It's Too Easy for Bush to Lie
Any dictator, King, or Sultan can tell his people what he wants them to hear. It’s called propaganda. But in a democracy, our leaders are required to keep us informed with the truth. It’s called transparency and not only is it ethical, but it’s healthy for the nation.
Unfortunately, Americans have come to expect lies from our politicians. But George W. Bush has become way too cavalier about it.
Last week Bush indicated that he wanted Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to remain with him until the end of his presidency.
One week later he announced that Rumsfeld would be replaced. Asked about his earlier statement, Bush said “The reason why is I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign. And so the only way to answer that question and to get you on to another question was to give you that answer.”
Ironically, many believe that, because of Rumsfeld’s unpopularity, this particular decision would have helped the GOP campaign. But no matter how he tries to frame it, Bush’s choice to lie about Rumsfeld was purely political. And the fact that he seems so comfortable lying to the press (and to the people) and then explaining it away is very disturbing.
The press has made a small effort to address Bush’s lie and admission. Bush and White House Press Secretary Tony Snow tried the spin that Bush didn’t “know” he was replacing Rumsfeld because it hadn’t been finalized. Notice Bush’s Freudian slip when he said “And the reason I didn't know is because I hadn't visited with his replacement -- potential replacement.” This explanation is ridiculous. It’s like a pregnant woman in her third trimester saying “I told you I planned on never having kids because I hadn’t delivered my baby yet.”
When backed in a corner, Tony Snow even lied about Bush’s lie.
Q: “Cut and dried question, Was it an honest statement?”
MR. SNOW: “It was an honest statement.”