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In the Bush administration "the negation of truth is so systematic. Dishonest accounting, willful scientific illiteracy, bowdlerized federal fact sheets, payola paid to putative journalists, 'news' networks run by right-wing apparatchiks, think tanks devoted to propaganda rather than thought, the purging of intelligence gatherers and experts throughout the bureaucracy whose findings might refute the party line -- this is the machinery of mendacity...The point here is not the hypocrisy involved, though that is egregious. The point is the downgrading of truth and honesty from principles with universal meaning to partisan weapons to be sheathed or drawn as necessary. No wonder the Bush administration feels no compunction to honor the truth or seek it; it conceives truth as a tactic, valuable only insofar as it is useful against one's enemies." Russ Rymer

Bush Lies In State Of The Union Speech

Bush: "By the year 2042, the entire [social security] system would be exhausted and bankrupt."

In what the BBC calls "highly unusual," a State of the Union Speech was interrupted by a chorus of "No's," booing, and heckles from some of the members of Congress in attendance. This happened immediately after the above Bush lie. As Shields mentioned on the PBS wrap-up, and as Brooks concurred, if adjustments are not made, by 2042, as they have been made before, 3/4 of the funds promised would still be available. The entire system would neither be exhausted nor bankrupt. -- Politex, 02.03.05

29 Bush Lies About Iraqi WMD

bush lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... not lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies... lies...
Bush Lied About Lots Of Things

Sure Did. Here's Even More

Today's Bush Lie

"[Castro] welcomes sex tourism," Bush told a room of law enforcement officials in Florida, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Here's how he bragged about the industry," Bush said. "This is his quote: 'Cuba has the cleanest and most educated prostitutes in the world.'"

"As it turns out, Bush had lifted that quotation not from an actual Castro speech but rather from a 2001 essay written by then Dartmouth University undergraduate Charles Trumbull. In the essay, Trumbull did appear to quote a Castro speech about prostitution. Sadly, the student made the quotation up.

"According to officials, the actual quotation from Castro's 1992 speech reads as follows: 'There are hookers, but prostitution is not allowed in our country. There are no women forced to sell themselves to a man, to a foreigner, to a tourist. Those who do so do it on their own, voluntarily. We can say that they are highly educated hookers and quite healthy, because we are the country with the lowest number of AIDS cases.'"

"...And this isn't the first time the Internet has baffled Bush. Back in 2003, the President cited another student's thesis when making a case to go to war. The student's [plagiarized and "sexed up"] work ended up in a government document describing Iraq's weapons capability. Not exactly the kind of hard intelligence needed to justify an attack on another country." The Register, 07.28.04

10 Minute Rice: Three Lies And No Apology

Condi Rice, Bush's National Security Adviser, appeared on 60 Minutes Sunday evening, but, unlike Bush anti-terrorism adviser Dick Clarke at the 9/11 Probe, she did not swear on the Bible that what she would say would be the truth. While Clarke on 60 Minutes last Sunday allowed himself to be probed and turned inside and out for nearly the entire program, the edited tape of the Rice interview with Ed Bradley lasted around 10 minutes, and she said nothing new. The short episode came across as political spin to control the bleeding, and nothing more.

Rice's Lie #1 (transcript)

DICK CLARKE (video):
I said 'Mr. President, we've done this before. We - we've been looking at this. We looked at it with an open mind, there's no connection.' He came back at me and said, 'Iraq, Saddam - find out if there's a connection.' And in a very intimidating way. I mean, that we should come back with that answer....

I - I have never seen the president say an - anything to an - people in an intimidating way, to try to get a particular answer out of them. I know this president very well. And the president doesn't talk to his staff in an intimidating way to ask them to produce information - that is false.

Clarke and two others were in the room with Bush. The others have gone on record as agreeing with Clarke's description of the meeting. Condi was not present.

Rice's Lie #2 (transcript)

All week long, the White House said it had no recollection that the September 12 meeting ever took place, and that it had no record that President Bush was even in the situation room that day. But two days ago, they changed their story, saying the meeting did happen.

"None of us recall the specific - conversation....

Actually, two lies here. First, the White House said the meeting didn't happen, then they changed their story. Second, Condi misleads Bradley by saying "us" did not recall the specific conversation. Of course "us" didn't since it has already been established that "us" was not in the room at the time of the conversation.

Rice's Lie #3 (transcript)

Clarke has alleged that the Bush administration underestimated the threat from - from al Qaeda, didn't act as if terrorism was an imminent and urgent problem. Was it?

Of course it was an urgent - problem....

But even the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Hugh Shelton, has said that the Bush administration pushed terrorism, and I'm quoting here, farther to the back burner.

I just don't agree....

After 9/11, Bob Woodward wrote a book in which he had incredible access and interviewed the president of the United States. He quotes President Bush as saying that he didn't feel a sense of urgency about Osama bin Laden. Woodward wrote that bin Laden was not the president's focus or that of his nationally security team. You're saying that the administration says fighting terrorism and al-Qaeda has been a top priority since the beginning.

I'm saying that the administration took seriously the threat - let's talk about what we did....

You'd listed the things that you'd done. But here is the perception. The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff at that time says you pushed it to the back burner. The former Secretary of the Treasury says it was not a priority. Mr. Clarke says it was not a priority. And at least, according to Bob Woodward, who talked with the president, he is saying that for the president, it wasn't urgent. He didn't have a sense of urgency about al Qaeda. That's the perception here.

