Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 10, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

BUSH'S LIE....At his Wednesday press conference, President Bush made it clear that Donald Rumsfeld's departure had been planned for some time, and that he had lied about this a week earlier during an interview with several reporters. Since then, even some conservatives have been laying into him for this admission.

But, really, this has gotten way too much attention. There's a pretty broad-based understanding, after all, that personnel issues are special: you're expected to deny that anything is going on until the minute you make an official announcement. And there's really no other way to do things. You can't refuse to ever comment on your own subordinates, but at the same time you can't give away future personnel moves by suddenly clamming up about them. The result is a kabuki dance accepted by everyone in which you're allowed to lie about this stuff until something official happens.

However, this lying is typically a bit more smoothly done. What this kerfuffle really shows is that Bush must have been pretty rattled by the specter of upcoming defeat and then by the massive defeat itself. Politicians may be allowed to effectively lie about personnel changes, but they're also expected to be a little more subtle and ambiguous about them. Last Tuesday, when Bush first answered the question, and this week, when he explained himself, he was obviously flustered enough that he couldn't think of a way to do that. So he just flatly lied and then admitted it. That's pretty unusual.

Kevin Drum 12:46 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (177)

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Comments

You'd think somebody who is accused of lying all the time would do it a bit more smoothly.

Posted by: clark on November 10, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

The scandal isn't that he lied about removing Rumsfeld. The scandal is that he will only make changes because he is unpopular. He didn't remove Rumsfeld because Rumsfeld is incompotent. He was just getting in the way and needed to step aside. The press should ask him about that...

Posted by: urkel on November 10, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

If a reporter accepts that the President might lie about personnel issues, what's the point of even asking?

Posted by: dogfacegeorge on November 10, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

No, I don't think I buy this.

Typically, when a politician is asked a question s/he doesn't want to answer, or can't answer without either flatly lying or upsetting a delicate applecart, s/he just sidesteps, or answers a different question, or launches into a stock formulation, or at the very least does a non-denial.

Bush just lied. He said "white" when he knew "black."

This isn't Kabuki. This is yet more evidence of the well-chronicled contempt that Bush personally, and this WH generally, has for the media.

He didn't care. And he doesn't care. And his answer at the presser was essentially, "so what, fuck you, whadda you gonna do about it?"

Posted by: bleh on November 10, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Anyway, he didn't lie UNDER OATH!!!!!111!!

Mainly because with a Republican House and Senate you never can get an administration official under oath. If only it were otherwise.

Oh, wait...

Posted by: derek on November 10, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of which: What do you think of Newt's claim that, had Bush dumped Rumsfeld two weeks ago, the Republicans would still have the Senate?

Posted by: MAB on November 10, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Bush LIED?!?!?!?! Wow, what a scoop!!!!

He lied, everyone knows he lied, the press knows he knows they know; do you think anyone will actually call him a liar to his face? Nothing's changed in the White House.

Posted by: bcinaz on November 10, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Glenn Greenwald has a slightly more clearheaded view on this:

So the President got caught lying to the American people, several days before an election, about a matter of unquestionable importance -- namely, who will manage our war in Iraq and, more broadly, will the President change how the war is being managed? And not even the President claims there was some national security "justification" for lying. It was a pure political calculus: "I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign."

Read the whole thing for Greenwald's dissection of the Washington Post's shoddy, dishonest cover-up of Bush's blatant lying.

http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/11/extremely-odd-behavior-from-washington.html

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with Kevin on this. I am second to none in Bush-hatred, and his substantive lies have come thick and fast going back to his days as governor (if only the MSM would call him, other than Krugman). However, the Rummy situation is more of a typical political fib that I cannot get too worked up about.

Posted by: Marlowe on November 10, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

It is not clear that it was a lie.

I am anti-Bush but....

When he made that statement, he could very well have been intending to keep Rumsfeld, SINCE THE NEW APPOINTEE HAD NOT YET AGREED. He was not asked the right question.

We all know Bush lies all the time. This might well have been a "lawyerly evasion" situation.

Posted by: POed Lib on November 10, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

But, really, this has gotten way too much attention.

What the hell? Are you actually saying that when Bush not only gets caught lying, but then goes on to actually admit to it and admit that he only did it for partisan political gain, that we should let it go?!?! The GOP can ginn up three days of non-stop coverage of a botched joke by Senator Kerry, but when Bush lies to the American people about the central security issue facing our country then "this has gotten too much attention"?

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Besides the questions around this "lie", it might well be that the lie was its own punishment, since it's possible that the lie cost him the Senate.

Posted by: POed Lib on November 10, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

The result is a kabuki dance...

In the case of the White House press corps it's more like a bukkake dance.

Just sayin'.

In any event, had the election left the Republicans with majority control of Congress I think Bob Gates' ass would still be warming a seat at Texas A&M.

Posted by: snark on November 10, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

It is not clear that it was a lie.

It's clear it was a lie because Bush himself admitted it was a lie: "the reason why is I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign. And so the only way to answer that question and to get you on to another question was to give you that answer."

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP can ginn up three days of non-stop coverage of a botched joke by Senator Kerry, but when Bush lies to the American people about the central security issue facing our country then "this has gotten too much attention"?

Well sure, because conservatalism is the natural order of the universe, but Democrats are an aberation that must be mocked at every opportunity.

Ah, it's so good to be back on solid footing, after several days of uncomfortable success and progress.

Posted by: craigie on November 10, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Oh and Kevin, I read your interview. Why oh why must you dress like a former marketing manager for a technology company?

Oh, nevermind...

Posted by: craigie on November 10, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

This might well have been a "lawyerly evasion" situation.

i thought the GOP made it perfectly clear, in the late 90's, that such situations were fair game for massive noise machine outbursts ?

Posted by: cleek on November 10, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Since then, even some conservatives have been laying into him for this admission.

Not for lying, of course, but for admitting it.

Posted by: Gregory on November 10, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

K -

What everyone misses is this is one lie on top of a bigger lie: Bush claimed he lied about Rummy because he didn't want to give the impression that his Iraq decisions are based on domestic political imperatives...

Posted by: xxx on November 10, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

It seems to me that the bigger and more grievous lie was to declare bipartisanship with Nancy Pelosi and less than twenty minutes later send the renomination of John Bolton back to the Senate committee.

Posted by: AC on November 10, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

On the subject of Bush lies, let's not forget Bush's far more significant false claim in April, 2004 that the NSA was complying with FISA (emphasis added):

"Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so."

Posted by: Crust on November 10, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Don't fall in love with Bob Gates. He is not the best choice. He is a career spook, and he was up to his eyeballs in Iran/Contra.

And do not give me the tired line about he wasn't charged with anything. Please. He was just better at covering his tracks. Absence of evidence is not the same thing as absence of guilt.

Gates is not the new SecDef, and he might not make it through the Senate confirmation process. At this point in time, he has been nominated.

But we could do better.

Three better better options leap immediately to mind: Sam Nunn, Admiral Bobby Inman and William Cohen.

As to Bush lying? That's a real dog-bites-man scoop.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Kevin. If anything, Bush was honest about his lie.

Look at any company. Day X: CEO is a great guy, his plans are wonderful, full steam ahead. Day X + 1: CEO is out on his ass, his plans were garbage, 180 degree course change.

Get over it and move on folks. We don't for a fact know whether Bush would have rid himself of Rumsfeld if the GOP had done well.

The timing is all a bit odd. But obsessing about Bush's lie is hair splitting.

PS: Anyone remember "I didn't have relations with that woman?" I think sometimes politicians have to lie about policy changes until the changes are made. That's the way it goes. I'm not so sure about politicians have sex with interns in the oval office.

Move on. Get over it. There is nothing to be found here. We're wasting our time.

Posted by: T.R. Elliott on November 10, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

In the first place, there's a long gap between saying something like "We're not discussing any kinds of changes in advance of the ISG report." or "I have full faith and confidence in Don Rumsfeld" and saying "He'll be here for the rest of my term of office."

