Sunday, August 15, 2004

Bush Plays Games With His Collegiate Memories

There's been a consensus among a segment of journalists, myself included, that President Bush and various other cabinet officers don't "lie." Instead, they make statements that are technically correct -- but misleading. Some observers actually think such statements are crafted with the aid of White House lawyers, to be sure they can't later be called lies.

For example, when President Bush -- in his "Mission Accomplished" speech -- said that by removing Saddam from power, the U.S.-led coalition had eliminated an "ally of Al Qaeda" and a "patron of terrorism," there was a gap between what Bush "meant" and what people "heard."

What Bush meant: Saddam is allied with Al Qaeda, in that they each hate the United States. He is a patron of terror, because he provided money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.

What people heard: Saddam helped Al Qaeda with 9/11.

***

With that preface, let me share with you a lie from our president.

It's a fib, no doubt. But not an accident. And not a half-truth, either. An actual effort by the president to correct something that was true, and make it untrue.

Ironically, the source of this lie is the book "Ten Minutes From Normal," a recently published work written by loyal Bush aide Karen Hughes.

Hughes recounted a conversation with Bush after Russian President Vladimir Putin grilled him on his days at Yale University -- including Bush's efforts there playing rugby.

"President Putin knew you had played rugby, but he didn't have the context. I mean, you just played for one semester in college, right?" Hughes writes.

Bush corrected: "I played for a year, and it was the varsity."

But the New York Daily News confirmed with a Yale spokeswoman that there's no such thing as varsity rugby at Yale -- not when Bush was an undergrad in the 1960s and not today. (Note: You can read the Daily News column by clicking on this link: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/gossip/story/190209p-164529c.html)

Guess the White House lawyers weren't consulted ...

David


3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

and...who cares?

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares if Bush or Cheney lies about small stuff like rugby? you forget the way conservatives called Gore a liar over every small thing ...

The better question is why did George feel he had to lie?

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i dont question the right of anyone to inquire about these "lies". I just do not see who truly cares, other than a few people that would never vote for Bush anyway. All politicians lie, each andevery one of them. It is the size and scope that ends up being the difference. And this just doesnt register on the radar screen. May be cynical but it is the truth. Same applies to Gore in 2000. The swing voter just isnt going to care and this election is now about the swing voters. Bush is ripe fo the taking....its too bad the dems have been so hijacked by the far left that they risk once again blowing a presidential election. Sad. If everyone focused on the issues, if Kerry took a clear stand on iraq instead of trying to pander to everyone, if, if, if.....he would win pretty handily.

5:00 PM  

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