Ed, I don't know what a sense of urgency - any greater than the one that we had, would have caused us to do differently.

It's clear that Bradley wants to discuss the Clarke charge that the Bush administration changed terrorism from the top priority to one of secondary concern, and Rice attepts to twist the question of giving terrorism "top priority" to taking terrorism "seriously," which are two different things. Then Bush is quoted as saying terrorism was not "urgent." Rice ignores this documented quote and goes on to disagree with Bush. As such, she is attempting to mislead by changing the terms from "top priority" to "seriously," and to simply ignore the evidence presented that Bush disagrees with her. As such, she is on auto-pilot as she lies, spinning the implicit scenario she wants Bradley to accept.

Finally, Bradley repeatedly gave Rice the program's forum to apologize for 9/11 to the millions of viewers watching the show, like Clarke did on the show last week and previously to that under oath in front of the 9/11 Panel, but she refused each time. (transcript)

--Jerry Politex, 03.29.04

Why The Public Believes Bush's Lies

"When interviewed by Tim Russert, Vice President Cheney asserted that Iraq was "the heart of the base" for the 9/11 terrorists and went on from there with a series of half-truths and outright deceptions about almost every topic broached, including his supposed lack of current "financial interest in Halliburton ." Mr. Cheney, a master of the above-reproach dead pan, just kept going, effortlessly mowing right through any objections by the host. The vice president was banking, as Dr. Dean did on "This Week," on a cultural environment in which fiction and nonfiction have become so scrambled  and can be so easily manipulated by politicians and show-biz impresarios alike  that credibility itself has become a devalued, if not archaic, news value. This is why the big national mystery of the moment  why do almost 70 percent of Americans believe in Mr. Cheney's fictional insinuation that Saddam Hussein had some hand in 9/11?  is not so hard to crack. As low as the administration's credibility may be, it is still trusted more than the media trying to correct the fictions the White House plants in the national consciousness." --Frank Rich, NMYT, 09.28.03

Listening To Bush Lies Since 1998

Bush lies So often and in so many different ways that I've never had the patience to keep a list of them. However, when I write something and include the generalization that Bush lies, some readers will write in and say, "Oh, yeh? What did he lie about? I don't believe it." What follows, then, is an informal listing of just some of the lies he typically tells, starting from 2/01. Now, of course, we all know that Gore lies, Lott lies, Cheney lies, etc. But the difference between those liars and Bush is the Resident tells us that he is telling the truth when he is lying. Hence, he will tell us what he is going to do, like get his proposed tax cut from the surplus, then try to get his proposed tax cut from military and medicare funds, instead. Or, once he has actually begun a program, tell us lies about how or why the program has begun. Or tell a closed-door Dem meeting something and then swear up and down the next day that he didn't say it. Or saying, "Yes, Mam" and meaning "No, Mam." Or having a spinner say the opposite the next day. Or, get the idea.

Some Bush backers claim he's not a liar, he's just not very bright and doesn't remember things very well. That may be true, but we're sure Bush would not allow such an excuse in his "responsibility era." We're sure Bush would agree that if he's that dumb, he shouldn't be President. Other Bush backers claim that some of his lies are "technically correct" or "tailored to fit the audience," or some such circumlocution. What they're talking about are lies of omission rather than lies of commission. In lies of omission it's what they imply, not what they say. For example, the other evening Bush told Congress and the American people that he was putting a "lock box" on Social Security. Now, it's very clear that Bush wanted us to feel secure in the belief that he was protecting all of our Social Security funds for the future. No question, right? Yet, the very next day when his budget book was released, we learned that Bush told a lie of omission. What he didn't tell Congress and the American people is that he would later take from $.6 to $1 trillion out of that "lock box" to cover his tax cuts. No doubt, Bush lied. He wanted folks to believe something that he knew was not true. Of course, politicians do this all the time. It's second nature. In sum, the thing that really bothers us about Bush's lies is that he is also a hypocrite and pretends he's above lying. As a liar, he reinforces our assumptions about politicians. As a hypocrite, he reinforces our assumptions about his character. --Politex


Milbank... Krugman... Cohen... Politex... Mac Arthur... Jensen... Begala... Brauchli ... Nyhan ... Alterman ...

SATURDAY SNEAK...BUSH LIES...Trailers Of Mass Destruction, Part Two..."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, "Bush: 'We Found' Banned Weapons. President Cites Trailers in Iraq as Proof, " May 31, 2003

*At the time of this statement, no such weapons were found, and no such weapons have been found to this day. On this point as well as the use of the captured trailers as biolabs, the WP said this in the above article: "U.S. authorities have to date made no claim of a confirmed finding of an actual nuclear, biological or chemical weapon. In the interview, Bush said weapons had been found, but in elaborating, he mentioned only the trailers, which the CIA has concluded were likely used for production of biological weapons." There was no statement of fact, there was no smoking gun. The CIA's finding was advanced as an opinion based on its own particular process of elimination, and it was immediately challenged by both U.S. and U.K. intelligence analysts who had seen the trailers. --Politex, 08.09.03 (italics ours)

Now comes this..."Engineering experts from the Defense Intelligence Agency have come to believe that the most likely use for two mysterious trailers found in Iraq was to produce hydrogen for weather balloons rather than to make biological weapons, government officials say.

