Wednesday, May 31, 2006

LEADERSHIP IS ABOUT, YA KNOW, LEADING . . . AND BEING A LEADER

According to Tony Snow, White House P.R. Stooge, President Bush learned of the alleged murder of civilians by U.S. Marines in Haditha, Iraq, only after reporters questioned him about the incident.

Apparently failing to realize that after five years of unremitting lies, no one will believe you anymore, Snow said that "he has been assured by the Pentagon" that the public will learn "all the details" after the investigation is finished. Oh, so many things to comment on here.

First, after five years of unremitting lies, still no one presses the Administration for the truth, so I guess I'm wrong and Snow knows what he's doing.

Second, to harp on a favorite theme if I may, note the passive voice construction. I'm not sure if it's Snow or the AP report, but instead of Snow telling the press that "so-and-so" from the Department of Defense said "blah, blah, blah," we instead learn that Snow "has been assured" by a gigantic steel & concrete polygon that "blah, blah, blah."

With passive construction in reporting and investigations, all responsibility and accountability goes out the window. Spin doctors and press experts like Snow can appear to say something ("has assured me") without actually telling anyone a goddamn thing.

And third, what the hell does he mean the President learned of this through the press??? Doesn't that disturb anyone? U.S. Marines seem very likely to have killed civilians in Iraq, the press & a U.S. Representative are all over the story, and yet the Commander-in-Chief had no idea what was going on? As always, I don't know what shocks me more: the incompetence or the lies.

Anyhow, looking closely through the dense transcript of Tuesday's news briefing, my crack team of researchers (college interns pretending to work; me pretending to pay them) compiled a list of the other things President Bush ostensibly learned from the press for the first time during the news conference:

His own name. When Fanny Winston of the Annapolis Gazette asked him, "How do you, George Bush, feel about these murders?" the President appeared confused, and only after his handlers explained that the George Bush in question was him, was he able to answer. "Shucks," he smiled good-naturedly, "I though my name was Mr. President."

The correct pronunciation of nuclear. Anna Sinclair, a school teacher before entering the White House Press Corps 13 years ago, helped the confused President say it right via a rigorous phonics exercise. "Nuclear!" the Commander-in-Chief hollered, beeming in pride. "Nuclear!" Sinclair even approached the lecturn, putting a gold star on the President's notes to a round of boisterous applause. Unfortunately, the lesson seemed not to sink in and Bush screwed up again, letting fly with four "nuke-ulars" in a five sentence string.

That the death count in Iraq is higher than 6. "What's this 2,400 number y'all keep talkin' bout?" the President asked reporters, after repeated questions invoking military deaths. "I know that four soldiers and two Marines, God Bless Em, have fallen in the service of freedom in Iraq," he insisted to the members of the Press, stunned into embarrassed silence. Finally, like the sharp young lad watching his Emperor prance nude through the streets, Harvey Prescott of the Billings Bulletin stood up and demanded, "Mr. President, surely you've heard that the death toll for American military personnel has just passed 2,400. This is common knowledge."

According to Tony Snow, "the President has been devastated to have been told that more than six soldiers have been killed in the service of our country." Asked if that meant Bush was prepared to alter his strategy for the Iraq War, Snow asked, "Strategy?"

Mexico is not a state in the Union. "Ohhhhh, so that's why everyone keeps callin 'em 'illegals.' I see now. Man, I gotta talk to Dick about this one."

1 Comments:

Blogger EdwardR said...

Like father like son, Bush's lack of awareness about what is going on around him has its prologue in Bush Senior's term as President. Junior's ignorance of the day to day happenings in the war zones, which must be willfull, gives the lie to his professions of dismay upon finding out about new casualties and deaths. If he really cared, Bush would be paying attention. He would know who passed, when, why and where. He would know what the bleeding (no pun intended) body count was.

You know how they have a publicly displayed national debt ticker, well they ought to have a dead American soldier ticker right next to it.

12:27 PM  

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