Bush has shown that he is perfectly capable of not answering questions. There was no reason, other than, as he said on Wednesday, that wasn't purely political. They'd made a calculation that their best chance to win was to hold tightly to the strong on security message. They'd also made the decision to start moving in another direction, after the election. So Bush does what Bush always does--he lied, brazenly and insultingly for a political purpose

Everything they do is political. I'm personally convinced that the primary motivation for the Iraq war was to create a wartime environment amenable to republican electoral success. They saw the 9/11 bump. They saw the Afghanistan war maintain that bump and they wanted to keep on keeping on with another piece of low hanging fruit.

In that context, lying about Rumsfeld's future pales.

Posted by: jayackroyd on November 10, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

In this particular case the lie hurt the President's party. I think the Republicans should be in an uproar. If he had dumped Rumsfeld a few weeks ago and announced a change in course, he might not have lost one or two of those really close senate races.

My own guess is that until the end he had hoped to hold the Senate and some of the lost house seats. If he had, Rummy would still be defense secretary. When he didn't he simply carried out a plan that had been in the works.

Posted by: Ron Byers on November 10, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

I think my favorite Bush lie is the one about "I do not have plans for invading Iraq on my desk".

(They were over on the bookcase)

Posted by: Robert on November 10, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

"Three better better options leap immediately to mind: Sam Nunn, Admiral Bobby Inman and William Cohen. "

And they're all too smart to spend their twilight years picking up Rummy and Junior's turds, I'd wager.

Posted by: Urinated State of America on November 10, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

You probably have that right, USA. I wouldn't want the task handed to me. But these guys are dedicated Americans and they would probably suck it up for the good of the nation. They just wouldn't be able to help themselves.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Why people here are giving Bush a pass on this blatant lying is just beyond me.

From a news account:

President Bush said Wednesday he wants Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney to remain with him until the end of his presidency, extending a job guarantee to two of the most-vilified members of his administration.

"Both those men are doing fantastic jobs and I strongly support them," Bush said in an interview with The Associated Press and others.

This isn't just a failure in smoothness. Given that Bush was at the very time clearly seeking a replacement for Rumsfeld, this is calling the blackest black the sunniest, whitest white.

That isn't excusable. That's just pathological. It demonstrates an utter contempt for the truth, and for the people to whom you are lying -- and they happen to be the American people.

Posted by: frankly0 on November 10, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Is it too much to ask for a politician who at least looks a little embarrassed when he's caught lying?

Wouldn't a red face signify some respect for the truth?

Posted by: frankly0 on November 10, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

The timing is all a bit odd. But obsessing about Bush's lie is hair splitting.

Excuse me, are you at all familiar with American politics? Do you have any notion whatsoever about how things are done here?

Again, we can devote three days to a joke -- a joke! -- by a former presidential candidate, but when Bush lies to the nation about our national security in order to help win an election then it's "hair splitting" to object???

Jesus, you people would bring a knife to a gunfight....

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

The lie isn't important. At this point, I assume they are lying about nearly everything.

What's interesting is that Rumsfeld wasn't thrown under the train a month or more before the midterm elections in an effort to show that the Bush administration, and thus the Republicans were willing to take a new direction on Iraq. It might have saved them a few seats in the house.

Posted by: JeffII on November 10, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

I read somewhere that an insider claims that Bush did not tell the truth a week prior to the election lest he is accused of political opportunism.

The jokes write themselves.

Posted by: gregor on November 10, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Glenn Greenwald punctures Howard "Colonel" Kurtz's claim that "Journalists by nature shy from pinning the 'liar' label on any political leader" (bold emphases mine):

As Kurtz's own column illustrates, journalists most certainly do not "shy away from pinning the 'liar' label on any political leader." All of the wise and brave pundits and other Beltway luminaries -- one after the next -- fell all over themselves calling Bill Clinton a "liar" continuously because he claimed not to have had sex with Monica Lewinksy. In that instance, they were more than happy to use the word "liar" as clearly and freely as can be imagined.

Journalists "shy away" from pinning the "liar label" not -- as Kurtz claims -- "on any political leader," but on the specific political leaders who currently occupy the White House. And for proof of that, Kurtz need look no further than his own newspaper, which appears to have engaged in some sort of Stalinist-like purging of history by zapping out of existence the Post's accurate detailing of the President's Press Conference admission of lying.

http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/11/extremely-odd-behavior-from-washington.html

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

No blowjob was involved, so it's OK.

Posted by: Jenna's Bush on November 10, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Kevin on this point. I really don't give a crap that Bush lied about letting Rumsfeld go, politicians lie about that stuff all the time, and I found his admission rather refreshing.

I AM concerned, however, about his lies about Iraq, about NCLB, about tax cuts, about Medicare reform, about Social Security, etc. By focusing on this inconsequential lie, we allow the media to take their attention away from the more serious lies (not that they're really paying attention anyway).

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 10, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

That isn't excusable. That's just pathological. It demonstrates an utter contempt for the truth, and for the people to whom you are lying -- and they happen to be the American people.

I've no desire to cut Bush any slack, but personnel moves are always kept underwraps until they're finalized. This happens all the time in the business world and it's necessary dissembling. What if the situation changes before all the pieces are in place and you have to delay the change or use someone else as a replacement?

What's really weird, and a number of posters have noted, is that they didn't have the change ready in time to do them any good. To my eyes it speaks to the administration's state of denial that there was a real possibility they could get whoomped in this election. And the denial of reality is their SOP; this is just a succinct example of it biting them in the ass.

Posted by: cyntax on November 10, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

This happens all the time in the business world

This is not the business world.

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

The verbatim Q&A (see here):

Q: Assuming their health holds up, do you want Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to be with you until the end?

Bush: Both those men are doing fantastic jobs. And I strongly support them.

Q: Up until the end -- you see them staying with you until the end?

Bush: I do.

Q: So you're expecting Rumsfeld -- Secretary Rumsfeld to stay on the rest of your time here?

Bush: Yes, I am.

Posted by: has407 on November 10, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Don't fall in love with Bob Gates. He is not the best choice. He is a career spook, and he was up to his eyeballs in Iran/Contra.

Absolutely true. Bush had to name someone close to his family's inner circle, he can't have the SecDef snooping around into pre-war documents that would prove WH complicity in the lies that got us into Iraq.

That being said, he's still a huge upgrade over Rummyfled. He'll listen to his generals and try to take concrete steps to get us out of the Iraqi boondoggle.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 10, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Or as he said, cyntax, Bush really did not want to inject that kind of decision into the election.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

No way bush lied because he was flustered. Bush seems to enjoy bold-faced lies. Like when he says he had to attack Iraq because Sadam wouldn't allow inspectors in or when he says he had to invade because Sadam kicked the inspectors out. He lies with alacrity. He knows no one in the press will refute the lie or call it a lie. The big deal isn't just the lie. The big deal is that we have a president who lies so damn cavalierly and a press who won't call a lie a lie. Like his lies are just a big funny joke.

Posted by: Chrissy on November 10, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Great post. The problem with the flap over Bush's denial of Rumsfeld's departure is that is equates this type of perfectly acceptable white lie with the administrations truly troublesome mendacity.

Thanks,

RM

Posted by: RM on November 10, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

has407:

What did "be with you", "until the end", and "the rest of your time" mean to you?

RM:

Why is that a "problem"?

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

It is true that we shouldn't expect leaders to volunteer that they are contemplating replacing a subordinate, when they aren't ready to say so publicly.

But Bush volunteered that Rummy had a job as long as he wanted it, for his full term. There's no reason for a president to make such an open-ended commitment, so the fact that it was a lie isn't a small matter.

Posted by: Joe Buck on November 10, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

This is not the business world.

So? Some of the same reasoning (which I described) still applies.

Posted by: cyntax on November 10, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Kevin. Lying about this sort of thing is kind of expected. It's like JFK lying about having a cold before the missile crisis.

But am I the only person who thinks that Bush is lying now? I think Rummy probably would have stayed on if the GOP had kept Congress.

