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That Mystery Bulge: Did Mr. Bush Cheat During The First Debate?

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That Mystery Bulge: Did Mr. Bush Cheat During The First Debate?

Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D


"The devil is in the details." -American folk proverb

Sometimes the smallest events have large implications. And sometimes things are, with mathematical certainty, exactly what they appear to be. Knowing this, a European friend sent me a story that's spread worldwide because it could be "Exhibit A" in the American electorate's search for a trustworthy president: "Bush's Mystery Bulge: The Rumor Is Flying Around The Globe - Was Bush Wired During The First Debate?" [1]

The Story's Facts: Hard visual evidence, supplied by Fox News' exclusive video feed from the first presidential debate in Miami, strongly indicates that Mr. Bush walked into that debate "wired." In what sense? The original videotape plainly shows that he was wearing some sort of rectangular electronic device on his back between his shoulder-blades. Among others, the retailer Spyware carries techno-gadgets that fit this description.

How do they work? These gadgets are pre-set to receive a specific radio frequency, secured to the wearer's body, then the signal is relayed into a wireless micro-speaker that's planted deep enough in the wearer's ear-canal that it can't be seen by observers.

Why would Mr. Bush choose to wear one of those gadgets during a debate? The motive is elementary: he's a relatively inarticulate man who lapses into mythologized stock phrases and embarrassing malapropisms whenever he tries to think on his feet. A bad performance in the first debate would reinforce the line of ridicule that says he's the puppet and Dick Cheney's the ventriloquist.

Hence, he decided to cheat -- it most certainly wasn't a "mistake" -- by receiving radio transmissions of expert advice from a debating coach who was watching him in a remote location.

Who was that debating coach? Probably Machiavellian Karl Rove, the White House Political Consultant. Or possibly James A. Baker III, the Bush family consigliere.

Additionally, there is circumstantial evidence to consider. It shows that Mr. Bush paused at length several times during the debate before answering questions, with his eyes strangely gazing downward at his lectern, as though he was listening to someone's voice. At one point, Mr. Bush evidently forgot that electronic cheating is a covert operation, and spoke in words that clearly did not fit the debate's context at that time, but which made sense only if they were directed to his remotely-located debating coach. [2]

To summarize, the hard visual evidence clearly indicates the presence a convex rectangular object on Mr. Bush's back, and the circumstantial evidence corroborates that its dastardly purpose was to enable him to cheat.

Therefore, a prima facie case had been made, and the burden of proof shifted to the White House to answer this question: "If it was not an electronic device, exactly what phenomenon caused that convex rectangular shape to appear on Mr. Bush's back, or precisely what function did that hump perform?"

In response, flustered White House officials launched more Whoppers of Mass Deception to explain away what everyone could plainly see. First, they issued a blanket denial: "Mr. Bush was wearing neither an electronic receiver nor a bulletproof vest on his back!" Second, they resorted to their usual fictionalized counterargument: "He was merely wearing a rumpled suit jacket! Who ya gonna believe -- us, or your lying eyes?" [3]

The Applicable Rules: The bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates ended up with 32 pages of bilaterally agreed-upon rules, among which was its long-standing rule that forbids third-parties from intervening during the debates to provide assistance to a participant, with but one exception for the moderator, who can give procedural clarifications and issue warnings. Moreover, that long-standing rule applies to every participant in the 2004 presidential and vice-presidential debates. Furthermore, Mr. Bush's chief debate negotiator, James A. Baker III, sought and got a strange stipulation that cameras must not be positioned behind the candidates. Despite which, Fox News positioned its cameras behind them anyway during the Miami debate. Finally, the CPD must enforce the rules and punish serious violations thereof. [4]

The Story's Implications: (1) Reputable journalists have already uncovered enough probative hard evidence and corroborating circumstantial evidence to conclude that the cheating allegation is true, and not a baseless internet rumor;

(2) the debate in Miami was televised internationally, and now everyone on the planet can verify that he was caught in flagrante delicto receiving electronically-transmitted advice during the debate, so the world will conclude that Mr. Bush is guilty of deliberate cheating, and Mr. Bush cannot plausibly deny his deliberate violation of the CPD's rules; (3) all of which should demonstrate to Americans that Mr. Bush is morally and mentally unfit to be reelected for a second term; therefore (4) the CPD must disqualify Mr. Bush from participating in their third presidential debate, and it should replace him with the most credible alternative candidate who, by any objective standard, would have to be Ralph Nader! [5]

The Bottom Line: If the CPD continues to ignore this outrageous breach of their own rules by refusing to disqualify Mr. Bush from participation in their debate on 10-13-04, the American people can safely conclude that the CPD is corrupt beyond realistic hope of redemption, and we'll have no choice but to launch a rebellion for democracy's sake, through which we will achieve: (A) the removal of future presidential debates from the corrupt CPD and the two-party system's stranglehold; and (B) the creation of a genuinely-independent citizens'

debate commission that will conduct robust Lincoln-Douglas style presidential debates. [6]


[1] Read Dave Lindorff's 10-8-04 GU article (and be sure to read the linked

articles) at:


[2] To see a photograph taken from the Fox video feed of Bush's back during the Miami debate, see David Lindorff's 10-8-04 ITT article, "The Milli Vanilli

President": http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/1331/

Also read this blogger's 10-2-04 PIM article, "Bush Was Wired In Debate?," at:


[3] Why it's fictionalized is elementary: Mr. Bush doesn't purchase his wardrobe at J.C. Penney's! Therefore, it's not credible to assert that the jacket on one of Mr. Bush's hand-tailored $2,000.00 suits would "rumple" by puffing out into a convex-rectangular hump! It would've been equally plausible if the White House spinmeisters had attempted to explain away that hump on "Mack-The-Knife" Bush's back by arguing that it was his rolled-up and smooshed-down dorsal fin! For mainstream media verification, read Elisabeth Bumiller's 10-9-04 NYT article, "The Mystery Of The Bulge In The Jacket," at:


[4] Since 1987, the Commission on Presidential Debates ("CPD") has controlled the USA's nationally-televised presidential debates. However, the CPD is a very exclusive private bipartisan corporation that's run by the Republican and Democratic parties. Over time, the CPD has chosen to drop America's robust tradition of public debates -- think Lincoln vs. Douglas -- and replace it with pathetic sham "debates" that are either highly-scripted joint media interviews or tightly-controlled "town-hall meetings."

[5] As a matter of democratic fairness, Americans cannot justify the exclusion of third-party candidates from presidential debates. Visit this excellent public-interest website, which wisely advocates eliminating the control-freak CPD, and replacing it with a truly independent Citizens' Debate Commission:


[6] Finally, read the author's 10-8-04 essay on another important election matter, "Widespread Distrust Of USA's Electronic-Voting Panacea," at:


Author: Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D., is the Executive Director of the American Center on International Law ("ACIL"). This essay was written in his unoffical capacity as a citizen of the USA.



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