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and lies to them


President Bush Meets the Press


by Ken Mondschein



Tim Russert: And we are in the Oval Office this morning with the President of the United States. Mr. President, welcome back to Meet The Press.

"President" George W. Bush: Thank you, sir.

Russert: On Friday, you announced a committee, commission to look into intelligence failures regarding the Iraq war and our entire intelligence community. You have been reluctant to do that for some time. Why?

President Bush: Well, first let me kind of step back and talk about intelligence in general, if I might. Intelligence is a vital part of fighting and winning the war against the terrorists. It is because the war against terrorists is a war against individuals who hide in caves in remote parts of the world, individuals who have these kind of shadowy networks, individuals who deal with rogue nations. So, we need a good intelligence system. We need really good intelligence.

So, the commission I set up is to obviously analyze what went right or what went wrong with the Iraqi intelligence. It was kind of lessons learned. But it's really set up to make sure the intelligence services provide as good a product as possible for future presidents as well. This is just a part of analyzing where we are on the war against terror.

There is a lot of investigations going on about the intelligence service, particularly in the Congress, and that's good as well. The Congress has got the capacity to look at the intelligence gathering without giving away state secrets, and I look forward to all the investigations and looks.

Again, I repeat to you, the capacity to have good intelligence means that a president can make good calls about fighting this war on terror.

Translation: Nowhere in my response is there an answer to the question you posed.

Russert: Prime Minister Blair has set up a similar commission in Great Britain.

President Bush: Yeah.

Translation: We thought the limey bastard was on our side. Damn socialists.

Russert: His is going to report back in July. Ours is not going to be until March of 2005, five months after the presidential election.

President Bush: Yeah.

Translation: Absofuckinglutely. You're going to ask me to defend that now and I am going to lie with a straight face.

Russert: Shouldn't the American people have the benefit of the Commission before the election?

President Bush: Well, the reason why we gave it time is because we didn't want it to be hurried. This is a strategic look, kind of a big picture look about the intelligence gathering capacities of the United States of America, whether it be the capacity to gather intelligence in North Korea or how we've used our intelligence to, for example, learn more information about AQ Kahn. And it's important that this investigation take its time.

Now, look, we are in a political season. I fully understand people He's trying to avoid responsibility. There is going to be ample time for the American people to assess whether or not I made a good calls, whether or not I used good judgment, whether or not I made the right decision in removing Saddam Hussein from power, and I look forward to that debate, and I look forward to talking to the American people about why I made the decisions I made.

The commission I set up, Tim, is one that will help future presidents understand how best to fight the war on terror, and it's an important part of the kind of lessons learned in Iraq and lessons learned in Afghanistan prior to us going in, lessons learned that we can apply to both Iran and North Korea because we still have a dangerous world. And that's very important for, I think, the people to understand where I'm coming from to know that this is a dangerous world. I wish it wasn't.

I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind. Again, I wish it wasn't true, but it is true. And the American people need to know they got a president who sees the world the way it is. And I see dangers that exist, and it's important for us to deal with them.

Translation: You're absolutely right, Tim, we'd prefer if the results of that report never came out and we're going to see to it that the investigation is as weak and thwarted as possible, but we *definitely* don't want a peep out of that commission before the election. In fact, we're trying to get the Brits to put off publishing their report until mid-November at the earliest. Also, "I'm a war president" is a cool slogan. It makes me sound manly and capable.

Russert: Will you testify before the commission?

President Bush: This commission? You know, I don't testify? I will be glad to visit with them. I will be glad to share with them knowledge. I will be glad to make recommendations, if they ask for some.

I'm interested in getting, I'm interested in making sure the intelligence gathering works well.

Listen, we got some five let me let me, again, just give you a sense of where I am on the intelligence systems of America. First of all, I strongly believe the CIA is ably led by George Tenet. He comes and briefs me on a regular basis about what he and his analysts see in the world.

Translation: Fuck, no. My handlers will see to it that I am never asked to testify. That indignity will be reserved for those officials whom we have handpicked to take the fall. Anyone we want out, we make them hang out our dirty laundry and take the rap for its stains. Neat, huh?

Russert: His job is not in jeopardy?

President Bush: No, not at all, not at all. We've got people working hard in intelligence gathering around the world to get as good an information as possible.

Intelligence requires, you know, all kinds of assets to bring information to the President, and I want that intelligence service to be strong, viable, competent, confident, and provide good product to the President so I can make judgment calls.

Translation: Intelligence is not something I know much about (sic). If it backs up what we were planning to do anyway, great, we'll use it ex post facto. We're getting shit for mounting the Iraq war without evidence that that royal nutjob Saddam had WMDs so we've gotta pretend that we had intelligence that told us he did; therefore, someone has to take the heat for providing us with bad intelligence. Sorry, Georgey-porgy.

Russert: There is another commission right now looking into September 11th.

President Bush: Yeah.

Translation: We've got to let these damn commissions go through their motions because they make us seem all open and self-critical. But if we could just do away with this pesky separation of powers thing, we wouldn't have to worry about that anymore.

Russert: Will you testify before that commission?

President Bush: We have given extraordinary cooperation with Chairmen Kean and Hamilton. As you know, we made an agreement on what's called "Presidential Daily Briefs," and they could see the information the CIA provided me that is unique, by the way, to have provided what's called the PDB, because. . .

Russert: Presidential Daily Brief?

President Bush: Right.

And see, the danger of allowing for information that I get briefed on out in the public arena is that it could mean that the product I I receive or future presidents receive is somewhat guarded for fear of for fear of it being revealed, and for fear of people saying, Well, you know, we're going to second-guess that which you told the President.

I need good, honest information, but we have shared this information with both those gentlemen, gentlemen I trust, so they could get a better picture of what took place prior to September the 11th.

And again, we want I want the truth to be known. I want there to be a full analysis done so that we can better prepare the homeland, for example, against what might occur.

And this is all in the context of war, and the more we learn about, you know, what took place in the past, the more we are going to be able to better prepare for future attacks.

Translation: I was fuckin' gobsmacked by 9/11, along with the rest of the country. My VBDs, er, PDBs, may have contained intelligence, that, if anyone who read them (which did not include me, natch) had an IQ above room temperature or their concerns on anything but scamming government contracts, they might have concluded that a terrorist attack was imminent. But you know what? I doubt it. I don't think our spooks knew this shit was gonna go down. But, if it turns out they did, you can be damn sure we won't admit it unless we can pin the failing on cuts Clinton made to defense spending.

Russert: Would you submit for questioning, though, to the 9/11 Commission?

President Bush: Perhaps, perhaps.

Translation: Safe answer. If I say "no," it will antagonize people needlessly. I've been told to always equivocate with hypothetical questions so my response can't come back to haunt me.