Posted by: Alex Parker on November 10, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

It was a lie, and it needs to be pointed out as such.

But I think that in comparison to the other lies of this President that have had far more disastrous consequences, it was almost like a two year old with remnants of chocolate chips on his chin claiming that he did not eat the cookies.

Posted by: gregor on November 10, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Alex:

I don't think he was lying either.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Gates was the original facts-fixer. George Schultz complained bitterly about Gates, and recounted the following exchange in his memoires: "You deal out intelligence as you deem appropriate. I feel an effort is made to manipulate me by the selection of materials you send my way."

Back in these days, Gates' most ardent supporter was then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney.

An anti-Soviet hawk, and closely allied with the core group of people who would later be identified as Neocons; Gates was wrong about Gorbachev, and if he had won out over Jim Baker, the Cold War would not have ended when it did and it would have probably bankrupted both countries, not just the Soviet Union. Back then, Gates was a Soviet Expert and Deputy Director of the NSA, and Condi's mentor.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a little surprised that no one seems to have picked up on this nugget from the same press conference:

"Harry Truman began the Cold War, and Eisenhower, obviously, from a different party, continued it."

I can remember a time when to make an assertion like that would call down outraged protests about "historical revisionism." Hell, even I think it's a little hard on Truman: Stalin has to shoulder some of the blame.

You can imagine how the tame press would have responded had a Democratic senator made the same remark...

Posted by: Rand Careaga on November 10, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffery -- Read the third question and answer. What's your point?

Posted by: has407 on November 10, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

And Charlie's latest sock puppet emerges.

Posted by: Gregory on November 10, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Having read all the posts and comments so far, I'm still in the "white lie" camp like RM. White lies like Bush's about Rusmfeld are par for the course in the private and public sector. We could dregde through Republican and Democratic statements that were probably made on day A and then recanted the following day.

It's the more complex lies, those that produced the invasion of Iraq, that should be our focus. Not that Bush didn't tell the world that he had lost faith in his Defense Secretary the week before an election.

To the point that the media can spend days on Kerry's foot-in-mouth: (1) Do progressives really want to simply ape the techniques of the reactionaries? I do not think the electorate, at least the majority, ever latched on significantly to the gotcha politics of the right. Progressives need to define a positive program and move forward with it. Certainly they should be prepared to swat flies when necessary. But this is not a fly. It's a fly speck. Move on. (2) Kerry could have squashed that meme much quicker if he had said immediately that he mispoke. He didn't. I saw the original clip, granted taken out of context. It looked to me that he was making a statement about the troops. That's what it looked like. He could have said oops, sorry, that's not what I meant, and I'm angry at the Republicans for spinning it otherwise. He didn't. He blew it. He couldn't control the spin.

The mainstream media does seem to enable the conservatives and disable the progressives. I'm not sure why. But a white lie about coming policy changes is normal and acceptable. Lying about the weapons inspects in Iraq before the war is unacceptable.

Let's get them straight. They are different. Move on. Move one. Move on.

Posted by: T.R. Elliott on November 10, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

I've no desire to cut Bush any slack, but personnel moves are always kept underwraps until they're finalized. This happens all the time in the business world and it's necessary dissembling. What if the situation changes before all the pieces are in place and you have to delay the change or use someone else as a replacement?

Yes, and there are many ways of handling that situation well short of acting as if the people in question are doing a "fantastic" job, and that you're committed to them for years ahead.

And you know what? If you DO engage in that kind of behavior, even in the business world, don't imagine that your workers don't think of you as liars, who just can't manage to speak anything remotely resembling the truth to them.

If management wants to know why workers don't trust them, this would be a perfect example of why not.

You may think you're getting away with this. Trust me, you're not.

Posted by: frankly0 on November 10, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Wait....what if he was lying when he said he was planning this all along? No one seems to think that this could be the case. Maybe he was planning on keeping Rummy around before the election and then decided at the last minute to let him go?

Posted by: Les Ismore on November 10, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

So? Some of the same reasoning (which I described) still applies.

No, it doesn't. Not at all. In the business world you often have quite clear contractual, fiduciary, legal and/or regulatory constraints on what you are and are not allowed to say -- I deal with these issues in my business all day.

In politics, however, there was no similar constraint on Bush -- he was perfectly free to tell the truth if he wanted, but chose not to in order to give his party what he thought would be an advantage in the election. That is, he lied about national security not for the sake of America's as a whole best interests, but for the best interests of his particular political party, for partisan political gain. He didn't lie to protect the country -- he lied to protect the GOP.

Moreover, I would argue that Bush has a positive obligation to tell the truth to the American public on such matters, particularly in the midst of an election -- democracy only works when the voters are well-informed, and able to make knowledgeable decisions at the polls, and by lying about Rumsfeld Bush was witholding a key piece of information from the voting public.

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Or as he said, cyntax, Bush really did not want to inject that kind of decision into the election.
Posted by: Jeffery

Yeah, I think he very much didn't want that to factor into the calculus of the election, but it was his misreading of the situation to not recognize that it was already a factor, and one that needed to addressed. It seems they were dealing with this issue of replacing the SecDef the same way they were the Baker report: delay till after the election. Which works with the Baker report (since no one knows what's in it) but not with Rummy because everyone has been looking at that problem for the last 3 years (or 6 depending on your perspective).

Joe Buck is right that the open-ended commitment Bush gave was going above and beyond the type of denial that would have fit the situation, but that's Bush's blunder and imprecise thought process more than anything. I agree with RM's assessment that much more substantive and harmful distortions have been made.

Posted by: cyntax on November 10, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

has407:

"The rest of your time here" could have meant "here during this interview".

cyntax:

I don't agree with was a distortion in the first place. Bush had full confidence in Rumsfeld until he didn't.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

this really is a non-issue:

all presidents "lie" about personnel matters. you have to. big whoop. there's no public right to know as to exactly when a President is deciding to off an employee.

Bush was just less than adroit with it. On the other hand, his admission was also exceptional.

Posted by: Nathan on November 10, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

"President Bush said Wednesday he wants Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney to remain with him until the end of his presidency, extending a job guarantee to two of the most-vilified members of his administration. 'Both those men are doing fantastic jobs and I strongly support them,' Bush said in an interview with The Associated Press and others."


So is it better to be doing a heckuva job or a fantastic job?

Does the fact that Bush went out of his way to support Cheney as well as Rumsfeld mean that we should start a meme about Cheney's imminent departure?

Maybe we could helpfully point out to the Republicans that Cheney may not last out the term anyway, and he's deeply unpopular for pushing the invasion of Iraq, among many other things. If Cheney resigned now, Bush could nominate a replacement for confirmation by a Republican house and senate. However, if he waits until the house and senate end their session, then any nomination he makes would have to be confirmed by a Democratic house and senate. The flying fur in the resulting Republican cat fight could certainly work to distract us all from whatever scandals of the week are waiting their turns in the wings.

Posted by: N. Wells on November 10, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

It's like JFK lying about having a cold before the missile crisis.

Jesus Christ, it could hardly be LESS like that!

Look, the real issue here is: waht is the end that the means of lying justifies?

If Bush were lying in the clear service of an issue of national security, that would be one thing -- and that's what JFK was doing (I presume from the context).

No, Bush was lying ONLY for POLITICAL purposes -- which he himself admitted. Why does THAT merit a an absolutely bald, in your face lie? He was lying directly to the American people, in the very teeth of an election, about what the remaining portion of his term would be conducted. He could have equivocated; he could have deferred the real decision until after the election, and not before, so that he could honestly report that he had no plans to replace Rumsfeld.

Do you NOT see the difference here? Is this really hard?

Posted by: frankly0 on November 10, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

oh for frick's sake. he probably hadn't even told Rumsfeld he was gone yet. There's a bit of a personal humane duty to not have someone find out they lost their job in the press.

Posted by: Nathan on November 10, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

I meant:

what is the end justifying the means of lying?

