Downing Street Documents Catch Bushes ‘Creating Their Own Reality’

From “Without a Doubt,” an October 2004 New York Times Magazine article about the Bush administration written by Ron Suskind:

In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend — but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”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 just study what we do.”

It is interesting that this statement was made just a few months after the secret Downing Street memos and minutes were written.

The documents provide evidence that the Bush Administration, in collusion with the British, conspired to incite public support for forcible regime change in Iraq by creating a reality in which Saddam Hussein represented a dire and direct threat to the United States.

The smoking gun would be a mushroom cloud.

Poll: Bush’s Popularity Still Incredibly High at 42%

The new CBS Poll gives President Bush an astoundingly high 42 percent. He is hands down the luckiest man ever to serve as president. No other U.S. president has lied, cheated and then lied about lying as much as this one and gotten away with it this long.

And no other president’s lies have caused the deaths of so many U.S. service personnel and innocent civilians.

Why do President Bush’s poll numbers remain so high? The central and best orchestrated fabrication created by the President and his team is that they are protecting America from terrorism, and that America can fight a “war” on terror. Belief in this elaborate fantasy by millions of Americans is a key factor in keeping Bush’s overall approval rating in the 40’s.

A slim majority of those polled – 52 percent – approved of Bush’s handling of terrorism. Only 40 percent disapproved.

Absent the successful campaign to create an environment of fear, President Bush’s popularity would be around 30 percent, which is roughly the number of Bush-worshipping ditto heads who make up the base of the Republican Party.

Jeb Continues Vendetta on Michael Schiavo; Still Using Terri as His Own Personal “Weekend at Bernie’s of the Bible”

If you don’t live in Florida (aren’t you the clever one?), you might not have heard the latest about Jeb and the Schiavo case. The autopsy report showed Terri really was beyond hope, and also showed no evidence that abuse caused her collapse to begin with, nor evidence there was any abuse in the 15 years she was in a persistent vegitative state. So you might expect Jeb to say, “Whoops, my bad” for using his office to harass and intimidate Michael Schiavo.

You might, but this is Jeb we’re talking about.

And so the news comes today that Jeb wants to launch an investigation into how long it took Michael Schiavo to call an ambulance when Terri collapsed in 1990. I’m not making this up.

Miami Herald:

One day after an exhaustive autopsy sought to end much of the controversy over Terri Schiavo’s life, and eventual death, Gov. Jeb Bush said he plans to ask prosecutors to investigate whether her husband took too long to call for help on the night she collapsed in 1990…

Bush said he had tried unsuccessfully to reach Pinellas-Pasco County State Attorney Bernie McCabe, who is apparently on vacation, to talk to him about whether law enforcement authorities should look into Michael Schiavo’s actions 15 years ago.

Somebody make it stop!

Too late. They’re going ahead.

St. Petersburg Times:

“We are going to look into the circumstances surrounding the times,” said [McCabe’s chief assistant Bruce] Bartlett, who declined to label the review an investigation. “The governor has expressed concern over that aspect of the case.”

…Bush said he decided to seek the investigation after talking with Dr. Jon Thogmartin, the Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner who spent nearly 11 weeks preparing Schiavo’s autopsy report, and learning that the doctor could not determine what led Schiavo to collapse in 1990.

Thogmartin met with the governor the day before the autopsy report was released publicly.

Meanwhile, a scorching and dead-on column by the Tampa Tribune’s Daniel Ruth calls to task the Jebs and Docktor Frists of the world, along with the talk radio and cable screamers, for publicly tarring and feathering Michael Schiavo.

It is more than understandable Terri Schiavo’s parents Bob and Mary Schindler and her siblings were in a parallel universe of denial over the true state of their daughter’s dire medical condition. They loved her…

But in the service of ratings points, audience share, ambition, ego and hubris, the likes of Glenn Beck, the Madame Defarge of Talk Radio, and his Posse Comitatus of prevarication were more than willing to engage in drive time vigilantism against Michael Schiavo, whose only crime was trying to honor his wife’s end-of-life wishes…

Now at long last, Michael Schiavo has been vindicated by the truth, a foreign concept to all those phony so-called Christians, talk show thugs and politicians looking for a cheap sound bite who were more than ready to treat a brain-dead woman as their own personal “Weekend At Bernie’s” of the Bible.

