by Jerry Politex
Since Bush's State of the Union speech, a number of editorials and analyses have been written about the lies in his address to the American people. Of course, most don't call them "lies": "presidential" code words are resorted to, like "misleading," "misleading analogies," "distorting," "false choices," "propaganda slogans," "contradictory," "forgetting," "rhetorical claim," "omitted context," even "hypocrisy." But lies they are, according to Webster, because their purpose is to represent something that is not so. Lying is seen as an approved method of communication by Bush and his administration.
Like "supply-side economics" and the "unitary presidency," Bush and his administration may want to create citizen approval for the ideological position of lying by substituting a scientific sounding term for the actual world. Leo Strauss, one of the fathers of "supply-side economics," [tax cuts to the rich] created an ideology of presidential lies and supported the concept in print during and after the Reagan administration, but he just called them nobel lies. Perhaps "action-based" will be that magic term for Bush lies. In 2002 journalist Ron Suskind was taken to task by a Bush senior aide for being a member of the "reality-based" community:
"That's not the way the world really works anymore," said the Bush aide, "we're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to study what we do."
In the Bush scheme of things, a lie is "action-based." A lie is told by Bush to create an "action" that will benefit the Bush Administration's goals. How this worked in the SOTU speech was explained in a report of a conference call with journalists the next day:
"One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally. What the president meant...was that alternative fuels could displace an amount of oil imports equivalent to most of what America is expected to import from the Middle East in 2025. Asked why the president used the words 'the Middle East' when he didn't really mean them, one administration official said Bush wanted to dramatize the issue in a way that 'every American sitting out there listening to the speech understands.'"
What we've come to, then, is that we're being asked to trust whatever Bush or members of his Administration say, even though it may be a lie, because they have our best interests at heart. History has words for such behavior. "Dictatorship" comes to mind. At any rate, here are 25 more lies Bush told to us during his State of the Union speech, which, we've been told, went through 30 drafts, with links to the documentation:
1. On Iraq, Bush said "we are winning" and we are on "a clear path to victory."
2. "We're on the offensive in Iraq."
3. We are "continuing reconstruction efforts."
4. Osama and Zarqawi would take over that "strategic country" if the United States were to pull out suddenly.
5. "If there are people inside our country who are talking with Al Qaeda, we want to know about it because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again."
6. On warrantless wiretapping he said, "appropriate members of Congress have been kept informed."
7. On Iran Bush said, "Let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America respects you, and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom."
8. On the economy, Bush said it was "healthy and vigorous."
9. Bush said that "America has created 4.6 million new jobs"
10. America is "addicted to oil.
11. The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks could have been prevented if the phone calls of two hijackers had been monitored under the program.
12. Bush also asserted that "previous presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have."
13. At another point, Bush said the number of jobs went up by 4.6 million in the past two and half years.
14. Bush said the budget deficit -- which has soared during his presidency -- is on track to decline by half by 2009. But he also urged a permanent extension of his tax cuts, due to expire in five years.
15. The president said he has reduced "the growth" of non-security discretionary spending.
16. Bush made a plea for cutting imports of oil, saying it is "often imported from unstable parts of the world."
17. He repeatedly warned against the dangers of "isolationism."
18. "The United States could have accepted the permanent division of Europe, and been complicit in the oppression of others."
19. In Iraq, he continued, "terrorists like bin Laden...aim to seize power" and use Iraq as a "safe haven to launch attacks against America and the world." He added, "A sudden withdrawal of our forces from Iraq would abandon our Iraqi allies to death and prison...[and] put men like bin Laden and Zarqawi in charge of a strategic country."
20. "Abroad, our Nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal -- we seek the end of tyranny in our world."
21. "We seek the end of tyranny in our world." 22. "There is no peace in retreat. And there is no honor in retreat." 23. "Hindsight alone is not wisdom. Second-guessing is not a strategy." 24. "However we feel about the decisions and debates of the past, our nation has only one option.
25. W.'s energy secretary, Samuel Bodman, clarified that the president's words shouldn't be taken literally. He said the aim of replacing 75 percent of Middle East oil imports with alternative fuels was "purely an example" of an action that could be taken.
More Lies In the SOTU Speech:
A night of fear mongering, big time, Leopold
Next on 'Oprah' -- leaders who lie, Rosa Brooks
Bush's Simple State Of The Union, Corn
Why Mr. Bush! What big lies you tell, Ed
Decoding The State Of The Union, vanden Heuvel
True State of the Union: More Deception from the Bush White House, Roberts
Bush's State of the Union address ignores social crisis in America, Isaacs
"Live broadcast of Bush's hourlong State of the Union speech", Reuters