The classified findings by a majority of the engineering experts differ from the view put forward in a white paper made public on May 28 by the C.I.A. and the Defense Intelligence Agency, which said that the trailers were ["likely used"] for making biological weapons....

The State Department's intelligence branch, which was not invited to take part in the initial review, disputed the findings in a memorandum on June 2. The fact that American and British intelligence analysts with direct access to the evidence were disputing the claims included in the C.I.A. white paper was first reported in June, along with the analysts' concern that the evaluation of the mobile units had been marred by a rush to judgment." --NYT, 08.09.03

"I don't believe anyone that I know in the administration ever said that Iraq had nuclear weapons."
—Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, at a hearing of the Senate's appropriations subcommittee on defense, May 14, 2003

"We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
—Vice President Dick Cheney on NBC's Meet the Press, March 16, 2003

Used, abused, and lacking credibility with the White House press corps and the public, Ari Fleischer calls it quits as the 2004 presidential campaign begins.

End Of The Road (story)

For Bush Liar (lies)

Fleischer's "ability to repeat a lie even after it's been shown, repeatedly, to be false is what separates him from the amateurs." --Timothy Noah, Slate

"Like any skilled craftsman, Fleischer has a variety of techniques at his disposal. The first is the one he used to such great effect at Ways and Means: He cuts off the question with a blunt, factual assertion. Sometimes the assertion is an outright lie; sometimes it's on the edge. But in either case the intent is to deceive--to define a legitimate question as based on false premises and, therefore, illegitimate. Fleischer does this so well, in part because of his breathtaking audacity: Rather than tell a little fib--i.e., attacking the facts most open to interpretation in a reporter's query--he often tells a big one, challenging the question in a way the reporter could not possibly anticipate. Then there's his delivery: Fleischer radiates boundless certainty, recounting even his wildest fibs in the matter-of-fact, slightly patronizing tone you would use to explain, say, the changing of the seasons to a child. He neither under-emotes (which would appear robotic) nor overemotes (which would appear defensive) but seems at all times so natural that one wonders if somehow he has convinced himself of his own untruths." --Jonathan Chait, New Republic

Burned Out... Evasive Bore... Whopper Walloper... Robo-Spinner... toons

BUSH LIES...Trailers Of Mass Destruction..."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
more lies

*At the time of this statement, the U.S. position was that some analysts thought that the trailers could possibly have been used for menufacturing weapons. --Politex, 06.09.03

"The Observer has established that it is increasingly likely that the units were designed to be used for hydrogen production to fill artillery balloons, part of a system originally sold to Saddam by Britain in 1987." --Sunday Observer, June 8, 2003

"No one ever said that we knew precisely where all of these agents were, where they were stored," Rice told on NBC's "Meet the Press." --Sunday, June 8, 2003, AP

"Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary...told ABC's This Week that banned weapons were not in areas controlled by allied forces. 'We know where they are, they are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north of that,' he said." --Guardian, March 31, 2003

Bush Stands Out In An Era Of Liars

"President Bush proclaimed that a report by leading economists concluded that the economy would grow by 3.3 percent in 2003 if his tax cut proposals were adopted. No such report exists." Gordan Livingston, 06.03.03

On April 26, President Bush said in his weekly radio address, "My jobs and growth plan would reduce tax rates for everyone who pays income tax."

That turned out not to be true. According to the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an unspecified number of low- and middle-income families received no tax cut at all because they'd been excluded from an expansion of the child-care tax. --Timothy Noah, 06.03.03

As always, the purpose of propaganda is to distract the public from the facts, which means denying that oil has anything to do with our intentions in Iraq. The administration has hammered away at this, with designated dove Colin Powell declaiming, "The oil of Iraq belongs to the people of Iraq." Paul Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld's undersecretary of defense, said on Fox News on February 25, "This is not a war about oil. This is going to—if we have to use force, it's going to be to liberate Iraq, not to occupy Iraq. The oil resources belong to the Iraqi people." Rumsfeld himself is quoted as saying, "An Iraq war has absolutely nothing to do with oil." And on Meet the Press on February 23, Perle, in a retort to presidential aspirant Dennis Kucinich, said, "Allow me to say: I find the accusation that this administration has embarked upon this policy for oil to be an outrageous, scurrilous charge for which, when you asked for the evidence, you will note there was none. There was simply the suggestion that, because there is oil in the ground and some administration officials have had connections with the oil industry in the past, therefore it is the policy of the United States to take control of Iraqi oil. It is a lie, congressman. It's an out-and-out lie."

Four years ago Perle was singing a different tune. On January 26, 1998, Perle, Wolfowitz, and Rumsfeld, along with several others, signed a letter to President Clinton that said, "It hardly needs to be added that if Saddam does acquire the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction, as he is almost certain to do if we continue along the present course, the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world's supply of oil will all be put at hazard." --Ridgeway, 03.06.03

ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS INDICATE BUSH IS LYING ABOUT HIS WAR DECISION. "President Bush has continued to say he has not yet decided whether to go to war. [Today Bush said, "If we go to war..."] But the message being conveyed in high-level contacts with other council governments is that a military attack on Iraq is inevitable, these officials and diplomats said. What they must determine, U.S. officials are telling these governments, is if their insistence that U.N. weapons inspections be given more time is worth the destruction of council credibility at a time of serious world upheaval....In meetings yesterday with senior officials in Moscow, Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton told the Russian government that "we're going ahead," whether the council agrees or not, a senior administration official said...."You are not going to decide whether there is war in Iraq or not," the diplomat said U.S. officials told him. 'That decision is ours, and we have already made it. It is already final. The only question now is whether the council will go along with it or not.'" --WP, 02.25.03