Russert: Senator Charles Grassley, a Republican. . .

President Bush: Yes.

Translation: He's on my side.

Russert: . . .said he is absolutely convinced we will capture Osama bin Laden before the election.

President Bush: Well, I appreciate his optimism. I have no idea whether we will capture or bring him to justice, may be the best way to put it. I know we are on the hunt, and Osama bin Laden is a cold blooded killer, and he represents the nature of the enemy that we face.

These are these are people that will kill on a moment's notice, and they will kill innocent women and children. And he's hiding, and we're trying to find him.

There's a I know there is a lot of focus on Iraq, and there should be, but we've got thousands of troops, agents, allies on the hunt, and we are doing a pretty good job of dismantling al Qaeda, better than a pretty good job, a very good job. I keep saying in my speeches, two thirds of known al Qaeda leaders have been captured or killed, and that's the truth.

Translation: We were doing a good job until we turned our attention to Iraq. Al Qaeda is now revamping but we know fuck all about what they're planning next or how many leaders they've got coming up through the ranks. We keep moving the alerts up and down, every time there is static on our cell phones, so that the American public believes that we are on top of the situation--that's very important in an election year. We're the Republicans, the party that Americans trust for homeland security, because we tell them to.

Russert: Do you have a pretty good idea where Osama is?

President Bush: You know, I'm not going to comment on that.

Translation: Not a fucking clue but saying that makes me sound all mysterious and knowledgeable, like I am the macho guardian of national security and in on all kinds of secret intel. Clinton would have just laughed and said, "You know I wouldn't tell you if I knew." That's the difference between us.

Russert: Let me turn to Iraq. And this is the whole idea of what you based your decision to go to war on.

President Bush: Sure, sure.

Translation: That's what I'm here for, dude. Let's roll.

Russert: The night you took the country to war, March 17th, you said this: "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."

President Bush: Right.

Translation: I did?

Russert: That apparently is not the case.

President Bush: Correct.

Translation: This is the question I was expecting and which I have been well-prepared for so don't expect to learn anything from my non-answer.

Russert: How do you respond to critics who say that you brought the nation to war under false pretenses?

President Bush: The. . . first of all, I expected to find the weapons. Sitting behind this desk making a very difficult decision of war and peace, and I based my decision on the best intelligence possible, intelligence that had been gathered over the years, intelligence that not only our analysts thought was valid but analysts from other countries thought were valid.

And I made a decision based upon that intelligence in the context of the war against terror. In other words, we were attacked, and therefore every threat had to be reanalyzed. Every threat had to be looked at. Every potential harm to America had to be judged in the context of this war on terror.

And I made the decision, obviously, to take our case to the international community in the hopes that we could do this achieve a disarmament of Saddam Hussein peacefully. In other words, we looked at the intelligence. And we remembered the fact that he had used weapons, which meant he had weapons. We knew the fact that he was paying for suicide bombers. We knew the fact he was funding terrorist groups. In other words, he was a dangerous man. And that was the intelligence I was using prior to the run-up to this war.

Now, let me which is--this is a vital question. . .

Russert: Nothing more important.

President Bush: Vital question.

And so we--I expected there to be stockpiles of weapons. But David Kay has found the capacity to produce weapons. And when David Kay goes in and says we haven't found stockpiles yet, and there's theories as to where the weapons went. They could have been destroyed during the war. Saddam and his henchmen could have destroyed them as we entered into Iraq. They could be hidden. They could have been transported to another country, and we'll find out. That's what the Iraqi survey group let me let me finish here.

But David Kay did report to the American people that Saddam had the capacity to make weapons. Saddam Hussein was dangerous with weapons. Saddam Hussein was dangerous with the ability to make weapons. He was a dangerous man in the dangerous part of the world.

And I made the decision to go to the United Nations.

By the way, quoting a lot of their data in other words, this is unaccounted for stockpiles that you thought he had because I don't think America can stand by and hope for the best from a madman, and I believe it is essential I believe it is essential that when we see a threat, we deal with those threats before they become imminent. It's too late if they become imminent. It's too late in this new kind of war, and so that's why I made the decision I made.

Translation: I wasn't involved in the decision but my guys figured that the War on Terror provided a good cover for taking out Saddam. We are sticking to our story that we had faulty intelligence claiming Iraq had WMDs. We thought it was a safe strategy because, once Iraq was liberated and a puppet regime installed, Saddam publicly humiliated, with very little American effort, we'd be The Man and no one would look back and say, "Hey, didn't you say. . .?" 'Course, people are sayin' that and now we have to either pull those WMDs out of our asses or make the spooks take the rap for giving us bad intel. Actually, I thought the old camelfucker would have some weapons stashed, even if they were as rusty as the ones disintegrating in the former USSR. We wouldn't have to show the rust on camera, of course.

Russert: Mr. President, the Director of the CIA said that his briefings had qualifiers and caveats, but when you spoke to the country, you said "there is no doubt." When Vice President Cheney spoke to the country, he said "there is no doubt." Secretary Powell, "no doubt." Secretary Rumsfeld, "no doubt, we know where the weapons are." You said, quote, "The Iraqi regime is a threat of unique urgency." "Saddam Hussein is a threat that we must deal with as quickly as possible."

You gave the clear sense that this was an immediate threat that must be dealt with.

President Bush: I think, if I might remind you that in my language I called it a grave and gathering threat, but I don't want to get into word contests. But what I do want to share with you is my sentiment at the time. There was no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was a danger to America.


Translation: You're starting to piss me off, Tim. The terms of my appearance stipulated that my people would have all questions in advance so they could prepare my answers and I could memorize them. I'm good at memorizing things, that's why I always know exactly what I was told to say, even if it was a year ago. You're not going to corner me by throwing up old quotes. Until the Iraq war, our strategy was to say as much as we needed to put a veneer of legitimacy on whatever we were going to do. When that stopped working, we shifted to flat-out lying, a ploy that continues to serve us well with the gullible public. I wouldn't have agreed to be on this show unless I knew that it would work to my advantage in the election. So far, so good.

Russert: In what way?

President Bush: Well, because he had the capacity to have a weapon, make a weapon. We thought he had weapons. The international community thought he had weapons. But he had the capacity to make a weapon and then let that weapon fall into the hands of a shadowy terrorist network.

It's important for people to understand the context in which I made a decision here in the Oval Office. I'm dealing with a world in which we have gotten struck by terrorists with airplanes, and we get intelligence saying that there is, you know, we want to harm America. And the worst nightmare scenario for any president is to realize that these kind of terrorist networks had the capacity to arm up with some of these deadly weapons, and then strike us.