Posted by: frankly0 on November 10, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

"he could have deferred the real decision"

he supposedly did defer it -- until Sunday. your real beef is with his phrasing. like I said, Dubya was less than adroit with his words -- that's news?

Posted by: Nathan on November 10, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan:

I watched the entire Press Conference on ABC, and George Stephanopoulos was trying to make a big deal about it too. Charlie Gibson pointed out immediately if Bush DOESN'T give a 100% solid vote of confidence to Rumsfeld on a question like that, then they both would have jumped on that too.

franklyO:

Did you see the full Press Conference, or have you read the transcript?

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan:

I think the actual decision was even later than that. Sunday was just when he met with Gates in Crawford.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

In politics, however, there was no similar constraint on Bush -- he was perfectly free to tell the truth if he wanted, but chose not to in order to give his party what he thought would be an advantage in the election.

I disagree about why he lied. If protection of the GOP was what motivated him, he would have gotten Rummy out post-haste. I see this as a strategic blunder primarily motivated by the hubris and the stubborn "don't bother me I'm in charge" attitude that is part of everything this administration does.

It seems unlikely that any of us on this thread are unaware of the fact that Bush lies, Cheney lies, Rummy lies, Condi lies... they all lie. And I'm sure each of us has a slightly different list of which the most significant ones were, but for me this one isn't that high on the list.

Still, I guess it's a hallmark of how things have changed for the better that you, Stefan, and I can have the the time and energy to parse this one instead of going after Bush.
: )

Posted by: cyntax on November 10, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffery: "The rest of your time here" could have meant "here during this interview".

Nothng worse than an ignorant pedant. Bush could have meant that, but he didn't; in his own words:

Q: Last week you told us that Secretary Rumsfeld will be staying on. Why is the timing right now for this, and how much does it have to do with the election results?

Bush: Right. No, you and Hunt and Keil came in the Oval Office, and Hunt asked me the question one week before the campaign, and basically it was, "Are you going to do something about Rumsfeld and the vice president?" And my answer was, "They're going to stay on." And the reason why is I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign. And so the only way to answer that question and to get you on to another question was to give you that answer.

(emphasis added)

Posted by: has407 on November 10, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with RM's assessment that much more substantive and harmful distortions have been made.

So? In Senatory Kerry's lifetime I'm sure he made much more substantive and harmful mistakes than one botched joke, but that didn't stop the GOP from turning a slip of the tongue into a three day festival. Were there many people on the Republican side going "you know what, let's just move on"?

The fact that Bush has engaged in other, greater deceptions doesn't excuse him from being brought to account from this particular lie -- in politics, you often have to hit the target again and again and again before the truth sinks in to the general public.

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

has407:

The Press Conference continues on that subject, but even using just your partial quote, Bush could have interpretted the original "the rest of your time here" question as I stated exactly BECAUSE that interpretation was the only way to answer it and move him along to the next question. Kinda like what the meaning of "is" is ; )

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

People keep saying that in the business world behavior like this is common and accepted.

But what I'd like to see is a single example of a management team clearly asserting that someone among them is doing an absolutely bangup job, that they are committed to him for years, and then, a week later, have it revealed that the guy has been fired, and that they were planning to fire him at the very time they were asserting the opposite.

Believe me, even in the corporate world that would be considered an example of an enormous breach of trust.

NO ONE would believe that management again, on just about ANY issue.

Posted by: frankly0 on November 10, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone is missing the Big Picture here in that this thread did not start with 6 of 7 of the first comments being Trolls and none since!Explain that Explainmeisters!

Posted by: R.L. on November 10, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Bush has been lying and lying for years and years, and the media have been extraordinarily reluctant to report this. The farthest they have gon is to quote someone else saying that Bush "misled" us.

Finally we have a smoking gun: an undeniable, unequivocal, black-and-white example of George W. Bush telling a lie.

And, Kevin, you are telling us that it doesn't count?

Whose side are you on?

Posted by: Alan Bostick on November 10, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

It isn't the lie itself that's the problem, it's the lack of a cover-up. We expect better drama from our leaders.

Posted by: garf on November 10, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffery -- Then he lied about his rationale in the press conference on the 8th. Take your pick. Or don't; you're obviously not worth any more energy.

Posted by: has407 on November 10, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Has Rush Limbaugh's water broken yet?

Posted by: cowalker on November 10, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

People keep saying that in the business world behavior like this is common and accepted. But what I'd like to see is a single example of a management team clearly asserting that someone among them is doing an absolutely bangup job, that they are committed to him for years, and then, a week later, have it revealed that the guy has been fired, and that they were planning to fire him at the very time they were asserting the opposite. Believe me, even in the corporate world that would be considered an example of an enormous breach of trust. NO ONE would believe that management again, on just about ANY issue.

Not only that, it could, depending on the circumstances, rise to the level of actionable misrepresentation and/or fraud, if, for example, you induce investors to make a busines decision in reliance upon your knowingly false claim.

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

cyntax: I disagree about why he lied. If protection of the GOP was what motivated him, he would have gotten Rummy out post-haste.

This wrongly supposes that he recognized that dumping Rummy would have attracted swing voters outnumbering the backwashers it would have lost. In other words, they stupidly played to the dead-end base and it didn't save them this time.

Posted by: shortstop on November 10, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Alan:

You don't have a "smoking gun" -- see my posts above.

has407:

Neither is a lie, in my opinion.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

And Charlie's latest sock puppet emerges.
Posted by: Gregory

Ha ha!

Posted by: craigie on November 10, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Finally we have a smoking gun: an undeniable, unequivocal, black-and-white example of George W. Bush telling a lie.

Not only telling a lie, but (i) admitting he lied, and (ii) admitting he lied in order to mislead the American voter about an issue of national security.

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

How is it a "lie" again if Bush had not made the final decision yet?

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Believe me, even in the corporate world that would be considered an example of an enormous breach of trust. NO ONE would believe that management again, on just about ANY issue.

Again, not only would no one believe them again, but that management team could be facing a rather large lawsuit and/or regulatory action.

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

My own guess is that until the end he had hoped to hold the Senate and some of the lost house seats. If he had, Rummy would still be defense secretary. When he didn't he simply carried out a plan that had been in the works.

I agree.

Posted by: Disputo on November 10, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

The Commander in Chief is not bound by SEC rules.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo:

Later in the Press Conference, Bush said (I know, I know, you are going to say "Bush lied, people died" about this too) that, win or lose this election, he was accepting Rumsfeld's resignation.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

"he couldn't think of any way to do it"

As he gazed into the bottom of the empty Jim Beam bottle

and so he cast his Pet Old Goat adrift in the Potomac.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on November 10, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

I see that a fellow named Chuck already explained this to you and provided the full transcript http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2006_11/010182.php#997467

thethirdPaul:

Did you see Stephanopoulos and Gibson on ABC right after the Press Conference?

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

thethirdpaul, I wish you had a radio show. Hell, maybe you do.

Posted by: shortstop on November 10, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

he probably hadn't even told Rumsfeld he was gone yet. There's a bit of a personal humane duty to not have someone find out they lost their job in the press.

LOL. Since Rummie has been trying to resign for years, only to have GWB reject it each and every time, I expect that Rummie would be delighted to hear the news that GWB was finally looking for a replacement.

Posted by: Disputo on November 10, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

What the transcript of the press conference doesn't show is that George was scribbling a signing statement on his notepad while he was admitting to lying about Rumsfeld.

Posted by: asdfg on November 10, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Or, a Presidential Pardon to himself?

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

He didn't lie! All politicians do what he did. What do you expect, he's gonna stand up at the podium and break down into tears and admit everything?

ANd plus, at least he came clean and admitted he lied. Not like Slick Willie, who talked about the meaning of is and never admitted his lies.

Posted by: egbert on November 10, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

I love how "He didn't lie!" is immediately followed by "at least he came clean and admitted he lied."

Let me ask, does the cognitive dissonance ever hurt? You getting a lot of headaches lately?

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Not at all. It's called "arguing in the alternative" and I'm told lawyers do it all the time.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone is missing the Big Picture here in that this thread did not start with 6 of 7 of the first comments being Trolls and none since!Explain that Explainmeisters!