Bush Buys Votes Of Weaker Nations

Some critics say Bush's zeal for running Iraq and transforming it into a democracy sounds just like the nation-building efforts he campaigned against. On Oct. 11, 2000, then-Texas Gov. Bush said: "I think what we need to do is convince people who live in the lands they live in to build the nations. Maybe I'm missing something here. I mean, we're going to have kind of a nation-building corps from America? Absolutely not." But yesterday White House press secretary Ari Fleischer proved the critics wrong once again. "During the campaign, the president did not express, as you put it, disdain for nation-building," he said. So there you have it." --Kamen, 02.28.03

DEMS HAVE DECIDED TO FOCUS ON BUSH'S LIES "After months of searching for a unified political attack against President Bush, congressional Democrats have settled on a new and, some say, controversial strategy: questioning the president's truthfulness.On an almost daily basis now, congressional Democrats are warning of a "credibility gap" between what Bush says to the American people and what he does through new government policies....Last week, with most members away for the Presidents' Day recess, Democratic leaders circulated "Caught on Film: a photo history of the Bush credibility gap," highlighting "various examples of the Administration making promises at various photo-ops and then slashing funding for the very priorities it stressed." It covered everything from education to programs for the poor." 2.24.03
wp |related stories

LATEST BUSH LIE: HE CITES REPORT THAT DOESN'T EXIST "There was only one problem with President George W. Bush's claim Thursday that the nation's top economists forecast substantial economic growth if Congress passed the president's tax cut: The forecast with that conclusion doesn't exist.Bush and White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer went out of their way Thursday to cite a new survey by "Blue-Chip economists" that the economy would grow 3.3 percent this year if the president's tax cut proposal becomes law. That was news to the editor who assembles the economic forecast. "I don't know what he was citing," said Randell E. Moore, editor of the monthly Blue Chip Economic Forecast, a newsletter that surveys 53 of the nation's top economists each month. "I was a little upset," said Moore, who said he complained to the White House. 'It sounded like the Blue Chip Economic Forecast had endorsed the president's plan. That's simply not the case.'" 2.24.03
newsday |related stories

BUSH LIED ABOUT THE AIDS FUNDING HIS ADMINISTRATION IS PROVIDING, AS WELL AS ITS TIMING "Mr. Bush's other foreign aid initiative, announced in his State of the Union address, is $10 billion in new money to fight AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean over five years. But his budget falls short of that promise. He is proposing only a $550 million increase over the global AIDS money in this year's spending bill now in Congress. Since the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria would be an effective channel for the aid, there is no excuse for the initiative's leisurely start. Mr. Bush's 2004 budget for the Global Fund, $200 million, actually cuts in half what Congress is likely to do in 2003. Mr. Bush has also found part of the money for his AIDS programs by cutting nearly $500 million from child health, including vaccine programs. Child survival is the biggest loser in the foreign aid budget — a scandalous way to finance AIDS initiatives. With the budget dominated by defense spending and huge tax cuts for the wealthy, the White House should not be forcing the babies of Africa to pay for their parents' AIDS drugs." 2.17.03
nyt |related stories

"45 percent of all of the dividend income goes to people with $50,000-or-less incomes, family incomes. Nearly three-quarters of it goes to families with $100,000 or less family income."

—White House senior adviser Karl Rove, discussing the Bush tax proposal in a meeting with reporters, as reported by Dana Milbank in the Jan. 28 Washington Post.

"Not exactly. It is true that 43.8 percent of tax returns with dividend income are from households with less than $50,000 in income and 73.8 percent of such returns are from households with less than $100,000. But that doesn't mean the little guy earning less than $50,000 gets '45 percent of all the income' or that the Main Street earners below $100,000 get 'three-quarters' of dividend income.

"In fact, those earning less than $50,000 get 14.7 percent of dividend income, and those earning less than $100,000 get 32.7 percent, according to a Brookings Institution/Urban Institute analysis. The former would get 6.8 percent of the benefit of Bush's dividend plan, while the latter would get 20.9 percent."

—Milbank, in the Jan. 28 Washington Post.

WHITE HOUSE CONTINUES BUDGET DOUBLESPEAK "The budget differs from those of other recent presidents in two important ways. Nowhere does Mr. Bush make balancing the budget an important goal. And he makes no claim that the era of big government is over, or even nearing an end. "This is a president of big projects and big ideas," his budget director, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., said today....Paying no heed to the notion of a balanced budget, Mr. Bush advocates deep tax cuts on top of the large ones enacted two years ago. By contrast, when big deficits began to appear after President Ronald Reagan drove tax cuts through Congress in 1981, Mr. Reagan approved offsetting tax increases....Mr. Daniels said this morning, "A balanced federal budget remains a high priority for this president." But unlike the submissions of recent predecessors, this budget describes no plans to reach that goal. " 02.04.03
rosenbaum | related stories

Blix again denied an allegation by Secretary of State Colin Powell that inspectors knew of cases in which Iraq had moved banned items around before inspectors arrived on the scene. "I am sure that Colin Powell speaks on the basis of notes given to him, but this is not correct. Our inspectors have not seen that the Iraqis were moving anything away from the sites that we are visiting," he said. --Reuters.