White House Press Corps’ Vital Signs Improve

ABC’s Terry Moran questioned White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan yesterday about Vice President Cheney’s recent assertion that the insurgency in Iraq is in its last throes. Via Editor & Publisher:

Q Scott, is the insurgency in Iraq in its ‘last throes’?

McCLELLAN: Terry, you have a desperate group of terrorists in Iraq that are doing everything they can to try to derail the transition to democracy. The Iraqi people have made it clear that they want a free and democratic and peaceful future. And that’s why we’re doing everything we can, along with other countries, to support the Iraqi people as they move forward….

Q: But the insurgency is in its last throes?

McCLELLAN: The Vice President talked about that the other day — you have a desperate group of terrorists who recognize how high the stakes are in Iraq. A free Iraq will be a significant blow to their ambitions.

Q: But they’re killing more Americans, they’re killing more Iraqis. That’s the last throes?

McCLELLAN: Innocent — I say innocent civilians. And it doesn’t take a lot of people to cause mass damage when you’re willing to strap a bomb onto yourself, get in a car and go and attack innocent civilians. That’s the kind of people that we’re dealing with. That’s what I say when we’re talking about a determined enemy.

Q: Right. What is the evidence that the insurgency is in its last throes?

McCLELLAN: I think I just explained to you the desperation of terrorists and their tactics.

Q: What’s the evidence on the ground that it’s being extinguished?

McCLELLAN: Terry, we’re making great progress to defeat the terrorist and regime elements. You’re seeing Iraqis now playing more of a role in addressing the security threats that they face. They’re working side by side with our coalition forces. They’re working on their own. There are a lot of special forces in Iraq that are taking the battle to the enemy in Iraq. And so this is a period when they are in a desperate mode.

Q: Well, I’m just wondering what the metric is for measuring the defeat of the insurgency.

McCLELLAN: Well, you can go back and look at the Vice President’s remarks. I think he talked about it.

Q: Yes. Is there any idea how long a ‘last throe’ lasts for?

McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Steve….

Senate Democrats Tie Bolton’s Pre-War Actions to Downing Street Memo

ABC News reports that Democrats in the U.S. Senate fended off a move by the Republican majority yesterday to move forward the nomination of Bush political operative John Bolton to become ambassador to the United Nations:

“All over the news the last few days has been concerns about weapons of mass destruction by virtue of the memo that was discovered,” [said Minority Leader Harry Reid], referring to the so-called “Downing Street memo.”

The July 2002 memo, prepared for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, said President Bush had already decided to invade Iraq and intelligence was being made to fit that policy.

“Concerns about this administration hyping intelligence and Great Britain hyping intelligence cannot be dismissed lightly,” Reid said, adding that it “is no small matter for us to learn whether Mr. Bolton was a party to other efforts to hype intelligence.”

Bush and his aides, including Bolton, justified the invasion by saying Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were a threat to the United States, but no such weapons have been found.

Bolton met at the Capitol with top Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who told him he “needs to convince Vice President (Dick) Cheney to provide the information” they sought on preparations for testimony Bolton gave Congress on Syria’s weapons and on classified National Security Agency intercepts, according to a statement from Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat.

Dr. Frist Lies on ‘Today Show’ about His Video Diagnosis of Schiavo

Dr. Frist on the “Today Show” on June 16, 2005 – from Think Progress:

LAUER: But when you stood on the floor and you said, She does respond, are you at all worried that you led some senators…

FRIST: I never said, She responded. I said I reviewed the court videotapes – the same ones the other doctors reviewed – and I questioned, Is her diagnosis correct?

Frist on Senate Floor, 3/17/05:

I have looked at the video footage. Based on the footage provided to me, which was part of the facts of the case, she does respond.

More from Frist, 3/17/05:

She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli…

And so then Lauer goes, “Oh yes, Doctor. I’m sure you’re right. My mistake….” [Rest is unintelligible as Lauer jumps up Frist’s butt.]