Huh?!?

This thread is absolutely littered with comments from the uber-troll.

Charlie=Cheney=Thomas1=Chuck=Jeffery, that is. (Did I miss any?)

Posted by: Zany Cut-up on November 10, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Nobody died in this lie. The fact that the Republicans are focusing on this lie (which was really a betrayal to them - the rest of us don't give a shit) shows how morally bankrupt the entire party, and the "conservative" brand is.

Let's talk about the WMD lies.
Let's talk about the Plame-outing lies.
Let's talk about the lies about his relationship to Abramoff.
Let's talk about the lies about his relationship with Jeff Gannon.

(btw- that last one was a SNARK. On the other hand, Andrew Sullivan is reporting that the other evangelical leaders, including possibly Dobson, KNEW of Haggard's proclivities, and covered it up. Disgusting. That's their reactions to when their good ol boys have issues. Cover it up. Everyone else? Burn in hell.)

Posted by: impeach.remove.convict.punish.justice on November 10, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

The question is, now that Bush has lied to reporters, are they going to do anything about it or just stay bent over and say "Thank you, sir, may I have another."

Posted by: Goof Beyou on November 10, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK
At his Wednesday press conference, President Bush made it clear that Donald Rumsfeld's departure had been planned for some time, and that he had lied about this a week earlier during an interview with several reporters.

Well, unless, of course, he was lying. I think its at least conceivable that that the departure was a planned contingency, and that a decision to execute the contingency was made based on the election results. Of course, just as Bush said before the election that Rumsfeld was staying because he didn't want to look weak by admitting Rumsfeld was a liability in the face of the election, so afterwards he said the departure was planned to avoid looking like he was responding to the combination of criticism and election results.

When someone reveals that their earlier statement is a lie, its pretty gullible to assume that the statement that replaces it is gospel truth.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 10, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that Bush has engaged in other, greater deceptions doesn't excuse him from being brought to account from this particular lie -- in politics, you often have to hit the target again and again and again before the truth sinks in to the general public.
Posted by: Stefan

Well, if this is one of the things you want to go to the mat on then, by all means, do so. Maybe the effort will net some gain, but I'm skeptical.

Posted by: cyntax on November 10, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Goof:

Later in the Press Conference, they accepted the statement that Cheney really, really was staying.

cmdicely:

Bush did not admit his earlier statement was a "lie".

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

This wrongly supposes that he recognized that dumping Rummy would have attracted swing voters outnumbering the backwashers it would have lost. In other words, they stupidly played to the dead-end base and it didn't save them this time.


Shortstop, I agree with you that Bush misread the situation, I was just going into more detail about why I thought he misread it. I made a point similar to yours upthread:

    "I think he very much didn't want that [Rumsfeld's tenure] to factor into the calculus of the election, but it was his misreading of the situation to not recognize that it was already a factor, and one that needed to addressed."

Posted by: cyntax on November 10, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffery:

Agreed. What he actually said was that he had phrased his prior answer in that way due to the circumstances.

Like I said, a less than adroit way of doing what every president must do with personnel questions.

Until you fire someone you have to say they're staying. No president has done different.

But the effort (by a few) to turn this into an issue is revealing. The election's over folks.

Posted by: Nathan on November 10, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffery: Stefan's not a litigator....he does some sort of transactional stuff.

Can't you tell?

Posted by: Nathan on November 10, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

cyntax:

I'm still not seeing the "lie" if indeed Bush had not made the actual decision to accept Rumsfeld's resignation?

Nathan:

Bush also explained the circumstances involved national security, not just personnel, reasons.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but I thought they taught "arguing in the alternative" at ANY accredited law school -- he did graduate from an accredited law school, right?

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

The election's over folks.
Posted by: Nathan on November 10, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Karl Rove set the standard.
It's never over.

Perpetual war - in all things.

Posted by: impeach.remove.convict.punish.justice on November 10, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

"PS: Anyone remember "I didn't have relations with that woman?" "

Yes, I do. And I also remember (in a lawyerly fashion) that the way the judge in the Paula Jones case defined "sexual relations," what Clinton did arguably did NOT fall within that definition. Strange, but true.

Clinton did what any good lawyer should do. Get the court to define its terms, and parse away.

As to "Both those men are doing fantastic jobs and I strongly support them," I knew then that Rumsfeld, at least, was gone. That was a pure "Heckuva job, Rummy" moment. As to Unka Dick, we'll have to see how well his "health" holds out. Can you say "Vice President Giuliani?"

Posted by: Cal Gal on November 10, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffery,

In all honesty I thing it can be argued either way. But your statement that Bush had full confidence in Rummy till he didn't is the public face of the issue but certainly isn't what's going on behind the scenes. That statement implies that the process behind evaluating someone's performance is strictly binary (good/bad; in/out) when clearly it isn't. But for certain reasons in this situation one acts as if it is. I'm sure though that they've been considering this contingency for some period of time longer than a week or so.

Or maybe they hadn't and they're really that bad at planning ahead? Their track record certainly doesn't help answer that question.

Posted by: cyntax on November 10, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that Bush has engaged in other, greater deceptions doesn't excuse him from being brought to account from this particular lie -- in politics, you often have to hit the target again and again and again before the truth sinks in to the general public.

That's very true, but the fact that the greater deceptions have not received as much attention speaks volumes about the moral corruption of the media.

Posted by: gregor on November 10, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Fine, OBF, let's go scorched earth then:

1) what is the "lie" if Bush had not yet accepted Rumsfeld's resignation?

2) at least it wasn't under oath, so what will be the ground(s) for your Article of Impeachment on this?

3) will you hold the new Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader to the same standard?

4) why has William Jefferson not resigned?

5) why is this "lie" different than what the meaning of "is" is?

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you, cyntax -- I guess I'm just saying it could be argued either way too -- it certainly is NOT "an undeniable, unequivocal, black-and-white example of George W. Bush telling a lie" as Alan Bostick claimed above.

BTW: there's also a "contingency" for Impeachment, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're planning ahead for that too.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Bush could have said, "I prefer that the next president fire Rumsfield as she tries to glue together the shattered bits of my failed foreign policy." He's not exactly telling a lie, or even answering the question, so he wouldn't be subjecting himself to this particular chance for a gotha moment. Republicans are most pissed about the timing of the resignation. If only Rummy would have declared he was resigning during one of the scandal, racist or twinky outbursts before the election then they would have retained control of both houses of congress.

Posted by: LowLife on November 10, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan wrote: this really is a non-issue

all presidents "lie" about personnel matters

The defense of one demonstrated liar by another is hardly persuasive.

Posted by: Gregory on November 10, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Lowlife:

Why don't you think that would have played right into the hands of "We've already lost Iraq" Democrats?

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

JFK "lied" about having a cold during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

You're welcome. I don't have any desire to argue just for arguement's sake.


BTW: Different kind of "contingency" since what you're talking about is the process that supports the potential need to replace a president. A more exact comparison would be that a president has the authority to hire and fire his (or her) SecDef.
: )

Posted by: cyntax on November 10, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

1) what is the "lie" if Bush had not yet accepted Rumsfeld's resignation?Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

The lie is the logical contribution between what he said last week, and what he's saying this week. These two statements are logically incompatible. But again - this particular lie, in my opinion, is really not significant in any way.

2) at least it wasn't under oath, so what will be the ground(s) for your Article of Impeachment on this?

No grounds on this. Please look up at my prior posts, and see the issues on which he has lied, and should be grounds for impeachment. Or to quote Billmon:

Couple the GOP's rat-fucking campaign with all the other stuff we already know about -- the collectivized bribery of the K Street Project, the Abramoff casino extortion ring, the Defense and CIA appropriation scams, the Iraq War contracting scams, the Pacific Island sex trade protection racket, the church pulpits doubling as ward halls, the illegal wiretapping, the lies, perjury and obstruction of justice in the Plame case (I really could go on like this all day) -- and it's clear that what we need most isn't a new Congress but a new RICO prosecution, with lots of defendents and unindicted co-conspirators.