And the President of the United States' most solemn responsibility is to keep this country secure. And the man was a threat, and we dealt with him, and we dealt with him because we cannot hope for the best. We can't say, Let's don't deal with Saddam Hussein. Let's hope he changes his stripes, or let's trust in the goodwill of Saddam Hussein. Let's let us, kind of, try to contain him. Containment doesn't work with a man who is a madman. And remember, Tim, he had used weapons against his own people.

Translation: Yeah, Tim, don't forget that, even if it was during the 80s, back when he was our ally and we were selling him weapons. Look, dude, he could have had weapons--we sold him shit, the French sold him shit, god knows the Ruskies must have sold him shit. We were lying when we said we knew he had them but, to tell you the truth, for the first and last time, I'm pretty fuckin' gobsmacked that we haven't found any so far. And, believe me, we will turn over every grain of sand in that desert hellhole till we find something we can claim that, if you hold it up to the light, might be used as a WMD. Like an Iraqi boy's slingshot--you could lob a grenade a fair distance with one of those--I know 'cuz we used to do it in Guard practice. That loser that said he was comin' home, givin' up because he was sick of sifting thru piles of sand? He's out on his ass but we've got plenty of goons to replace him.

Russert: But can you launch a preemptive war without iron clad, absolute intelligence that he had weapons of mass destruction?

President Bush: Let me take a step back for a second and there is no such thing necessarily in a dictatorial regime of iron clad absolutely solid evidence. The evidence I had was the best possible evidence that he had a weapon.

Translation: I could and I did.

Russert: But it may have been wrong.

President Bush: Well, but what wasn't wrong was the fact that he had the ability to make a weapon. That wasn't right.

Translation: Touuuuuuuuugh shit.

Russert: This is an important point because when you say that he has biological and chemical weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles. . .

President Bush: Which he had.

Russert: . . .and they could come and attack the United States, you are saying to the American people: we have to deal now with a man who has these things.

President Bush: That's exactly what I said.

Translation: Give it up, Timmy, what do you expect me to say? "Yes, it was wrong to launch the war without proof. Mea culpa." Dream the fuck on.

Russert: And if that's not the case, do you believe if you had gone to the Congress and said he should be removed because he's a threat to his people but I'm not sure he has weapons of mass destruction, Congress would authorize war?

President Bush: I went to Congress with the same intelligence. Congress saw the same intelligence I had, and they looked at exactly what I looked at, and they made an informed judgment based upon the information that I had. The same information, by the way, that my predecessor had. And all of us, you know, made this judgment that Saddam Hussein needed to be removed.

You mentioned "preemption." If I might, I went to the United Nations and said, Here is what we know, you know, at this moment, and you need to act. After all, you are the body that issued resolution after resolution after resolution, and he ignored those resolutions.

So, in other words, when you say "preemption," it almost sounds like, well, Mr. President, you decided to move. What I decided to do was to go to the international community and see if we could not disarm Saddam Hussein peacefully through international pressure.

You remember U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 clearly stated show us your arms and destroy them, or your programs and destroy them. And we said, there are serious consequences if you don't. That was a unanimous verdict. In other words, the worlds of the U.N. Security Council said we're unanimous and you're a danger. So, it wasn't just me and the United States. The world thought he was dangerous and needed to be disarmed.

And, of course, he defied the world once again.

In my judgment, when the United States says there will be serious consequences, and if there isn't serious consequences, it creates adverse consequences. People look at us and say, they don't mean what they say, they are not willing to follow through.

And by the way, by clearly stating policy, whether it be in Afghanistan or stating the policy that we expect you, Mr. Saddam Hussein, to disarm, your choice to disarm, but if you don't, there will be serious consequences in following through, it has had positive effects in the world. Libya, for example, there was a positive effect in Libya where Moammar Khaddafy voluntarily disclosed his weapons programs and agreed to dismantle dismantle them, and the world is a better place as a result of that. And the world is a safer and better place as a result of Saddam Hussein not being in power.

Translation: Uh, no, that's why we didn't say that. And that's why we strong-armed the Security Council into very reluctantly pretending to back us, at least briefly, before they knew our full plans. The world thinks we're criminally insane but our official response to world opinion always has been and continues to be, "Nyah, nyah, nyah, what are ya going to do about it?" (sticks out tongue). God, it's good to be the big kid on the block.

Russert: There is a sense in the country that the intelligence that was given was ambiguous, and that you took it and molded it and shaped it, your opponents have said "hyped" it, and rushed to war.

President Bush: Yeah.

Translation: So? This is like, something new and different? Hello? We aren't called the most secretive, smoke and mirrors, administration in our country's history for nothing. We've earned every shred of distrust. But the American people are so gullible we're not worried--thanks to you, the media, (kisses Tim Russert), who do most of the work for us. It's like a game of Chinese whispers. All Press Sec has to say is that there just might maybe perhaps not really sure be WMDs in Iraq and, the next day every news outlet in the country will scream: "IRAQ FULL OF WMDS. WHAT WILL PRESIDENT BUSH DO?" Fuckin' cakewalk, man.

Russert: And now, in the world, if you, in the future, say we must go into North Korea or we must go into Iran because they have nuclear capability, either this country or the world will say, "Excuse you, Mr. President, we want it now in hard, cold facts."

President Bush: Well, Tim, I and my team took the intelligence that was available to us and we analyzed it, and it clearly said Saddam Hussein was a threat to America.

Now, I know I'm getting repetitive, but I'm just trying to make sure you understand the context in which I was making decisions.

He had used weapons. He had manufactured weapons. He had funded Suicide bombers into Israel. He had terrorist connections. In other words, all of those ingredients said to me: Threat.

The fundamental question is: Do you deal with the threat once you see it? What in the war on terror, how do you deal with threats? I dealt with the threat by taking the case to the world and said, Let's deal with this. We must deal with it now.

I repeat to you what I strongly believe that inaction in Iraq would have emboldened Saddam Hussein. He could have developed a nuclear weapon over time--I'm not saying immediately, but over time--which would then have put us in what position? We would have been in a position of blackmail.

In other words, you can't rely upon a madman, and he was a madman. You can't rely upon him making rational decisions when it comes to war and peace, and it's too late, in my judgment, when a madman who has got terrorist connections is able to act.

Translation: See above answer, Tim. And thank you for the opportunity to repeat that only the Republicans can protect the America, only we are not afraid to sacrifice hundreds of our brave young men and women to vague, hypothetical threats. And by the way, isn't it clever how I am repeatedly insinuating that world opinion backed us.

Russert: But there are lots of madmen in the world, Fidel Castro. . .

President Bush: True.

Translation: I'm not touching that one with a ten-foot cigar. Besides, he's gonna die soon and Cuba will be open for business--a victory without expending any political capital and a new market for American products and services, not to mention a new offshore tax shelter for my corporate cronies.

Russert: . . .in Iran, in North Korea, in Burma, and yet we don't go in and take down those governments.

