A Special Comment about the President’s cataclysmic deception
MSNBC - Broadcast 12/06/07
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Finally, as promised, a Special Comment about the
President's cataclysmic deception about Iran.
There are few choices more terrifying than the one Mr.. Bush has
left us with tonight.
We have either a president who is too dishonest to restrain
himself from invoking World War Three about Iran at least six
weeks after he had to have known that the analogy would be
fantastic, irresponsible hyperbole -- or we have a president too
transcendently stupid not to have asked -- at what now appears
to have been a series of opportunities to do so -- whether the
fairy tales he either created or was fed, were still even
A pathological presidential liar, or an idiot-in-chief. It is
the nightmare scenario of political science fiction: A critical
juncture in our history and, contained in either answer, a
president manifestly unfit to serve, and behind him in the vice
presidency: an unapologetic war-monger who has long been seeing
a world visible only to himself.
After Ms Perino's announcement from the White House late last
night, the timeline is inescapable and clear.
In August the President was told by his hand-picked Major Domo
of intelligence Mike McConnell, a flinty, high-strung-looking,
worrying-warrior who will always see more clouds than silver
linings, that what "everybody thought" about Iran might be, in
Yet on October 17th the President said of Iran and its president
"I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World
War Three, it seems like you ought to be interested in
preventing them from have the knowledge to make a nuclear
And as he said that, Mr.. Bush knew that at bare minimum there
was a strong chance that his rhetoric was nothing more than
words with which to scare the Iranians.
Or was it, Sir, to scare the Americans?
Does Iran not really fit into the equation here? Have you just
scribbled it into the fill-in-the-blank on the same template you
used, to scare us about Iraq?
In August, any commander-in-chief still able-minded or
uncorrupted or both, Sir, would have invoked the quality the job
most requires: mental flexibility.
A bright man, or an honest man, would have realized no later
than the McConnell briefing that the only true danger about Iran
was the damage that could be done by an unhinged, irrational
Chicken Little of a president, shooting his mouth off, backed up
by only his own hysteria and his own delusions of omniscience.
Not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mr. Bush.
The Chicken Little of presidents is the one, Sir, that you see
in the mirror.
And the mind reels at the thought of a Vice President fully
briefed on the revised Intel as long as two weeks ago -- briefed
on the fact that Iran abandoned its pursuit of this imminent
threat four years ago -- who never bothered to mention it to his
It is nearly forgotten today, but throughout much of Ronald
Reagan's presidency it was widely believed that he was little
more than a front-man for some never-viewed, behind-the-scenes,
Today, as evidenced by this latest remarkable, historic
malfeasance, it is inescapable, that Dick Cheney is either this
president's evil ventriloquist, or he thinks he is.
What servant of any of the 42 previous presidents could possibly
withhold information of this urgency and gravity, and wind up
back at his desk the next morning, instead of winding up before
a Congressional investigation -- or a criminal one?
Mr. Bush -- if you can still hear us -- if you did not
previously agree to this scenario in which Dick Cheney is the
actual detective and you're Remington Steele -- you must
disenthrall yourself: Mr. Cheney has usurped your constitutional
powers, cut you out of the information loop, and led you down
the path to an unprecedented presidency in which the facts are
optional, the Intel is valued less than the hunch, and the
assistant runs the store.
The problem is, Sir, your assistant is robbing you -- and your
country -- blind.
Not merely in monetary terms, Mr.. Bush, but more importantly of
the traditions and righteousness for which we have stood, at
great risk, for centuries: Honesty, Law, Moral Force.
Mr.. Cheney has helped, Sir, to make your Administration into
the kind our ancestors saw in the 1860's and 1870's and 1880's
-- the ones that abandoned Reconstruction, and sent this country
marching backwards into the pit of American Apartheid.
Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland...
Presidents who will be remembered only in a blur of failure,
Presidents who will be remembered only as functions of those who
opposed them -- the opponents whom history proved right.
Would that we could let this President off the hook by seeing
him only as marionette or moron.
But a study of the mutation of his language about Iran proves
that though he may not be very good at it, he is, himself, still
a manipulative, Machiavellian, snake-oil salesman.
The Bushian etymology was tracked by Dan Froomkin at the
Washington Post's website.
It is staggering.
March 31st: "Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon..."
June 5th: Iran's "pursuit of nuclear weapons..."
June 19th: "consequences to the Iranian government if they
continue to pursue a nuclear weapon..."
July 12th: "the same regime in Iran that is pursuing nuclear
August 6th: "this is a government that has proclaimed its desire
to build a nuclear weapon..."
Notice a pattern?
Trying to develop, build or pursue a nuclear weapon.
Then, sometime between August 6th and August 9th, those terms
are suddenly swapped out, so subtly that only in retrospect can
we see that somebody has warned the President, not only that he
has gone out too far on the limb of terror -- but there may not
even be a tree there...
McConnell, or someone, must have briefed him then.
August 9th: "They have expressed their desire to be able to
enrich uranium, which we believe is a step toward having a
nuclear weapons program..."
August 28th: "Iran's active pursuit of technology that could
lead to nuclear weapons..."
October 4th: "you should not have the know-how on how to make a
October 17th: "until they suspend and/or make it clear that
they, that their statements aren't real, yeah, I believe they
want to have the **capacity**, the **knowledge**, in order to
make a nuclear weapon."
Before August 9th, it's: Trying to develop, build or pursue a
After August 9th, it's: Desire, pursuit, want...knowledge
technology know-how to enrich uranium.
And we are to believe, Mr.. Bush, that the National Intelligence
Estimate this week talks of the Iranians suspending their
nuclear weapons program in 2003...
And you talked of the Iranians suspending their nuclear weapons
program on October 17th...
And that's just a coincidence?
And we are to believe, Mr.. Bush, that nobody told you any of
this until last week?
Your insistence that you were not briefed on the NIE until last
week might be legally true -- something like "what the
definition of is is -- but with the subject matter being not
interns but the threat of nuclear war.
Legally, it might save you from some war crimes trial... but
ethically, it is a lie.
It is indefensible.
You have been yelling threats into a phone for nearly four
months, after the guy on the other end had already hung up.
You, Mr.. Bush, are a bald-faced liar.
And more over, you have just revealed that John Bolton, and
Norman Podhoretz, and the Wall Street Journal Editorial board,
are also bald-faced liars.
We are to believe that the Intel Community, or maybe the State
Department, cooked the raw intelligence about Iran, falsely
diminished the Iranian nuclear threat, to make you look bad?
And you proceeded to let them make you look bad?
You not only knew all of this about Iran, in early August...
But you also knew... it was... accurate.
And instead of sharing this good news with the people you have
obviously forgotten you represent...
You merely fine-tuned your terrorizing of those people, to
legally cover your own backside...
While you filled the factual gap with sadistic visions of -- as
you phrased it on August 28th: a quote "nuclear holocaust" --
and, as you phrased it on October 17th, quote: "World War
My comments, Mr. Bush, are often dismissed as simple repetitions
of the phrase "George Bush has no business being president."
Well, guess what?
Tonight: hanged by your own words... convicted by your own
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