3) will you hold the new Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader to the same standard?

Why would I even bother answering that question for you? Of course I would - and there is no level of "holding them to the same standard" that would satisfy you that I'm being fair, because, of course, Ted Kennedy murdered a girl at Chappaquidick, (or some other bullshit excuse about something a Democrat did 40 years ago that makes them all worse than all Republicans for all time).

4) why has William Jefferson not resigned?

Because he's a stupid schmuck?

William Jefferson is *A* "bad apple." I'm sure there are more on the Democratic side of the aisle. (but very few, because until recently, they didn't control anything).

This is completely different than the lying, lawbreaking, and scamming that has gone on on the Republican side of the aisle from Delay's illegally corporate-funded redistricting scam, to Bush's turning a blind eye to Enron's gaming of the energy market, to Cheney's no-bid contracts, to Abramoff, etc. It's institutionalized, and deeply ingrained in the Republican psyche. They feel ENTITLED to cheat. They feel it's their God-given Right, and that's why they are for deregulation and no oversight. So they can cheat. Republicans Steal, cheat, lie, and scam - their entire PLATFORM is based on it.


5) why is this "lie" different than what the meaning of "is" is?

Because Bush stated a falsehood in a loosely-framed context. But he admitted that he did not tell the truth before the election - because he didn't want to influence the election. Can you say; Unclear on the Concept - of right and wrong?

Clinton un-ethically (in my opinion) gamed the well-defined terms of "sexual intercourse" to go against the intent of the questioner, to technically not lie. Still wrong. But to date, nobody has died from his lie, and he paid for it, and he apologized for it.

That's the difference.

Posted by: impeach.remove.convict.punish.justice on November 10, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

true to form kevin you miss the point - that bush delayed the dumsfeld firing until after the election, once again trying to manipulate elections rather than attending to important national security matters (and setting up the big lie). if you read about the lie, you find out that the decider decided to dump dumsfeld as early as August but didn't solely because of the looming election (no doubt on the dubious advice of electorial genius karl rove). As it turns out it was a terrible decision both politically and for national security, and a scandalous lie.
.

Posted by: pluege on November 10, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Nathan" wrote: Jeffery: Stefan's not a litigator....he does some sort of transactional stuff.

Oh, good Ford, this irony...Nathan, of all people, sweet suffering satire, critiquing Stefan's legal abilities. It's too rich!

I've said it before, Nathan, and I'll say it again: If you bring the same level of mendacity and faulty argumentation to your legal work that you do to these threads, then you may be a litigator, but you're a piss-poor one, and i pity your clients.

Posted by: Gregory on November 10, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Well, we've got some commenters here who think they understand business but they don't. Let's say a company has a lawsuit against it. Press asks: "Will you fight this in court, does the suit have merits?" Company answers "We will absolutely fight this in court, the suit has no merits at all."

Next day the company settles out of court.

The president has absolutely no responsibility to tell the public he's planning to replace someone until he decides to make it public. And when asked, he can obfiscate any way he sees fit. A lie is a lie is a lie. People here are parsing words. Go ahead and waste your time.

He has no responsibility to tip his hand until he's truly decided to do so. One can critique the awkward way in which he played this hand, but the hand was played according to the rules.

Seriously, if you think otherwise, you're as obsessed with this as the republicans were with a stained dress.

Focus your energies on important lies, for example: Saddam would not allow the inspectors back in. Now that is a lie to focus on. Spending time on this policy change lie has absolutely no legs.

Posted by: T.R. Elliott on November 10, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

OBF:

I appreciate you input, but still one question remains. How do you know Bush did not game the question about Rumsfeld to go against the intent of the questioner, to technically not lie as well?

T.R. Elliott:

When did Bush say "Saddam would not allow the inspectors back in."

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Who among us didn't hear 'Rummy, you're doin' a heckuva job" and look at the other person in the room and say "he's gone the day after the election."

C'mon. It wasn't just us and you know it. We have seen this movie before.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately the Rummy-lie is drawing attention away from a more damning admission: that the "Democrats win, America loses" line was just so much campaign hot air.

He flat-out admitted that he would say ANYTHING to win an election.

Posted by: wmr on November 10, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

How do you know Bush did not game the question about Rumsfeld to go against the intent of the questioner, to technically not lie as well?

Because he's not smart enough.

Posted by: impeach.remove.convict.punish.justice on November 10, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

wmr:

I don't accept any of your false premises.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffery, FYI: "We gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in."

Bush Press Conference 7/14/2003

Posted by: Chrissy on November 10, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

OBF:

I'm certainly not smart enough to get elected POTUS, and I already posted one such example of gaming the question above. I'm just saying if I could, it's at least possible that Bush could have too.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Chrissy -- that came up in terms of the State of the Union reference to British intelligence which is also not a "lie" -- now I'll give you the full question and answer to make the argument that "[Saddam] wouldn't let [inspectors] in" was not a "lie" either:

Q Mr. President, back on the question of Iraq, and that specific line that has been in question --

THE PRESIDENT: Can you cite the line? (Laughter.)

Q I could, if you gave me some time.

THE PRESIDENT: When I gave the speech, the line was relevant.

Q So even though there has been some question about the intelligence -- the intelligence community knowing beforehand that perhaps it wasn't, you still believe that when you gave it --

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the speech that I gave was cleared by the CIA. And, look, the thing that's important to realize is that we're constantly gathering data. Subsequent to the speech, the CIA had some doubts. But when I gave the -- when they talked about the speech and when they looked at the speech, it was cleared. Otherwise, I wouldn't have put it in the speech. I'm not interested in talking about intelligence unless it's cleared by the CIA. And as Director Tenet said, it was cleared by the CIA.

The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region. I firmly believe the decisions we made will make America more secure and the world more peaceful.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

The biggest lie of all is "God told me to take out Saddam.."

Bush has embraced the christianic drivel about being saved (saved from what I'd like to know) for years.

Beware the man who wears his religion on his sleeve.

... Well, actually it wasn't God that spoke to me
it was my adled brain that wrang in my ears, whispering to me
that initiating a decades long, trillion dollar pseudo war was God's plan...

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on November 10, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Durbin is on All Things Considered right now and he is saying the Bolton nomination and the warrantless wiretapping issues will not go forward.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

gwb: "Harry Truman began the Cold War, and Eisenhower, obviously, from a different party, continued it."

president bush....another member of the

blame america first...

crowd...

Posted by: mr. irony on November 10, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: Charlie/Cheney/Thomas1/DougM/"DonP"/Chuck/Jeffery/Chuckles complaining about false premises! Ho-ho!

Posted by: Gregory on November 10, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

my favorite bush lie:


"We are fully prepared."

8/29/05

Posted by: mr. irony on November 10, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

When did Bush say "Saddam would not allow the inspectors back in."

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 14, 2003

President Reaffirms Strong Position on Liberia
Remarks by the President and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan in Photo Opportunity The Oval Office

PRESIDENT BUSH: The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/07/20030714-3.html


For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 27, 2004

President Bush Welcomes President Kwasniewski to White House

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, I think the Iraq Survey Group must do its work. Again, I appreciate David Kay's contribution. I said in the run-up to the war against Iraq that -- first of all, I hoped the international community would take care of him. I was hoping the United Nations would enforce its resolutions, one of many. And then we went to the United Nations, of course, and got an overwhelming resolution -- 1441 -- unanimous resolution, that said to Saddam, you must disclose and destroy your weapons programs, which obviously meant the world felt he had such programs. He chose defiance. It was his choice to make, and he did not let us in.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/01/20040127-3.html


For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 21, 2006

Press Conference of the President

PRESIDENT BUSH: I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences --

Q -- go to war --

THE PRESIDENT: -- and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/03/20060321-4.html

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffrey:

Might be helpful if you indicate which premises are false and provide evidence.

Being an unreconstructed and unashamed Liberal, I am always willing to consider evidence contrary to my position -- EVIDENCE, not unsupported assertions.

Posted by: w on November 10, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK


f..y..i..


UN inspectors went into Iraq to search for possible weapons violations from December 2002 into March 2003

gwb ordered them out so he could start the war..

Posted by: mr. irony on November 10, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Well, we've got some commenters here who think they understand business but they don't. Let's say a company has a lawsuit against it. Press asks: "Will you fight this in court, does the suit have merits?" Company answers "We will absolutely fight this in court, the suit has no merits at all." Next day the company settles out of court.

Well, I only work advising hedge funds and Wall Street investment banks on high-level debt and equity transactions, so I don't pretend to understand business, because it's just so darn complicated and all, but if a company knowingly misleads investors by inducing them to make financial decisions based on false or misleading information, then that company has just bought itself a shareholder lawsuit, possible regulatory action, and/or even criminal liability. See, e.g., Enron.

I should also point out that your analogy is inapt, because most settlements do not involve an admission by the defendant of the merit of the lawsuit, and therefore there is no inherent contradiction between settling and claiming the suit has no merit.

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Putting aside, for the moment, whether Bush was referring to PRIOR documented attempts by Saddam to deny inspectors access, let just focus on September 16, 2002 when Saddam finally agreed to let them back in through to the invasion.

First, you can see that the UN's own timeline was not met here http://www.iraqwatch.org/un/unmovic/unmovic-timeline-091902.htm

In addition, we've since learned all the ways that Saddam was, in fact, trying to frustrate inspectors during that whole time -- bugging their headquarters and getting advance warning of inspections.

As you know, though, UN Security Council Res. 1441 set November 15th as the "final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations" that had been set out in several previous resolutions (Resolution 660, Resolution 661, Resolution 678, Resolution 686, Resolution 687, Resolution 688, Resolution 707, Resolution 715, Resolution 986, and Resolution 1284).

Included among these terms was full compliance and inspections. Resolution 1441 called for "immediate, active and unconditional cooperation" and included the ability to make inspections anytime, anywhere, without announcement -- including presidential palaces. The resolution gave UNMOVIC the right to "request names of personnel currently or formerly associated with Iraq's programme for WMD and missiles" and remove them and their families from Iraq for interviews, if necessary. Some of that was indeed refused.

At the time, Hans Blix even said Iraq offered nothing new in it's disclosures: "Regrettably, much in these declarations proved inaccurate or incomplete or was unsupported or contradicted by evidence." Blix found much of the document a rehash and re-submission of previous materials and lacking the supportive evidence that he and UNMOVIC considered essential to support Iraq declarations that no WMD's existed.

During the January 27, 2003 briefing to the UN Security Council, Blix reported that "Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance -- not even today -- of the disarmament that was demanded of it." There were still major issues -- from an accounting discrepancy of 6,500 chemical bombs, to the discovery of 122mm chemical rockets, to the lack of convincing evidence for the destruction of 8,500 liters of anthrax, to a refurbished missile production infrastructure, to the slow release of personnel lists. UNMOVIC was only able to follow-up on about 40% of the sites provided by intelligence before Saddam refused to U.S. demands and the war began.

Before the war, obviously, UNMOVIC was evacuated on March 18, 2003. Maybe it's a "chicken or egg" argument. I blame Saddam Hussein for the failure, while I'm sure you blame the war-mongerer, oil-hungry imperialist George Bush. You can cite to the unreasonable ultimatim that Saddam and his two sons leave the country. I'm sure you will say it was all prompted by Israel anyways. Who knows what other vast right-wing conspiracy you will blame it on. Still, the argument can be made that Saddam was the one ultimately responsible for not letting the inspectors to their job. We may not agree on that, but if you still have questions as to my argument, please let me know.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Shoreter (thankfully) Charlie: Saddam did in fact let the inspectors in, but that doesn't make Bush's statement that he didn't a lie!

[cosby]
Riiiiiiiiiiiight.
[/cosby]

Posted by: Gregory on November 10, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

"Saddam would not allow the inspectors back in"

Yes, the Pubs did say it as noted above - However, Jane Harman said the same on the old Crossfire - Carville about went ballistic. She deserves to be demoted to the House Janitorial Oversight Committee.

T. R. Elliot, good points, but Nathan is sort of the Whip Lash Willy of Pub litigators on this site.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on November 10, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

wmr:

I don't have "evidence" of Bush's heart of hearts, if that's what you're asking for. I have simply made the argument above that it is still POSSIBLE he was not lying about the decision or timing on Rumsfeld, the "Democrats win, America loses" line was just so much campaign hot air, or that he would say ANYTHING to win an election.

Gregory:

If someone agrees to let you into their house, opens the door just long enough for you to take one step but then slams the door on you, would you consider that "letting you into their house"?

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie,

Your hypothetical, based as it is in a false premise (irony alert again!), is irrelevant.

The "Saddam wouldn't let the inspectors do their jobs" argument is a dog that just won't hunt. But then, you know that, don't you?

Posted by: Gregory on November 10, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

mr. irony:

Same question as Gregory.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

My hypothetical admits that Saddam let the inspectors 40% through the door before slamming it shut.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffery: Sure, an argument could be made that Saddam 'was ultimately responsible for not letting the inspectors do their job'. But it couldn't be made by anyone with all their synapses firing. Nice try, neocon.

The facts are thus: Saddam granted full and unrestricted access to the inspectors. The inspectors had in 4 months of unconditional access found no evidence and were likely not to find any. Bush was required by the Joint Resolution to prove all diplomatic and peaceful means had been used before he attacked Iraq.

Clearly he violated the Resolution and bushie and you neocons need to be brought to justice.

Posted by: Chrissy on November 10, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie:

It's the "slamming it shut" part that makes it a false premise.

But you know that, you dishonest toad.

Posted by: Gregory on November 10, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy or T.R. Elliot:

Feel free to answer this as well: If someone agrees to let you into their house, opens the door just long enough for you get 40% in the door but then slams it shut on you, would you consider that letting you "into their house"?

Tom Nicholson:

When did Bush say "God told me to take out Saddam."

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

That's the rub, Gregory. You think Bush "slammed it shut" and I think Saddam did.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffery: I hope you don't have a job that relies on logical thinking.

Posted by: Chrissy on November 10, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

When did Bush say "God told me to take out Saddam."

June 2003.

It's called "arguing in the alternative" and I'm told lawyers do it all the time.

Actually, it's called "being a spaz" because you're desperate and angry after having been so completely and utterly humiliated here under other names.

I'm told jackasses do it all the time.

Posted by: trex on November 10, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffery: I hope you don't have a job that relies on logical thinking.

Paid RNC apologist -- so no, he doesn't.

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory: Oh, good Ford, this irony...Nathan, of all people, sweet suffering satire, critiquing Stefan's legal abilities. It's too rich!

Yes, it's nice to have a good laugh at least once a day, isn't it, Gregory?

Posted by: Stefan on November 10, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

I think this is the point that we could show that the President isn't actually stupid...

...He just sounds that way.

He really is a straight-shooter with Dominionist tendencies who makes decision based not on facts, but hopeful wishes.

Posted by: Crissa on November 10, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

But he does love the Dominatrix part. Helps him so much with his decisions.

Posted by: Karen Hughes on November 10, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy:

If you'd rather not answer my question, fine with me.

trex:

That's what I thought -- hearsay's not admissible.

Stefan:

I am not a paid RNC apologist -- strictly volunteer-basis.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffrey:

You claim to have made an argument in response to my comment. That is incorrect. Refusal to accept premises is not an argument.

Evidence in this context means quotations from sources, like this:

Q: Just a few days before this election, in Texas, you said that Democrats, no matter how they put it, their approach to Iraq comes down to: Terrorists win, America loses. What has changed today, number one? (snip)

BUSH: What's changed today is the election's over.


You may interpret the words differently, but you cannot simply pretend they don't exist. I think my interpretation is fair; you are welcome to present yours and defend it.