President Bush: Correct, and I could that's a legitimate question as to why we like felt we needed to use force in Iraq and not in North Korea. And the reason why I felt like we needed to use force in Iraq and not in North Korea, because we had run the diplomatic string in Iraq. As a matter of fact, failed diplomacy could embolden Saddam Hussein in the face of this war we were in. In Iraq I mean, in North Korea, excuse me, the diplomacy is just beginning. We are making good progress in North Korea.

As I've said in my speeches, every situation requires a different response and a different analysis, and so in Iran there is no question they're in danger, but the international community is now trying to convince Iran to get rid of its nuclear weapons program. And on the Korean peninsula, now the United States and China, along with South Korea and Japan and Russia, are sending a clear message to Kim Jung Il, if you are interested in a different relationship, disclose and destroy your program in a transparent way.

In other words, the policy of this administration is to be is to be clear and straightforward and to be realistic about the different threats that we face.

Translation: If you believe that about diplomacy working in some places but not others, I got some swampland to sell you in Florida. It's protected by some damn wetlands law but don't worry, we'll fix that just as soon as we win the election. Look, believe it or not, there are limits to the military resources we have and our asses are overstretched right now as it is. I've expended enough political capital on Iraq that I can't spare more until the election is won. But don't worry, I promise you we'll attack someplace else next spring. Who's been pissing us off lately, is it Syria? And when I say there is no question that Iran is in danger, I mean from us. We're hoping they regard Iraq as a warning -- a warning that they disregard, if you know what I mean.

Russert: On Iraq, the vice president said, "we would be greeted as liberators."

President Bush: Yeah.

Russert: It's now nearly a year, and we are in a very difficult situation. Did we miscalculate how we would be treated and received in Iraq?

President Bush: Well, I think we are welcomed in Iraq. I'm not exactly sure, given the tone of your questions, we're not. We are welcomed in Iraq.

Translation: Fuck yeah, we miscalculated big time. Actually, what we miscalculated was the amount of time, effort, money, American lives and spin that it would take to get the situation under control, as well as the amount of anti-American resistance that would leak out via the media. We thought we had learned our lesson in Vietnam to keep the media under tight control and we were so successful doing that in the Gulf War but, well, things got a little out of hand this time so our strategy now is to simply deny that we are not welcomed, even in the face of video evidence to the contrary.

Russert: Are you surprised by the level and intensity of resistance?

President Bush: No, I'm not. And the reason I'm not surprised is because there are people in that part of the world who recognize what a free Iraq will mean in the war on terror. In other words, there are people who desperately want to stop the advance of freedom and democracy because freedom and democracy will be a powerful long term deterrent to terrorist activities.

See, free societies are societies that don't develop weapons of mass terror and don't blackmail the world.

If I could share some stories with you about some of the people I have seen from Iraq, the leaders from Iraq, there is no question in my mind that people that I have seen at least are thrilled with the activities we've taken. There is a nervousness about their future, however.

Translation: Fuck, yeah. Who could have guessed they'd prefer that wacko camelfucker to capitalism? Of course, we're not surprised that the terrorists are upset but I know you mean ordinary Iraqis, who have about as much to do with terrorism as you do.

And by the way, if "free societies are societies that don't develop weapons of mass terror and don't blackmail the world," then we're not a free society, are we? Heh, heh. Ashy will love that one.

Russert: If the Iraqi people choose. . .

President Bush: Well, let me finish on the nervousness. I don't want to leave it on that note.

There's nervousness because they're not exactly sure what their form of government will look like, and there is you can understand why. In nine months' time, there's--we're now saying, democracy must flourish. And as I recall from my history, it took us quite a while here in the United States, but nevertheless we are making progress.

And so, when you see the debate and the discussion about freedom, those are welcoming signs as far as I'm concerned. People are saying how best to develop this system so that we are free and minority rights are protected.

Translation: I don't know where I am going with this and I know even less about history. I just felt I had to pretend to be a teensy bit realistic and not claim that everything is wine and roses in Iraq. It's not but we can fix it, we just don't want to. Nation-building is such a drag. Herding cats--you heard that expression? That's what it's like trying to establish democracy and capitalism in a country that has not experienced the Western Enlightenment. I have no idea what I just said.

Russert: If the Iraqis choose, however, an Islamic extremist regime, would you accept that, and would that be better for the United States than Saddam Hussein?

President Bush: They're not going to develop that. And the reason I can say that is because I'm very aware of this basic law they're writing. They're not going to develop that because right here in the Oval Office I sat down with Mr. Pachachi and Chalabi and al Hakim, people from different parts of the country that have made the firm commitment, that they want a constitution eventually written that recognizes minority rights and freedom of religion.

I remember speaking to Mr. al Hakim here, who is a fellow who has lost 63 family members during the Saddam reign. His brother was one of the people that was assassinated early on in this past year. I expected to see a very bitter person. If 63 members of your family had been killed by a group of people, you would be a little bitter. He obviously was concerned, but he I said, you know, I'm a Methodist, what are my chances of success in your country and your vision? And he said, it's going to be a free society where you can worship freely. This is a Shiia fellow. And my only point to you is these people are committed to a pluralistic society. And it's not going to be easy. The road to democracy is bumpy. It's bumpy particularly because these are folks that have been terrorized, tortured, brutalized by Saddam Hussein.

Translation: No. These people wouldn't know what a pluralistic society was if it bit them on the ass but we want a puppet government we can control and a market for American business so ixnay on the towel-head regime. Besides, if we let the mool-ahs in power, Iraq might start aiding terrorists, which would generate a pretty nasty backlash against the administration. So, we're going to handpick for the new governmentt people who have especial reason to despise Saddam. Hey, it's a start. We're ordering some Locke translated into Arabic as well. And, uh, we're writing their constitution, of course. It'll be a nice cut and paste job, don't worry.

Russert: You do seem to have changed your mind from the 2000 campaign. In a debate, you said, "I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called 'nation-building.'"

President Bush: Yes.

Translation: Me, neither, fuckwad, but what are we supposed to do? Pack up and go home, leave the keys and take out the trash for the extremists on our way out? Besides, the troops are too busy dodging car bombs to do any nation-building. It's more rubble-sifting.

Russert: We clearly are involved in nation building.

President Bush: Right. And I also said let me put it in context. I'm not suggesting you're pulling one of these Washington tricks where you leave half the equation out.

But I did say also that our troops must be trained and prepared to fight and win war and, therefore, make peace more possible. And our troops were trained to fight and win war, and we did, and a second phase of the war is now going on. The first phase, of course, was the Tommy Franks troop movement.

Translation: I'm going to avoid answering this, if possible.

Russert: But this is nation building.