"Asked about legislation introduced to re-institute the draft on the eve of war, Rumsfeld was emphatic: 'We're not going to re-implement the draft. There is no need for it at all. ... We have people serving today -- God bless 'em -- because they volunteered. They want to be doing what it is they're doing.' Sounds good, except that it is not true. Two days after these unequivocal words, the United States Marine Corps -- which reports to the secretary of defense -- froze for the next 12 months every one of its 174,312 members currently on active duty. Marines who had completed their voluntary enlistments or their 20 years and had chosen to return to civilian life or retirement will instead remain, involuntarily, in the service. Marines being Marines, they will answer their country's call. But let us be clear: This action, along with other more limited freezes affecting other thousands in uniform imposed by the other services, means the volunteer U.S. military is no longer all-volunteer." --Mark Shields, 01.19.03

Bush's Family Of Four Has Little To Do With His Tax Cut Plan
"How does he do it? Every day Ari Fleischer takes the stand--so to speak--but, luckily for him, it's not under oath. That is, he provides a briefing in the White House press room and emits--oh, how to say it politely?--the most creative statements in defense of his boss's policies. A plainspoken fella--someone like our tax-cutter-in-chief--might feel compelled to brand a deceptive answer a "lie." But in the case of Fleischer v. Truth , I'm going to let you be the jury....Fleischer has not been the only dissembler. In his speech unveiling his tax plan, Bush sold his package by noting that a family of four making $40,000 would see its taxes in 2003 fall a whopping 96 percent from $1,178 to $45--mostly due to the expansion of the child credit. (Funny, Bush didn't tell us how much a single-parent HMO CEO would save.) As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities notes, Bush's example could come true. But it adds, "the tax cuts that would benefit this family constitute less than one-quarter of the overall cost of the bill." In other words, you could dump three-quarters of his package and still assist middle-income families. To suggest this package overall is of direct assistance to middle- and lower-income individuals is dishonest. Only pieces of it--the smaller pieces--do that. Like press secretary, like president. The Bush tax cut is literally class warfare by numbers." --David Corn, 01.14.03

Bush's War Against Women Began With A Campaign Lie
"Running for the White House in the fall of 2000, George W. Bush did not talk about ending the right to abortion. To avoid scaring off moderate voters, he promoted a larger "reverence for life" agenda that also included adoption and tougher drunken driving laws. Voters were encouraged to believe that while Mr. Bush was anti-choice, he was not out to reverse Roe v. Wade. Yet two years into the Bush presidency, it is apparent that reversing or otherwise eviscerating the Supreme Court's momentous 1973 ruling that recognized a woman's fundamental right to make her own childbearing decisions is indeed Mr. Bush's mission. The lengthening string of anti-choice executive orders, regulations, legal briefs, legislative maneuvers and key appointments emanating from his administration suggests that undermining the reproductive freedom essential to women's health, privacy and equality is a major preoccupation of his administration — second only, perhaps, to the war on terrorism." --NYT Editorial, 01.12.03

"Bush opened his final radio address of the year this way: "In 2002, our economy was still recovering from the attacks of September the 11th, 2001, and it was pulling out of a recession that began before I took office." Bush concluded 2002 with the same dishonesty that defined his economic policy throughout the year—a mendacity that ranged from denying the tax cut had anything to do with the re-emergence of the deficit to arguing that the terrorism insurance bill would create 300,000 construction jobs. In fact, there is no evidence that the economy was in recession when President Bush took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2001....

"[To define a recession,] economists rely on the...measurements of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiter of recessions and expansions.NBER has been run since 1977 by Harvard economist Martin Feldstein, an architect of the Bush tax cut and an intellectual mentor to many prominent Republican policy-makers, including Glenn Hubbard, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. According to NBER's definition, the recession did not begin until after President Clinton left office....According to NBER, the economy peaked and started shrinking in March 2001, two months after the Bush presidency began. "The determination of a peak date in March is thus a determination that the expansion that began in March 1991 ended in March 2001 and a recession began in March." So according to NBER, the most recent recession did not start during the Clinton administration. (Nor did the expansion begin under Clinton; rather, it launched during President Bush the Father's term.)

"The current President Bush is probably not conversant with NBER's "recession dating procedures." But it's a sure thing his economic and political advisers are. So shame on them for feeding him dishonest lines." --Daniel Gross

41 Lies About Iraq And 43 Matches It

A horrible story spread widely by the first Bush administration prior to the Gulf War about Kuwaiti babies pulled from incubators by invading Iraqis turned out not to be true. The current Bush administration may be also misinforming the public in its efforts to justify a possible second war with Saddam Hussein.

One example of misinformation, according to physicist and former weapons inspector David Albright, was the Bush administration’s leak to the media in September about Iraq’s attempt to import aluminum tubes which administration officials claimed were headed for Iraq’s nuclear program.

