Tuesday, September 04, 2007

More documented lies from Bush

During his years as president, Bush has somehow managed to maintain the image of the honest straight-shooter. Disagree with him all you want, the line goes, but at least you know you're getting the unvarnished truth from him. They even use his inarticulate manner as a strong point, suggesting that he can't be delivering a script into a neat package, because you see how awkwardly the words come out: nothing but the truth could be as unstudied as he is.

And people seem to buy it, even when he's obviously caught lying. You may have read about it here last month:
You remember, a few days before the election Bush was asked if Rummy was staying on and Bush replied that he absolutely was, that he was going to be the Secretary of Defense for the forseeable future? And then, the day after the election, Rummy was out all of a sudden. Bush even admitted lying about it, although not in so many words.

Today's Times has another story documenting lies by Bush, again about a pretty significant aspect of his presidency (or should I say, one of his bigger failures?). The press has been full of news about this new book in which Bush is starting to burnish his historical image. Of course, the fact that he thinks he can salvage his place in history is a sign of how little connection to reality he has, but we can take that as a given.

In this book, though, one of the things he tries to do is to duck responsibility for the disastrous decision to disband the Iraqi army. “The policy had been to keep the army intact; didn’t happen,” Mr. Bush told the interviewer. When Mr. Draper asked the president how he had reacted when he learned that the policy was being reversed, Mr. Bush replied, “Yeah, I can’t remember, I’m sure I said, “This is the policy, what happened?’ ”

The problem is, once they're out of the administration they don't have to toe the adminstration line anymore, and nobody likes being made a scapegoat.

Here's what Bremer says:

On Monday, Mr. Bremer made it clear that he was unhappy about being portrayed as a renegade of sorts by a variety of former administration officials.

Mr. Bremer said he sent a draft of the proposed order on May 9, shortly before he departed for his new post in Baghdad, to Mr. Rumsfeld and other top Pentagon officials.

Among others who received the draft order, he said, were Paul D. Wolfowitz, then the deputy secretary of defense; Douglas J. Feith, then under secretary of defense for policy; Lt. Gen. David D. McKiernan, then head of the American-led coalition forces in Iraq; and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Mr. Bremer said that he had briefed Mr. Rumsfeld on the plan “several times,” and that his top security adviser in Baghdad, Walter B. Slocombe, had discussed it in detail with senior Pentagon officials as well as with senior British military officials. He said he received detailed comments back from the joint chiefs, leaving no doubt in his mind that they understood the plan.

Once again, when you hear conservatives complaining about Slick Willy, this is something else to remind them of.


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