"George W. Bush is a liar. He has lied large and small, directly and by omission. He has mugged the truth-not merely in honest error, but deliberately, consistently, and repeatedly." -from the Introduction All American presidents have lied, but George W. Bush has relentlessly abused the truth. In this scathing indictment of the president and his inner circle, David Corn, the Washington editor of The Nation, reveals and examines the deceptions at the heart of the Bush presidency. In a stunning work of journalism, he details and substantiates the many times the Bush administration has knowingly and intentionally misled the American public to advance its own interests and agenda, including: * Brazenly mischaracterizing intelligence and resorting to deceptive arguments to whip up public support for war with Iraq * Misrepresenting the provisions and effects of the president's supersized tax cuts * Offering misleading explanations- instead of telling the full truth - about the 9/11 attacks * Lying about connections to corporate crooks * Presenting deceptive and disingenuous claims to sell controversial policies on the environment, stem cell research, missile defense, Social Security, white-collar crime, abortion, energy, and other crucial issues * Running a truth-defying, down-and-dirty campaign during the 2000 presidential contest and recount drama The Lies of George W. Bush is not a partisan whine-it is instead a carefully constructed, fact-based account that clearly denotes how Bush has relied on deception-from the campaign trail to the Oval Office-to win political and policy battles.
As Washington editor for the Nation, Corn has had his eyes and ears open for what he construes as lies from the Bush White House, and here he has assembled what many will see as an impressive body of evidence. Corn states that Bush has "mugged the truth-not merely in honest error, but deliberately, consistently and repeatedly to advance his career and his agenda." Corn carefully documents alleged falsehoods dating back to the campaign trail covering a full range of issues-from Enron to education, global warming to stem cell research. But this is no simplistic anti-Bush rant; it also faults the media for not underlining the apparent lies and the public for not caring enough. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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May 25, 2004
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Excerpt from The Lies of George W. Bush by David Corn
1. A Dishonest Candidate
"I have been very candid about my past."
"It's time to restore honor and dignity to the White House." So declared George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign. In one of his first ads, an earnest-sounding Bush told television viewers in Iowa he would "return honor and integrity" to the Oval Office. His promise to escort these values back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue--after you-know-who had done you-know-what in the Oval Office and then lied about it--was often the emotional crescendo of Bush's stump speech. With solemnity, Bush told the crowds that, should he be fortunate enough to win the election, on the day of his inauguration he would not only lift his hand and swear to uphold the Constitution, he would swear to uphold the "honor and the integrity" of the presidency. His supporters ate this up and cheered wildly.
Bush's professed commitment to honesty was a constant chorus during the campaign. It was also a false claim. As he barnstormed across the country, Bush left a wide wake of distortions and deceits.
He was no pioneer in this regard. To campaign is to abuse the truth. Candidates exaggerate their assets, discount their liabilities, hype their accomplishments, downplay their failures. They hail their proposals and dismiss the doubts, often fiddling with the facts to do so. A certain amount of shiftiness is understandable, perhaps even acceptable. But in seeking the presidency of the United States, George W. Bush did more than fudge and finagle. He lied about the basics--about his past, about his record as governor of Texas, about the programs he was promising, about his opponents, about the man he was, and about the president he would be. Not occasionally, but consistently. Which meant he lied about a central element of his candidacy: that he was a forthright fellow who would indeed bring integrity to the Oval Office. His honest-man routine was a campaign-concocted illusion.
The many lies he told not only served his immediate interests (getting elected), they established the foundation for the deceptions that would come when he reached the White House. The origins of much of Bush's presidential dissembling can be found in the 2000 campaign. In that endeavor, Bush and his handlers fine-tuned a political style that included the frequent deployment of misleading statements, half-true assertions, or flat-out lies. Perhaps most importantly, during the campaign, Bush and his colleagues could see that lying worked, that it was a valuable tool. It allowed them to present Bush, his past, and his initiatives in the most favorable, though not entirely truthful, terms--to deny reality when reality was inconvenient. It got them out of jams. It won them not scorn but votes. It made the arduous task of winning the presidency easier. And the campaign, as it turned out, would be merely a test run for the administration to follow.