“I think it was very misleading,” says Albright, who directs the Institute for Science and International Security. Albright says the tubes could be possibly used for a nuclear program, but were more suited to conventional weapons production. Government experts thought that too, Albright tells Simon, but administration officials “were selectively picking information to bolster a case that the Iraqi nuclear threat was more imminent than it is, and, in essence, scare people." --60 Minutes, 12.06.02

Bush Lies And Fox Swears To It

"Toward the bottom of last Friday's Washington Post story on the Woodward book by Mike Allen, the reader learns that Bush was "preoccupied by public perceptions of the war, looking at polling data from Rove, now his senior adviser, even after pretending to have no interest." How remarkable to be told so bluntly about this Bush obsession -- after hearing so many blabbermouths on cable TV and in opinion columns insist that this president, unlike his predecessor, "doesn't care about polls." The difference between Clinton and Bush isn't that one doesn't care about polls and the other did. The difference is that Clinton never pretended that polling data wasn't part of his political work, and didn't expect anyone on his staff to lie about such trivia. [And didn't lie about it on the campaign trail, as Bush did. --Politex] (This matrix of deception is likewise exposed in Woodward's scoop about the back-channel advice on public opinion provided to the White House by Fox News chief Roger Ailes. An old Bush family employee, Ailes runs a network that frequently promotes the false but uplifting notion that Bush has no interest in polls.)" --Joe Conason, 11.18.02

Bush's Trifecta Of Lies

President Bush, speaking to the nation this month about the need to challenge Saddam Hussein, warned that Iraq has a growing fleet of unmanned aircraft that could be used "for missions targeting the United States."

Last month, asked if there were new and conclusive evidence of Hussein's nuclear weapons capabilities, Bush cited a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency saying the Iraqis were "six months away from developing a weapon." And last week, the president said objections by a labor union to having customs officials wear radiation detectors has the potential to delay the policy "for a long period of time."

All three assertions were powerful arguments for the actions Bush sought. And all three statements were dubious, if not wrong. Further information revealed that the aircraft lack the range to reach the United States; there was no such report by the IAEA; and the customs dispute over the detectors was resolved long ago. --10.22.02, Washington Post

Jeb Bush Is A Liar, Too

Jeb Bush's "office also released hundreds of letters and e-mails to and from Bush that also highlight the division over the nomination....New DCF Secretary Jerry Regier once wrote a string of articles that provide a blueprint for turning religious values into public policy, suggest that households headed by women may produce homosexual children and complain that taxpayer-supported day-care centers could put religious day care out of business....A spokesman said the office received 2,999 e-mails, with about two-thirds in favor of Regier.

"The e-mails also show Regier and the governor were discussing his salary and his appointment even before Kearney was fired, something the governor has flatly denied." --South Florida Sun-Sentinal, Sept. 7, 2002

"You Don't Introduce New Products In August"

An agitated Vice President Cheney, in a tête-à-tête with NBC's Tim Russert on Sunday, said it was "reprehensible" that people would think the administration had "saved" its ammunition on Iraq to bring it out now, 60 days before an election. "So the suggestion that somehow, you know, we husbanded this and we waited is just not true," Cheney said. Now where would people get such a cockamamie idea? Well, maybe from White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. and Bush political adviser Karl Rove, who made the case to the New York Times's Elisabeth Bumiller last week that they pretty much did what Cheney said they didn't do -- waited patiently and deliberately to launch a long-planned rollout. "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August," Card said. Added Rove: "The thought was that in August the president is sort of on vacation." --WP, Sept. 10, 2002

Scowcroft Says Bush Incubator Untruth, Repeated Five Times, "Was Useful In Mobilizing Public Opinion" For First Iraq War

In the fall of 1990, members of Congress and the American public were swayed by the tearful testimony of a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl, known only as Nayirah.

In the girl's testimony before a congressional caucus, well-documented in MacArthur's book "Second Front" and elsewhere, she described how, as a volunteer in a Kuwait maternity ward, she had seen Iraqi troops storm her hospital, steal the incubators, and leave 312 babies "on the cold floor to die."

Seven US Senators later referred to the story during debate; the motion for war passed by just five votes. In the weeks after Nayirah spoke, President Bush senior invoked the incident five times, saying that such "ghastly atrocities" were like "Hitler revisited."

But just weeks before the US bombing campaign began in January, a few press reports began to raise questions about the validity of the incubator tale.

Later, it was learned that Nayirah was in fact the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington and had no connection to the Kuwait hospital.

She had been coached – along with the handful of others who would "corroborate" the story – by senior executives of Hill and Knowlton in Washington, the biggest global PR firm at the time, which had a contract worth more than $10 million with the Kuwaitis to make the case for war.

"We didn't know it wasn't true at the time," Brent Scowcroft, Bush's national security adviser, said of the incubator story in a 1995 interview with the London-based Guardian newspaper. He acknowledged "it was useful in mobilizing public opinion." --CSM, Sept. 6, 2002

Cheney Lied About Iraq Photos

– When George H. W. Bush ordered American forces to the Persian Gulf – to reverse Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait – part of the administration case was that an Iraqi juggernaut was also threatening to roll into Saudi Arabia.

Citing top-secret satellite images, Pentagon officials estimated in mid–September that up to 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks stood on the border, threatening the key US oil supplier.

But when the St. Petersburg Times in Florida acquired two commercial Soviet satellite images of the same area, taken at the same time, no Iraqi troops were visible near the Saudi border – just empty desert.

"It was a pretty serious fib," says Jean Heller, the Times journalist who broke the story.

The White House is now making its case. to Congress and the public for another invasion of Iraq; President George W. Bush is expected to present specific evidence of the threat posed by Iraq during a speech to the United Nations next week.

