Morning Report 11/8/05
What a Joker!

Bush's lie cracks me up. Country's sides are also splitting.

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Harkavy; White House

George W. Bush outdone hisself yesterday in Panama. Trying to score some PR, the POTUS sounded as if he'd just scored that other PR — Panama Red.

Sharing the stage with Panamanian prexy Martin Torrijos, Bush fielded reporters' questions like a Billy Buckner back in '86. As in this colloquy:

    Q: Mr. President, there has been a bit of an international outcry over reports of secret U.S. prisons in Europe for terrorism suspects. Will you let the Red Cross have access to them? And do you agree with Vice President Cheney that the CIA should be exempt from legislation to ban torture?

    BUSH: Our country is at war, and our government has the obligation to protect the American people. The executive branch has the obligation to protect the American people; the legislative branch has the obligation to protect the American people. And we are aggressively doing that.

    We are finding terrorists and bringing them to justice. We are gathering information about where the terrorists may be hiding. We are trying to disrupt their plots and plans. Anything we do to that effort, to that end, in this effort, any activity we conduct, is within the law. We do not torture.

That last sentence proves Bush a master of the smokin' word. He's such a liar, and his handlers have him tell far more dangerous lies than Bill Clinton's infamous oral report.

Forget about Abu Ghraib's Lynndie England or other sad renditions.

Don't even think about Nick Turse's revelation in the Voice in May 2004 of the details of a "doctrine of atrocity" that infected troopthink during the Vietnam War.

Just look at Fallujah's Camp Mercury, where our own soldiers have not only admitted casual, widespread torture — the soldiers call it "fucking" the Iraqis — but even proudly claimed the macabre moniker "Murderous Maniacs."

Yeah, that story, broken by Human Rights Watch in September, has faded from the news. That's not my fault. And it's not John McCain's.

Slate's Jacob Weisberg long ago playfully labeled his expanding collection of the POTUS's bone mots "Bushisms." Now, though, the word "Bushism" has transcended cuteness. It applies to a doctrine of atrocious conduct emanating not from the U.S. military's torture camps but from the White House.


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