President Bush: Well, it is. That's right, but we're also fighting a war so that they can build a nation. And [crosstalk] the war is against terrorists and disgruntled Baathists who are saying we had it good in the past, and therefore we don't want this new society to spring up because they have no faith in democracy, and the terrorists who want to stop the advance of freedom.

And if I might, people say to me, "Okay, you made a judgment as to how to secure America for the short term with the Taliban and with Saddam Hussein, and we are staying on the hunt for al Qaeda, but what about the long term?" Which is a legitimate question. And the best way to secure America for the long term is to promote freedom and a free society and to encourage democracy.

And we are doing so in a part of the world where people say it can't happen, but the long term vision and the long term hope is--and I believe it's going to happen--is that a free Iraq will help change the Middle East. You may have heard me say we have a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. It's because I believe so strongly that freedom is etched in everybody's heart I believe that and I believe this country must continue to lead.

Translation: Oh, for fuck's sake, you know as well as I do that we hadn't thought this far ahead. We're flying by the seat of our pants, ok. We can't back out now and let the country slide into an extremist towel-head regime or we will sooo lose the election. We've got some guys on the job that claim they know from nation-building. You'll have to, uh, trust them. How do ya like my new line, "freedom is etched in everybody's heart." Brings a tear to yer eye, don't it? Expect to hear it forty thousand times before the election. Maybe we'll even do bumperstickers.

Russert: Are you now willing to allow the United Nations to play a central role in the reconstruction?

President Bush: In the recon in spending our money, no. They don't want to spend our money, the money that was appropriated by the United States Congress I think you're talking about, but they will play a vital role in helping the Iraqis determine the proper course to democracy.

Translation: I know you're not confusing the UN and Congress, I was just trying to obfru. . ., obfust. . . make my answer even less clear. Actually, we'd like the Frogs and the Krauts and whomever else to take over so we can get our troops out before they all come home in body bags but we haven't figured out a way to do that yet and still seem manly and macho and victorious. It has too much of a sending-the-cleaning-crew-in-to-pick-up-our-mess air about it.

Russert: In transferring power, the U.N. will play a central role?

President Bush: Yeah. I call it a vital role because there is a lot of roles being played by different players, but the U.N. will play and this role is a very important role. It says to the Iraqi citizens who again are trying to figure out the right balance as they head toward this new democracy after years of after years of being enslaved by a tyrant--how best to do this, and I think it's very helpful to have the stamp of the international community be placed upon the political process.

In terms of reconstruction, of course we want the international community to participate, and they are. There is a lot of participation by the international community in restoring this infrastructure of the country of Iraq that Saddam Hussein had just totally I shouldn't say "totally," but destroyed a lot of. . .

Translation: Anything to do with power or lucrative contracts is our bag, baby.

Russert: Before we take a break, now that we have determined there are probably not these stockpiles of weapons that we had thought, and the primary rationale for the war had been to disarm Saddam Hussein, Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Defense Secretary, said that you had settled on weapons of mass destruction as an issue we could agree on, but there were three. "One was the weapons of mass destruction, the second is the support for terrorism, and third is Saddam's criminal treatment of his Iraqi people."

He said the "third one by itself is a reason to help Iraqis but it's not a reason to put American kids' lives at risk, certainly not on the scale we did."

President Bush: Um hmm.

Translation: Wasting your time, Rusty. I'm well-prepared on the kids' lives thing.

Russert: Now looking back, in your mind, is it worth the loss of 530 American lives and 3,000 injuries and woundings simply to remove Saddam Hussein, even though there were no weapons of mass destruction?

President Bush: Every life is precious. Every person that is willing to sacrifice for this country deserves our praise, and yes.

Russert: But. . .

President Bush: Let me finish.

Russert: Please.

President Bush: It's essential that I explain this properly to the parents of those who lost their lives.

Saddam Hussein was dangerous, and I'm not gonna leave him in power and trust a madman. He's a dangerous man. He had the ability to make weapons at the very minimum.

For the parents of the soldiers who have fallen who are listening, David Kay, the weapons inspector, came back and said, "In many ways Iraq was more dangerous than we thought." It's we are in a war against these terrorists who will bring great harm to America, and I've asked these young ones to sacrifice for that.

A free Iraq will change the world. It's historic times. A free Iraq will make it easier for other children in our own country to grow up in a safer world because in the Middle East is where you find the hatred and violence that enables the enemy to recruit its killers.

And, Tim, as you can tell, I've got a foreign policy that is one that believes America has a responsibility in this world to lead, a responsibility to lead in the war against terror, a responsibility to speak clearly about the threats that we all face, a responsibility to promote freedom, to free people from the clutches of barbaric people such as Saddam Hussein who tortured, mutilated there were mass graves that we have found a responsibility to fight AIDS, the pandemic of AIDS, and to feed the hungry. We have a responsibility. To me that is history's call to America. I accept the call and will continue to lead in that direction.

Translation: We hired Wolfy because a wolf is a predator like a hawk. Isn't that a great name? Oh, the parents: If I talk long enough in broad, sweeping terms, they'll get all mushy and patriotic--these are good Republican-voting military families after all. Isn't Marxian false consciousness a great thing?

Russert: In light of not finding the weapons of mass destruction, do you believe the war in Iraq is a war of choice or a war of necessity?

President Bush: I think that's an interesting question. Please elaborate on that a little bit. A war of choice or a war of necessity? It's a war of necessity. We--in my judgment, we had no choice when we look at the intelligence I looked at that says the man was a threat. And you know, we will find out about the weapons of mass destruction that we all thought were there. That's part of the Iraqi survey group and the group I put together to look at.

But again, I repeat to you, I don't want to sound like a broken record, but David Kay, who is the man who led the Iraqi survey group, who has now returned with an interim report, clearly said that the place was a dangerous place. When asked if President Bush had done had made the right decision, he said yes. In other words, the evidence we have uncovered thus far says we had no choice.

Translation: It's not an interesting question at all but you've asked it to me half a dozen times already and I'm buying time to think of something new to say. Aw, hell, I'll just repeat myself and keep passing the buck to Kay while I'm at it.

Russert: We are going to take a quick break.

President Bush: Thank you.

Translation: Thank fucking God.

Russert: We are going to come back and talk to the President a lot more about our world and our economy here at home and the presidential election of 2004. We are in the Oval Office with President George W. Bush.


(If only it had been for Preparation H or Bob Dole hyping Viagra. Pity they retired the "This is your brain on drugs" fried egg ad. Prozac, Xanax or Zoloft would also hit the spot--"Are you feeling blue for no discernible reason?" Or perhaps just Tylenol XXtra-Strength headache relief horsepills.)

Russert: And we are back in the Oval Office talking to the President of the United States.

(No shit. We didn't get up at 9am on a Sunday morning to hear you talk to the First Lady about paint colors for the Blue Room.)