Posted by: wmr on November 10, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Hmm. link doesn't seem to work. That was supposed to go to the NY Times transcript of the Nov 8 presser, pages 7 and 8.

Posted by: wmr on November 10, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

wmr:

I am not making the argument Bush didn't lie -- I am making the argument it is POSSIBLE he was not lying -- see the difference?

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

"At this juncture we are able to perform professional no-notice inspections all over Iraq and to increase aerial surveillance." - Hans Blix report to the UN Security Council 3/7/03


you don't say?

Posted by: mr. irony on November 10, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

And then come to find out Blix's quarters were being bugged, so there was indeed notice -- as I set forth already above -- you still haven't answered my question to you.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Here it is again: If someone agrees to let you into their house, opens the door just long enough for you get 40% in the door but then slams it shut on you, would you consider that letting you "into their house"?

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffery: Blix was bugged by the grand old bugger himself, george w bush and his buggering buddies rove and cheney.

Posted by: Chrissy on November 10, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- so much for attempting to discuss this reasonably with you, Chrissy -- at least I know I did my part.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

That's what I thought -- hearsay's not admissible.

No wonder you fucking failed as a lawyer:

1) Hearsay is admissable in criminal courts if it meets certain conditions.

2) Hearsay is even more widely admissable in civil courts.

3) The "hearsay rule" only applies to actual trials; this is not a trial, in case you were wondering.

4) Hearsay is perfectly admissable in other kinds of judicial proceedings like grand juries, which if we're going to make an analogy is more like what we're doing here.

5) All that aside, there were not one but two eyewitnesses who verified Bush's claim that God spoke to him and told him to attack Iraq. If this were a criminal trial, a judge just might consider that fact to meet the test of reliability for it not to be hearsay.

God, you're awful at this. You just failed your midterm.

And please, wiki us no more. Your post about Muslim attitudes toward homosexuality in the other thread was not only clearly plagiarized, as you wove your own words into the cited material without attribution, you also provided a false cite and non-working link...you moron.

Fail ninth grade English much?

Posted by: trex on November 10, 2006 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

tom nicholson is probably referring to bush's statement in TIME that was never denied by the white house..

where gwb said..."Fuck Saddam, we're taking him out."

he said that a full year before he actually invaded..

there are so many bush lies to pick from..

for example..

did bush lie when he told americans right before the war that he would put his invasion resolution before the security council for an..

"up or down" vote?

when it looked like it was going to fail..

he pulled it from consideration..

then invaded anyway..

so much for the vote..

jeffery...slams the door shut?

you mean like...when cheney used part of a story told to the bush admin. about a iraqi nuke program..

but failing to tell the other half?

that the program ended a decade before..

this is sort of fun...

i thought after tuesday's slam dunk...dead enders would return to the bunkers from whence they came..waiting for the black helicopters...

jeffrey...thanks for the laughs...

Posted by: mr. irony on November 10, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

You're welcome, mr. irony. Care to actually answer my question now?

P.S. trex -- I did not fail 9th grade English, but I also never claimed to be a lawyer. I was using the layman's definition of "hearsay" to dismiss out of hand the claim that Bush stated "God told me to invade Iraq" (technically, wouldn't that qualify as double-hearsay?) so that I didn't have to go through another 1,000 word essay like I just did with Chrissy (all for naught). I could care less if you think I am awful at this (I guess that kinda depends on what the definition of "this" is -- if "this" means to derail any thread about the President, for instance), if you don't want me to wiki you no more, or anything else in your mentally and most likely physically diseased-riddled excuse of a brain.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

That's right, trex. I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your party and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you Democrats do not. You move to an area and you multiply -- killing off some of your youngest and defenseless -- until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Democrats are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague, and I am the cure.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

JEFFERY at 8:11PM: wouldn't that qualify as double-hearsay?

TaKe tHaT tReX! u CaN't HaNdLe JeFfErY's LoGiC!!
aNd iF yOu HaD 60 WiTnEsSeSeS, tHaT'd Be
DoUbLe tRiPLe QuAdRupLe qUiNtUpLe hEaRSaY!!!
TrEx U r A LuSr!!!!

Posted by: dOOd on November 10, 2006 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

Awwww, diddums get its feeling hurt?

It really seems like you must have failed ninth grade English because you can't seem to avoid plagiarizing and you usually fail to get simple cites right.

So I'm going to assume you did fail, or have done the equivalent of failing.

What I meant by "this" is persuasive argumentation as if you were a lawyer, because you so often pretend to be a lawyer or have a working knowledge of the law, which you clearly don't.

But since you brought it up you've also failed to derail the thread, as we're still talking about what a liar Bush is and you've convinced no one otherwise.

BTW, love the implied violence in the second post. Threats across state lines -- is that FBI or Homeland Security? Hmmm.

P.S. Mammals don't instinctively develop a natural equilibrium with their environment. In fact, they often overpopulate and do serious damage e.g. elk and deer wiping out tree species via browsing. Apparently your knowledge of mammalia is just as defective as your legal knowledge.

Posted by: trex on November 10, 2006 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Another classic lie from the series: "Bush: A Bald-Faced Liar:

"You remember when [Secretary of State] Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons....They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two.* And we'll find more weapons as time goes on, But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them." (italics ours) --WP, May 31, 2003

http://www.bushwatch.com/bushlies.htm


Posted by: trex on November 10, 2006 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

Hearsay rules are about the veracity of the overheard statement.

Not about whether the statement was overheard.

In other words, we know what Bush allegedly said, but we don't know if he'd repeat it under oath.

Posted by: sysprog on November 10, 2006 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

Here's none other than Newt Gingrich himself expressing his disappointment over Bush's lie:

"We need candor, we need directness," said Gingrich, a potential 2008 presidential candidate."We need to understand the threats we faced with are so frightening and so real, the danger that we'll lose two to three American cities so great, that we cannot play games with each other, cannot manipulate each other, we have to have an open and honest dialogue, and I found yesterday's staments at the press conference frankly very disturbing."

He condemned Bush's admission that in making last week's statement about Rumsfeld, he had known he was being misleading.

"It's inappropriate to cleverly come out the day after an election to do something we were told before the election would not be done," Gingrich said. "I think the timing was exactly backwards and I hope the President will rethink how he engages the American people and how he communicates with candor."

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/stories/2006/11/09/1110metnewt.html

Posted by: trex on November 10, 2006 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffrey: It all depends on what the meaning of "in" is. It's pretty clear to me. The inspectors were in Iraq. They were making progress. Saddam was playing games as always, but any country is going to play games when they've got someone outside poking around. Saddam had a constituency to placate as well. Bush either lied or was ignorant of the fact that the inspectors were in Iraq making great progress. The inspectors wanted to continue their work. Bush didn't want them to finish their job. The evidence was falling apart to quickly. Those drones--worthless. That mobile weapons production lab--for filling weather balloons. Etc.

Stefan: The timing of an executive decision to make a staff change, and the public announcement of it, are not comparable to Enron. At all. And my analogy is pertinent--the question was whether the company was going to defend the lawsuit in court. It ends up they didn't. They settled. Doesn't matter that no guilty party was identified. And when negotiating business plans, e.g. Bush with Gates--often involves non-disclosure agreements of some sort. If a journalist asks--are you planning to do business with company X--the answer might very well be an emphatic "No" until the deal is struck.

I just can't imagine seeing it any other way. The deal was not struck, the deal was not done, Bush can do whatever we wants in terms of announcing when he'll make his staff changes. He's the president, and as much as I hate him, he is the decider when it comes to this issue.

You might not like it morally, or consider it somewhat unethical from one perspective or another, but it's entirely reasonable to hold one's cards before playing them. That's what he did.

Posted by: T.R. Elliott on November 10, 2006 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffrey:

Sorry for the delay in responding; real world sometimes takes over.

Yes, I can see the difference. You apparently can't see that it makes no difference.

The point is that whether or not Bush is lying in his own heart, we now KNOW that we can't trust what he says.

Posted by: wmr on November 11, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

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