But past cases of bad intelligence or outright disinformation used to justify war are making experts wary. The questions they are raising, some based on examples from the 1991 Persian Gulf War, highlight the importance of accurate information when a democracy considers military action....

That [Iraqi buildup] was the whole justification for Bush sending troops in there, and it just didn't exist," says Heller. Three times Heller contacted the office of Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney (now vice president) for evidence refuting the Times photos or analysis – offering to hold the story if proven wrong. The official response: "Trust us." To this day, the Pentagon's photographs of the Iraqi troop buildup remain classified....

"My concern in these situations, always, is that the intelligence that you get is driven by the policy, rather than the policy being driven by the intelligence," says former US Rep. Lee Hamilton (D) of Indiana, a 34-year veteran lawmaker until 1999, who served on numerous foreign affairs and intelligence committees, and is now director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. The Bush team "understands it has not yet carried the burden of persuasion [about an imminent Iraqi threat], so they will look for any kind of evidence to support their premise," Mr. Hamilton says. "I think we have to be skeptical about it." --CSM, Sept. 6, 2002

How a Bush appointee Manipulated Farm Subsidies.

"Responding to a series of corporate scandals last month, President Bush castigated businessmen who practice moral "relativism" and "cut ethical corners." "Our leaders of business must set high and clear expectations of conduct," he said. But this month, Bush appointed to a top post in his Agriculture Department a confessed corner-cutter: a businessman who has admitted to pushing the limits of the law to boost his farm subsidies. Bush used his power of recess appointment to make Tom Dorr undersecretary of agriculture for rural development on Aug. 6, while Congress was out of town. He made the appointment in this unorthodox way because the Senate Agriculture Committee, with nine of 10 Republicans choosing not to vote, had already declined to approve Dorr's nomination....Bush's hypocrisy about high ethical standards is only half the story. The other half is his administration's hypocrisy about farm subsidies." --SLATE, Sept. 2, 2002

Last week, {Bush's} Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill stood before a packed audience at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to address the continuing scandals of corporate irresponsibility, banking on his own history as chief executive of Alcoa Inc.

"When I was at Alcoa I never sold a single share of Alcoa stock," he said, repeating a claim he had made on CBS's "Early Show" the day before. "I wanted my financial success and the company's success inextricably linked. Other executives should do the same."

But O'Neill did sell Alcoa stock, 662,547 shares in April 1999 worth nearly $30 million, when he was the company's chairman and chief executive....

"He didn't sell a share. He sold a lot of shares," said Marc Steinberg, a law professor at Southern Methodist University and a former SEC enforcement lawyer. --Washington Post, July 18, 2002.


Bush Lied About Harken Stock Sale Knowledge

Asked later if his [Harken] stock sale had been related to the company's impending setback, {Board member] Bush replied, "I absolutely had no idea and would not have sold it had I known."

In fact, SEC records show that Harken's president had warned board members two months before Bush's sell-off that the company had liquidity problems that would "drastically affect" operations. --SF Chronicle, 07.05.02



"'Barring an economic reversal, a national emergency, or a foreign crisis, we should balance the budget this year, next year, and every year.' [the presidential candidate] said that to the Economic Club of Detroit in May 1998, then repeated it at least twice more, in speeches in June and November of that year."


"In this space last week, it was noted that President Bush often tells audiences that he promised during the 2000 presidential campaign that he would allow the federal budget to go into deficit in times of war, recession or national emergency, but he never imagined he would "have a trifecta." Nobody inside or outside the White House, however, had been able to produce evidence that Bush actually said this during the campaign.... Now comes information that the three caveats were uttered before the 2000 campaign -- by Bush's Democratic opponent, Vice President Al Gore." --Wash. Post, 7/2/02


BUSH'S TRIFECTA OF LIES: "It takes a brazen politician to make up a story that can be proven false and then to keep lying about it after being busted repeatedly. A case in point is President Bush's repetition last week of a story about a fictitious Chicago campaign statement, just days after his budget director was called on it by "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert....Bush's claim that he listed three exceptions under which he would run deficits during a 2000 Chicago campaign stop -- war, national emergency or recession -- is blatantly false" --Brendan Nyhan, 06.18.02


Washington Post Buys Into Bush Ohio State Lies

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 14...The president who spoke here today was not the same president who spoke in New Haven a year ago. Bush aide John Bridgeland told reporters this morning [Friday] that the president's speech, serious and grave, was inspired by the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville, Adam Smith, George Eliot, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth, Pope John Paul II, Aristotle, Benjamin Rush, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Cicero -- although the president mentioned none of them by name. The former C student, Bridgeland said, "actually discussed Nicomachean ethics" in the Oval Office, not to mention the Patrick Henry-James Madison debate. --Dana Milbank, Wash. Post


COLUMBUS, Ohio...A senior administration official told reporters [Friday] that Bush "derived" his speech in part from the teachings of a wide range of philosophers, from Aristotle and Adam Smith to de Tocqueville and Pope John Paul II.

Asked if Bush had ever read any of their works, the official said: "We've fully discussed all these ... issues." --Adam Entous, Reuters, 06.14.02


Politex: Bush Discusses Nicomachean Ethics In The Oval Office

Bush: I don't care if our budget deficit will be $100 billion this year, I promised my millionaire buddies big tax cuts, and they're gonna get 'em.

Bridgeland: Money can't buy happiness, sir.

Bush: Ya got that right!

"Having determined that happiness is the goal of life, Aristotle then concerns himself with the activities in which humans engage in order to obtain happiness." --from a summary of "Nicomachean Ethics"


White House Admits Bush Lied "When Bush was asked about [the Environmental Protection Agency's report] last week, he dismissively remarked: 'I read the report put out by the bureaucracy.' ...White House press secretary Ari Fleischer fessed up: President Bush didn't actually read that 268-page Environmental Protection Agency report on climate change, even if he said he did. Fleischer was asked Monday at his daily White House briefing about Bush's comments that he'd read the report. "Whenever presidents say they read it, you can read that to be he was briefed," Fleischer said, producing laughter. --AP, June 10, 2002



Ari Fleischer Lies For Bush

Like any skilled craftsman, Fleischer has a variety of techniques at his disposal. The first is the one he used to such great effect at Ways and Means: He cuts off the question with a blunt, factual assertion. Sometimes the assertion is an outright lie; sometimes it's on the edge. But in either case the intent is to deceive--to define a legitimate question as based on false premises and, therefore, illegitimate. Fleischer does this so well, in part because of his breathtaking audacity: Rather than tell a little fib--i.e., attacking the facts most open to interpretation in a reporter's query--he often tells a big one, challenging the question in a way the reporter could not possibly anticipate. Then there's his delivery: Fleischer radiates boundless certainty, recounting even his wildest fibs in the matter-of-fact, slightly patronizing tone you would use to explain, say, the changing of the seasons to a child. He neither under-emotes (which would appear robotic) nor overemotes (which would appear defensive) but seems at all times so natural that one wonders if somehow he has convinced himself of his own untruths.

One month ago, for example, a reporter cited the administration's recent plan to build an education, health, and welfare infrastructure in Afghanistan and asked Fleischer when George W. Bush--who during the campaign repeatedly bad-mouthed nation-building--had come around to the idea. A lesser flack would have given the obvious, spun response: The Bush administration's policies in Afghanistan don't constitute nation-building for reasons X, Y, and Z. The reporter might have expected that reply and prepared a follow-up accordingly. But Fleischer went the other way, bluntly asserting that Bush had never derided nation-building to begin with. "The president has always been for those," Fleischer said. The questioner, likely caught off guard, repeated, "He's always been for..." when Fleischer interjected, "Do you have any evidence to the contrary?" In fact, Bush had denounced nation-building just as unambiguously as Archer had endorsed the national sales tax. "I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation-building," said candidate Bush in the second presidential debate, to take one of many examples. The offending reporter, of course, didn't have any of these quotes handy at the press conference, and so Fleischer managed to extinguish the nation-building queries.

To take another example, after the coup in Venezuela last month, Fleischer announced that "it happened in a very quick fashion as a result of the message of the Venezuelan people." But once the coup was reversed, the administration's seeming support proved embarrassing. So at the next press conference, a reporter asked Fleischer, "Last Friday, you said that it--the seizure of power illegitimately in Venezuela--`happened in a very quick fashion as a result of the message of the Venezuelan people'; that the seizure of power, extraconstitutionally, that is, dissolution of the congress and the supreme court happened as a result of the message of the Venezuelan people."

Fleischer could have acknowledged the underlying fact--that the Bush administration initially endorsed the coup--but then expressed regret at its anti-democratic turn, a turn that the United States presumably opposed and perhaps even tried to prevent. Instead, he replied, "No, that's not what I said." And indeed, it wasn't exactly what he said--after quoting Fleischer verbatim reacting to the coup, the reporter went on to describe some of the things that happened after the coup. And that gave Fleischer his opening: "The dissolution that you just referred to did not take place until later Friday afternoon," he noted. "It could not possibly be addressed in my briefing because it hadn't taken place yet." By focusing on the latter, subordinate part of the reporter's question, Fleischer negated the verbatim quote of his earlier remarks--and thus neatly cut off discussion of the administration's early reaction to news of the coup.

The problem with this tactic is that it's always possible to get caught in an outright lie. Speaking to reporters on the morning of February 28, for instance, Fleischer said of Middle East peace negotiations under Clinton: "As a result of an attempt to push the parties beyond where they were willing to go, that led to expectations that were raised to such a high level that it turned to violence." The story went out that the administration blamed Middle East violence on its predecessor's peacemaking. That afternoon, Fleischer insisted he had said no such thing. "That's a mischaracterization of what I said," he protested. But Fleischer's earlier statement was too fresh in the press corps's mind to simply deny, and the press continued to hound him. Later in the day he was forced to issue a statement of regret.

What this episode illustrates is that stating unambiguous falsehoods carries certain risks--and no press secretary can afford to have his factual accuracy repeatedly challenged by the press. So while Fleischer may employ this tactic more frequently than most press secretaries, it is still relatively rare--the p.r. equivalent of a trick play in football: While spectacular to behold and often successful, more frequent usage would dilute its effectiveness and risk disaster.

The greater feat is to put yourself in a position where you don't have to lie. This can be accomplished in lots of ways--spinning is the preferred approach for most flacks, but that isn't Fleischer's style; candor, obviously, is out of the question. Fleischer's method of choice is question-avoidance. After all, you can't be accused of answering a question untruthfully if you haven't answered it at all. --Jonathan Chait. 06.04.02 (More)



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