Mr. President, this campaign is fully engaged. The chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Terence McAuliffe, said this last week: "I look forward to that debate when John Kerry, a war hero with a chest full of medals, is standing next to George Bush, a man who was AWOL in the Alabama National Guard. He didn't show up when he should have showed up."

President Bush: Yeah.

Translation: What campaign? This one's in the bag.

Russert: How do you respond?

President Bush: Political season is here. I was I served in the National Guard. I flew F 102 aircraft. I got an honorable discharge. I've heard this I've heard this ever since I started running for office. I put in my time, proudly so.

I would be careful to not denigrate the Guard. It's fine to go after me, which I expect the other side will do. I wouldn't denigrate service to the Guard, though, and the reason I wouldn't, is because there are a lot of really fine people who served in the National Guard and who are serving in the National Guard today in Iraq.

Translation: Like Dan Quayle--he served in the guard in Indiana! Some of the best drinking days of my. . . Look, rich boys went into the Guard. If your parents could pull strings to get you out of heading for a sweaty death in the jungle, wouldn't you expect them to do it? Wouldn't you do it for your own god-damned kids? My dad, that wasn't an option in his day, but now, dying in war is strickly (sic) for the poor. Nice dodge how I said not to denigrate the Guard. Go, me!

Russert: The Boston Globe and the Associated Press have gone through some of their records and said there's no evidence that you reported to duty in Alabama during the summer and fall of 1972.

President Bush: Yeah, they're they're just wrong. There may be no evidence, but I did report; otherwise, I wouldn't have been honorably discharged. In other words, you don't just say "I did something" without there being verification. Military doesn't work that way. I got an honorable discharge, and I did show up in Alabama.

Translation: I was so fucked up then, I honestly can't remember if I showed up or not. But records can be manufactured to say that I did, just in case.

Russert: You did were allowed to leave eight months before your term expired. Was there a reason?

President Bush: Right. Well, I was going to Harvard Business School and worked it out with the military.

Translation: Remember, we rich kids got out of the war, period; the Guard was just a ruse, didn't matter how long we stayed in Just please don't tie this to a question about our not letting people leave now when their contracts are up.

Russert: When allegations were made about John McCain or Wesley Clark on their military records, they opened up their entire files. Would you agree to do that?

President Bush: Yeah. Listen, these files I mean, people have been looking for these files for a long period of time, trust me, and starting in the 1994 campaign for governor. And I can assure you in the year 2000 people were looking for those files as well. Probably you were. And absolutely. I mean, I. . .

Translation: My handlers personally made sure they were destroyed, along with my arrest records, well before my first campaign for public office.

Russert: But would you allow pay stubs, tax records, anything to show that you were serving during that period?

President Bush: Yeah. If we still have them, but I you know, the records are kept in Colorado, as I understand, and they scoured the records.

And I'm just telling you, I did my duty, and it's politics, you know, to kind of ascribe all kinds of motives to me. But I have been through it before. I'm used to it. What I don't like is when people say serving in the Guard is is may not be a true service.

Russert: Would you authorize the release of everything to settle this?

President Bush: Yes, absolutely. We did so in 2000, by the way.

Translation: (Yawn) this is old, haven't you got any new dirt? 'Cuz, if this is all you have for the 2004 election, hell, I don't even need to show up. We can just hold up a sign: See 2000 campaign. Wake me when I win, I'll be having lemonade with McKinley. And here I was worried there might be some real issues from my presidency that I'd have to answer for. Thank you, media, good little sheep.

Russert: Were you favor of the war in Vietnam?

President Bush: I supported my government. I did. And would have gone had my unit been called up, by the way.

Translation: Like hell I would but, not like there was any chance of that happening anyway. Besides, it's one of those lines that sounds good and no-one can prove me wrong.

Russert: But you didn't volunteer or enlist to go.

President Bush: No, I didn't. You're right. I served. I flew fighters and enjoyed it, and we provided a service to our country. In those days we had what was called "Air Defense Command," and it was part of the air defense command system.

The thing about the Vietnam War that troubles me as I look back was it was a political war. We had politicians making military decisions, and it is lessons that any president must learn, and that is to the set the goal and the objective and allow the military to come up with the plans to achieve that objective. And those are essential lessons to be learned from the Vietnam War.

Translation: Uh, no-one in their right mind would have volunteered to go to Vietnam, including you, you asswipe, Tim. No-one is going to condemn me for that, that's a weak-ass attack. I also have to walk a fine line here between claiming that I supported the war and would have fought in it, if asked by my country, and not appearing to whole-heartedly support what has become such an unpopular war. But I should have kept my mouth shut about politicians making military decisions and political wars, though. . .

Russert: Let me turn to the economy.

President Bush: Yes.

Translation: Fucking, yes, please, enough on the war already. I thought you were going to turn to domestic issues after the break, you sly dog.

Russert: And this is one of my charts that I would like to show you.

President Bush: I was hoping to see one of them.

Translation: I was shown this in advance so I would be prepared. Thank you, MSNBC.

Russert: The Bush Cheney first three years, the unemployment rate has gone up 33 percent, there has been a loss of 2.2 million jobs. We've gone from a $281 billion surplus to a $521 billion deficit. The debt has gone from 5.7 trillion, to $7 trillion up 23 percent.

Based on that record, why should the American people rehire you as CEO?

President Bush: Sure, because I have been the President during a time of tremendous stress on our economy and made the decisions necessary to lead that would enhance recovery. We'll review the bidding here. The stock market started to decline in March of 2000. That was the first sign that things were troubled. The recession started upon my arrival. It could have been some say February, some say March, some speculate maybe earlier it started, but nevertheless it happened as we showed up here.

The attacks on our country affected our economy. Corporate scandals affected the confidence of people and therefore affected the economy. My decision on Iraq, this kind of march to war, affected the economy, but we have been through a lot. And what those numbers show is the fact we have been through a lot.

But what the people must understand is that instead of wondering what to do, I acted, and I acted by cutting the taxes on individuals and small businesses, primarily. And that, itself, has led to this recovery.

So, you show that the numbers kind of I'm not suggesting the chart only shows the bad numbers, but how about the fact that we are now increasing jobs or the fact that unemployment is now down to 5.6 percent? There was a winter recession and unemployment went up, and now it's heading in the right direction.

The economic stimulus plan that I passed, or I asked the Congress to pass, and I worked with Congress to pass, is making a big difference.

Translation: It's Clinton's fault, decline started under his watch. Or, if that's not enough, 9/11.

Russert: But when you proposed your first tax cut in 2001, you said this was going to generate 800,000 new jobs. Your tax cut of 2003, create a million new jobs. That has not happened.

President Bush: Well, it's happening. It's happening. And there is good momentum when it comes to the creation of new jobs.

Again, we have been through a lot. This economy has been through a lot, which is why I'm so optimistic about the future because I know what we have been through.

And I look forward to debate on the economy because I think one of those things that's very important is that the entrepreneurial spirit of this country be strong and the small business sector be strong. And the policies I have laid out enhance entrepreneurship, they encourage small business creation, and I think this economy is coming around just right, frankly.

Translation: They're just minimum wage jobs at Wal-Mart, filled by former techies whose jobs have gone to Asia. Which reminds me, we've got to abolish that minimum wage. And I'm just going to keep saying that everything is on the upswing because Americans believe everything I say. Neat trick, huh?

Russert: The General Accounting Office, which are the nation's auditors. . .

President Bush: Yeah.

Translation: Fuckin' bean-counters. Everybody's eyes glaze over when those accounting stuffed shirts do their voodoo number-crunching anyway.

Russert: . . .have done a study of our finances.

President Bush: Um hmm.

Translation: Oh, shit.

Russert: And this is what your legacy will be to the next generation. It says that our "current fiscal policy is unsustainable." They did a computer simulation that shows that balancing the budget in 2040 could require either cutting total Federal spending in half or doubling Federal taxes.

President Bush: Um hmm.

Translation: I won't be running for re-election in 2040, dumbass.

Russert: How why, as a fiscal conservative as you like to call yourself, would you allow a $500 billion deficit and this kind of deficit disaster?

President Bush: Sure. The budget I just proposed to the Congress cuts the deficit in half in five years.

Now, I don't know what the assumptions are in the GAO report, but I do know that if Congress is wise with the people's money, we can cut the deficit in half. And at that point in time, as a percentage of GDP, the deficit will be relatively low.

I agree with the assessment that we've got some long term financial issues we must look at, and that's one reason I asked Congress to deal with Medicare. I strongly felt that if we didn't have an element of competition, that if we weren't modern with the Medicare program, if we didn't incorporate what's called "health savings accounts" to encourage Americans to take more control over their healthcare decisions, we would have even a worse financial picture in the long run.

I believe Medicare is going to not only make the system work better for seniors but is going to help the fiscal situation of our long term projection.

We got to deal with Social Security as well. As you know, these Entitlement programs need to be dealt with.

We are dealing with some entitlement programs right now in the Congress. The highway bill. It's going to be an interesting test of fiscal discipline on both sides of the aisle. The Senate's is about $370, as I understand, $370 billion; the House is at less than that but over $300 billion. And as you know, the budget I propose is about $256 billion.

Translation: Reagan showed that deficits don't matter. The most we spend, the more we can justify cutting entitlement programs to balance the budget, which is our real goal.

Russert: But your base conservatives and listen to Rush Limbaugh, the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, they're all saying you are the biggest spender in American history.

President Bush: Well, they're wrong.

Translation: They're right but, as fellow rabid conservatives, they know this will help strong-arm the public into agreeing to spending cuts down the line. If not, it won't be my mess to clean up anyway--don't you get that bit?

Russert: Mr. President

President Bush: If you look at the appropriations bills that were passed under my watch, in the last year of President Clinton, discretionary spending was up 15 percent, and ours have steadily declined.

And the other thing that I think it's important for people who watch the expenditures side of the equation is to understand we are at war, Tim, and any time you commit your troops into harm's way, they must have the best equipment, the best training, and the best possible pay. That's where we owe it to their loved ones.

Translation: Heh, heh, I invoked the safety of the troops as justification even though they are still waiting for basic body armor and dying everyday while their families are on foodstamps. I am good!

Russert: That's a very important point. Every president since the Civil War who has gone to war has raised taxes, not cut them.

President Bush: Yeah.

Translation: I'm in my element; I can't give a wrong answer for not raising taxes. Everyone wants to believe they can get something for nothing.

Russert: Raised to pay for it. Why not say, I will not cut taxes any more until we have balanced the budget? If our situation is so precious and delicate because of the war, why do you keep cutting taxes and draining money from the treasury?

President Bush: Well, because I believe that the best way to stimulate economic growth is to let people keep more of their own money. And I believe that if you raise taxes as the economy is beginning to recover from really tough times, you will slow down economic growth. You will make it harder.

See, I'm more worried about the fellow looking for the job. That's what I'm worried about. I want people working. I want people to find work. And so, when we stimulate the economy, it's more likely that person is going to find work. And the best way to stimulate the economy is not to raise taxes but to hold the low taxes down.

Translation: Trickle-down economics worked for Reagan. Didn't it? Didn't it?

Russert: How about no more tax cuts until the budget is balanced?

President Bush: Well, that's a hypothetical question which I can't answer to you because I don't know how strong the economy is going to be.

I mean, the President must keep all options on the table, but I do know that raising the child lowering the child credit thereby raising taxes on working families does not make sense when the economy is recovering, and that's exactly what some of them are calling for up on Capitol Hill. They want to raise taxes of the families with children, they want to increase the marriage penalty. They want to get rid of those taxes on small businesses that are encouraging the stimulation of new job creation, and I'm not going to have any of it.

Translation: Read my lips: no new taxes until this election is over. And after that, why should I worry about balancing the budget? What, me worry?

Russert: We are going to take another quick break. We will be right back with more of our conversation with the President in the Oval Office, right after this.


Russert: And we are back.

(Please, put us out of our misery. End this farce before my pancakes make an unscheduled reappearance.)

Mr. President, last time you were on the show you said that you wanted to change the tone in the nation.

President Bush: Yes.

Translation: I don't know where you're going with this.

Russert: This is Time magazine: "Love Him or Hate Him: Why George Bush arouses such passion and what it means for the country."

President Bush: Yes.

Translation: I make such a cute cover boy.

Russert: Tom Daschle, the Democratic Leader in the Senate, said that you've changed the tone for the worse; that it's more acrimonious, more confrontations, that you are the most partisan political president he's ever worked with.

Our exit polls of primary voters, not just Democrats but independents in South Carolina and New Hampshire, more than 70 percent of them said they are angry or dissatisfied with you, and they point to this whole idea of being a uniter as opposed to a divider.

Why do you think you are perceived as such a divider?

President Bush: Gosh, I don't know, because I'm working hard to unite the country. As a matter of fact, it's the hardest part of being the president. I was successful as the Governor of Texas for bringing people together for the common good, and I must tell you it's tough here in Washington, and frankly it's the biggest disappointment that I've had so far of coming to Washington.

I'm not blaming anybody. It's just the environment here is such that it is difficult to find common ground. I'll give you a classic case: the Medicare bill. The Medicare bill was a tough vote, but the Medicare bill is a bill that a lot of people could have signed on to and had it not been for kind of the sense of, well, "Bush might win, we might lose," you know, or "Bush might lose, we might win" kind of attitude.

