|September 8, 2005||EDITORIAL ARCHIVES|
You Can't Pray a Lie, Except if You are George W. Bush
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
The chronic, bald-faced lying of the Bush Administration has been a BuzzFlash focus since before George even assumed office, and regular readers of our news and commentary site are familiar with our documentation of just a small fraction of the daily mendacity of the Bush Cartel.
Admittedly, no one would accuse politics of being a field that is noted for its veracity. But there are small lies, there are big lies, and there are lies that are beyond the pale of comprehension in terms of civilized interaction and responsibility to the nation.
It is the third category of Bush lies that BuzzFlash has noted for five years. And it the third category that Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush and their minions disseminate with such frequency that we are left like swirling dervishes trying to keep up with their pathological betrayal of the truth.
Yet, the news media, by and large, has covered the Bush brazen lies as though they were a test of Rove's skills to get away with them. The media, we thought, was supposed to try and expose lies, not laud the criminal talents of Machiavellian advisors to divert press attention away from easily disproved attempts to deceive the American people on matters of life and death.
The fact is that despite the perhaps temporary media criticisms of the unforgivable Bush neglect of the disaster in New Orleans, the press is still analyzing whether or not Rove (who the press should have hounded out of office for being a traitor in TreasonGate months ago) can save Bush and his minions from their stupefying deliberate betrayal of the truth.
In fact, the status quo media such as the New York Times and the Washington Post continue to be eager and willing transmitters of the Rovian spin and smear machine. For instance, the Post, through the anonymous sources that outed Valerie Plame, "revealed" to readers that the Governor of Louisiana never asked Bush to declare a state of emergency. This was part of the Rove effort, sanctioned and condoned by Bush, to blame local officials for the disastrous and inexplicable federal delay in responding to Hurricane Katrina.
The only problem is that it wasn't true. A look on the FEMA website would have been all that was necessary to discover that LA Governor Blanco had dealt with the issue of declaring Louisiana in a state of emergency before Hurricane Katrina even hit land. But the Post's political reporters -- and the Times' -- like to do stories the easy way, as stenographers. The Post, due to outrage about the lie that caromed around the Internet, was forced to issue a retraction. But the real question is after five years of the same "lie, spin, smear and PR stunt" strategy of covering up a steady stream of Bush disasters, why are the Post and Times still breathlessly reporting lies from anonymous sources at the White House that can be easily disproved?
Perhaps the Post and Times are afraid somebody might accuse them of practicing journalism instead of being megaphones for slander.
Bush himself last week told Diane Sawyer that no one had ever anticipated the levees in New Orleans would break. It was a lie of such monstrous and blatant proportion (like so many that have preceded it), it should have been enough -- in and of itself -- to once and for all permanently discredit him. It was disproved by reams of documents, reports, and warnings concerning the levees, as well as administration financial cutbacks to shore up the levees to prevent just such an occurrence.
Then we had Michael Brown, the ludicrously incompetent head of FEMA, announce that people dying of thirst and hunger at the New Orleans Convention Center were receiving two meals a day, which, TV reporters covering the crisis, said was not true (to be polite). Brown and FEMA said federal help was not sent to evacuate the people at the Convention Center because they could not reach it, even though journalists and others could -- and it was on dry ground, with plenty of open space around it for helicopters to land.
The titular head of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, said that he read the papers on Tuesday and Wednesday and that they didn't indicate New Orleans needed much help, which sent bloggers in search of any paper, just one, that might have played that angle. None existed. All talked about the dire distress of the city.
And Brown told CNN and Ted Koppel that he had just learned about people in need at the Superdome on Thursday, even though it had been reported as the primary New Orleans disaster story on national television for two days prior to that.
Brown himself is the model of the Bush lackey who lies for the boss, someone promoted for his incompetence in order to ensure his absolute loyalty to the Bush dynasty, not to America. Brown had an unusual disqualification for heading FEMA that must have been attractive to Bush, who knows that someone who is unqualified for a job is the best person to promote up, because this person then owes everything to Bush and nothing to the nation. Brown was fired ("asked to resign") from being head of an Arabian Horse Association, which may have explained why, one wag noted, no Arabian horses apparently died in the wake of Katrina.
What we know now, however, is that he was picked for his ability to lie in any fashion possible to protect Bush. This is the key qualification of any Bush appointee.
When Bush made a belated and hastily arranged PR stage-managed photo op trip to the ravaged South, he told the fired Arabian-Horse-Association-Executive-Director-Turned-Bush-FEMA-Head, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." Translated, this means, "Forget about all the colored folks who suffered and died, we'll reward you for your loyalty, Brownie. It's part of what you get with Omerta to the Bush Clan."
As we pointed out in a recent editorial -- and in many ones before that -- Bush lies so frequently, it's the rare exception when he is telling the truth. He lied us into a war. He also lied about not being informed about the threat of Al Qaeda hijackings prior to 9/11. He and Condoleezza Rice were briefed about them in August of 2001, as we have noted numerous times, and neither of them did anything to prevent their occurrence. Bush lies about almost anything, including social security, Medicare, tax cuts, the economy, stem cell research -- just name it; he lies about it.
By now the press shouldn't be covering the process of whether or not Karl Rove will once again pull Bush out of the gutter by kicking other people into it, people who have stood up for the truth. The press should be reporting about an administration that is built upon a foundation of lies. Lies are the coin of the realm in the White House, and the press keeps coming back for more. Bush's lack of credibility and his betrayal of the truth should be the center stage story, not the Svengali tactics used by Rove to manipulate the press to overlooking Bush's chronic mendacity.
The Democrats are partly to blame here, because those in the Senate, with a few exceptions, have been afraid to call Bush out on his congenital dishonesty and betrayal of the American people.
The media and the Democratic leadership in Congress seem to be cowed by Bush's "amiability" in staged PR stunts and his aura of being religious. But, as we noted in a BuzzFlash editorial some time back, Mark Twain gave us the most accurate assessment of the fundamental dishonest paradox of someone claiming to be a man of God while, at the same time, being a pathological liar. In "Huckleberry Finn," one of Twain's characters has an epiphany about what it means to be honest and decent to another human being when he realizes that "you can't pray a lie." Bush, the privileged wastrel son, has not experienced this realization.
Bush's entire administration has been marked by misfits who are promoted up because of their incompetence and ability to be dishonest in the boldest and most brazen of fashions. They can only be a member of the Bush inner circle if they can prove that they can "pray a lie."
And they also have to prove that their incompetence is a permanent character trait and not just a passing error in judgment.
That's not just calculated negligence; it's a threat to the life, security and safety of every American.
Because we aren't talking about goofing up a job at the Arabian Horse Association here.
We're talking about leaving an entire nation vulnerable to disaster -- and these disasters have taken their enormous toll under Bush's watch, because he values personal loyalty, incompetence and lies over service to the nation.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL