence of a concerted effort by the White House to punish Joseph Wilson," who himself has a distinguished record of government service.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah. No. I -- this is -- there's an ongoing legal proceeding which precludes me from talking a lot about the case. There's also an ongoing investigation that's a serious investigation. I will say this, that after we liberated Iraq, there was questions in people's minds about, you know -- about the basis on which I made the statements, in other words going into Iraq. And so I decided to declassify the NIE for a reason. I wanted to see people -- people to see what some of those statements were based on. That's what I wanted to see. I wanted people to see the truth. And I thought it made sense for people to see the truth, and that's why I declassified the document.

Now there are so many things wrong with this statement, but I want to pick on just one obvious piece.

Bush says "I decided to declassify the NIE..." But here's the thing, folks: that is another lie. In fact, the NIE is still classified. Bush only declassified one small part of it -- what was effectively a footnote. The main body of th NIE, according to the discussions I have read, was far more consistent with the Joe Wilson/reality-based view than it was with the Bush fantasy.

We can't expect those in the audience at Johns Hopkins to call him on this. But where the hell is the White House Press corpse on this?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When is the chimp going to declassify the nuclear codes? Americans want to know them.

4:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If a liar who knows he's a liar is CALLED a liar, does it really have any impact? If reality with all its built-in consequences is no bar to telling lies, how will name calling make a difference? Or, are you just saying this so that you'll feel better, you know, like you tried or somethinhg?

Of course YOU could 'call' him on it by taking action. But, if your 'call' would have a chance of making a real difference you would simultaneously be putting a lot at risk. They do punish their enemies. And, it still might not work, indeed likely wouldn't work.

My recommendation: weigh the actions that might actually make a difference, pick one and follow through -- or get used to being a subject intead of a citizen.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"White House Press corpse" as you call them are nothing more than a stenography service. They put out the daily Repulsive talking points and no more. Anyone caught acting like a member of the Fourth Estate (Helen Thomas) will immediately become a "non-person" and conseqeuntly will never be called on again. What a sorry state of affairs we find our country in when not only the administration is corrupt but so is the Congress, Judicial and the news media. Whores, the whole lot of them, they'd do anything for a dollar.

5:57 PM  

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