And. but I will continue to work hard to unite the country. I don't speak ill of anybody in the process here. I think if you went back and looked at my comments, you will see I don't attack. I don't hold up people. I talk about what I believe in, and I lead, and maybe perhaps I believe so strongly in what we are doing around the world or doing here at home.

Translation: It's easy for me to lie on these fuzzy questions about "tone" and they provide a great opportunity to slag off the Dems for being partisan--thanks, Tim. It almost amazes me that I have been able to sell my record in Texas as a success but, anyway, I'm a uniter, not a divider, and I'm gonna keep saying that until you believe me. Besides, those so turned off by the acrimonious partisanship that they say "a plague on both your houses" and stay away from the polls can't vote against me.

Russert: But around the world, in Europe, favorable ratings Unfavorable ratings, 70 in Germany, 67 in France.

President Bush: But you know, Tim, that. . .

Russert: Why do people hold you with such contempt?

President Bush: Heck, I don't know, Ronald Reagan was unpopular in Europe when he was President, according to Jose Maria Aznar. And I said, "You know something?" He said to me, he said, "You're nearly as unpopular as Ronald Reagan was." I said, "so, first of all, I'm keeping pretty good company."

I think that people when you do hard things, when you ask hard things of people, it can create tensions. And I heck, I don't know why people do it. I'll tell you, though, I'm not going to change, see? I'm not trying to accommodate I won't change my philosophy or my point of view. I believe I owe it to the American people to say what I'm going to do and do it, and to speak as clearly as I can, try to articulate as best I can why I make decisions I make, but I'm not going to change because of polls. That's just not my nature.

Translation: You trot out what the Krauts and the Frogs think and expect me to CARE? Last I checked, they weren't registered to vote here. I've managed a "gosh" and a "heck" so far. If I can work in an "aw, shucks," I'm home-free.

Russert: Two polls out this weekend show you. . .

President Bush: See there, you're quoting polls.

Translation: I'm actually as much a slave to polls as any pol. . . or, should I say, my handlers are; I'm hardly ever told what they say--but it's our schtick to pretend we don't live by them.

Russert: . . .you're trailing John Kerry in both U.S.A. Today and Newsweek polls by seven and five points.

President Bush: Yeah.

Translation: I'm being challenged by Herman Munster. Get real.

Russert: This is what John Kerry had to say last year. He said that his colleagues are appalled at the quote "President's lack of knowledge. They've managed him the same way they've managed Ronald Reagan. They send him out to the press for one event a day. They put him in a brown jacket and jeans and get him to move some hay or move a truck, and all of a sudden he's the Marlboro Man. I know this guy. He was two years behind me at Yale. I knew him, and he's still the same guy."

Did you know him at Yale?

President Bush: No.

Translation: You expect me to remember everyone I met in college? Was I wasted at the time?

Russert: How do you respond to that?

President Bush: Politics. I mean, this is-you know, if you close your eyes and listen carefully to what you just said, it sounds like the year 2000 all over again.

Translation: Americans have demonstrated that they like their presidents dumb so you can't hurt me with that label--in fact, it helps sell me to the average Joe, who probably smokes Marlboros and can relate to the Marlboro man more easily than a patrician Harvard/Yale alum.

Russert: You were both in Skull and Bones, the secret society.

President Bush: It's so secret we can't talk about it.

Translation: Nyah-nyah!

Russert: What does that mean for America? The conspiracy theorists are going to go wild.

President Bush: I'm sure they are. I don't know. I haven't seen the (unintel) yet. (Laughs)

Translation: It gives me such the cache to be one of the cool kids who was in a secret club. It's sooo secret I can't even tell you about it. It's such a secret club--and, let me repeat, only the really cool kids get to join--that I can hardly even admit it exists, let alone tell you what we do at our Top Secret meetings in my treehouse, I mean, at the cemetery, I mean, oops, there is no society and we did not have any meetings and I did not wear that underwear on my head, despite the photographs. And no, there is no Skull and Bones brand on my ass so stop asking.

Russert: Number 322.

President Bush: First of all, he's not the nominee, and I look forward. . .


Russert: Are you prepared to lose?

President Bush: No, I'm not going to lose.

Translation: No, I'm not going to lose.

Russert: If you did, what would you do?

President Bush: Well, I don't plan on losing. I have got a vision for what I want to do for the country. See, I know exactly where I want to lead. I want to lead us I want to lead this world toward more peace and freedom. I want to lead this great country to work with others to change the world in positive ways, particularly as we fight the war on terror, and we got changing times here in America, too.

Translation: Be afraid, be very afraid. If I don't win, we'll bring this country to its knees forcing a victory, damn the consequences. We will win at ALL costs and I mean ALL. There will be no concession, if we have to wrap the results up in months of litigation and take it to our pals on the Court again. If the vote doesn't go our way, we'll make it go our way. Four more years of me -- that's my vision for America.

Russert: Biggest issues in the upcoming campaign?

President Bush: Who can properly use American power in a way to make the world a better place, and who understands that the true strength of this country is the hearts and souls of the American citizens, who understands times are changing and how best to have policy reflect those times.

And I look forward to a good campaign. I know exactly where I want to lead the country. I have shown the American people I can lead. I have shown the American people I can sit here in the Oval Office when times are tough and be steady and make good decisions, and I look forward to articulating what I want to do the next four years if I'm fortunate enough to be their president.

Translation: WHEN I will be president. We have no intention of losing. If I repeat it enough times, the American public will be brainwashed into believing it: only the hawkish Republicans can protect America from terrorism, not those wimpy, dove-ish, draft-dodging Dems. Damn, Kerry served in Vietnam, we'll have to find a substitute for draft-dodging for this campaign. Dig up some dirt on his service record, find out that he was a shitty officer and his subordinates tried to frag 'im or somethin'. And he must have fucked somebody that wasn't his wife, somewhere, sometime. We'll find out when and where and drag the who into that friendly media glare. I also intend to keep repeating what a good leader I am. If I say it enough times it will be true! WHEN I win the election, we'll keep using American power to make the world a better place for American corporations.

Russert: Mr. President, we thank you for sharing your views, and I hope we could come back and talk about issues during the course of the campaign.

President Bush: Thank you, Tim.

Translation: Sure, Timmy-boy, I'd be happy to come back and lie s'more, if my handlers deem that it will help our campaign. Until then, you and all the rest of the "liberal" (wink) media can go fuck yourselves. We'll be in touch if we need you to shill for us. Thank you MSNBC, you know we've got big biz like you by the short 'n' curlies.

Russert: That's all for today. We will be back next week. If it's Sunday, it's Meet The Press.

Translation: Antacid, please, and a bucket.



We are the press. If you want to meet us, e-mail

Posted February 9, 2004 12:45 AM






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