The Buck Doesn’t Even Stop By For Visits

I know that GW Bush says all kinds of strange stuff, but is this the strangest (I don't mean most mendacious, that's different) remark of his current term in office?

Bush said sympathetic to Tillman family. President Bush hopes someone is held responsible for the U.S. military's mishandling of information about the death of former football star Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, the White House said Wednesday.

That sound you hear is brains leaking out all over America. See, the Tillman case involves many high-ranking people in the Army — Colonels and Generals and perhaps even high-ranking civilian officials — engaged in a knowing and willful conspiracy to cover up and then lie to the public about the circumstances of Pat Tillman's death. There is a chain of command here, and someone is a the top of it, either someone in a uniform or someone in a Pentagon. And either way, they report to one GW Bush.

So if this GW Bush who so vaguely and generally “hopes” that “someone” is held responsible also hopes that the “someone” held responsible is the person who is in fact responsible, all that GW Bush would have to do is pick up the phone and make one — one! — phone call to the current Secretary of Defense, asking for the appropriate head on a plate.

To read this statement from the White House is to be left with the belief that either

  • GW Bush doesn't understand that he can give the Pentagon orders
  • GW Bush thinks we don't understand he is the titular and (should he choose to exercise the role) actual head of government in this country as well as the Commander-in-Chief
  • GW Bush hopes very much that someone is scapegoated for the ongoing Tillman PR disaster, but doesn't want to pick up the phone and order that the actual ringleader who ordered up this unnecessary and destructive piece of propaganda be unmasked because the truth (Rumsfeld? Cheney?) is too embarrassing.
  • The words “someone” and “responsible” should not be used in the same paragraph as “GW Bush”.

34 thoughts on “The Buck Doesn’t Even Stop By For Visits

  1. How petty and small-minded! Embellishment of heroic war stories in order to inspire people is an ancient literary tradition going back to Homer’s day, if not earlier. One is not supposed to take them literally. Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman represent photogenic archetypes of our brave fighting men and women. While the stories told about them may not be literally true, they portray a larger “big picture” truth, which is entirely valid. Reasonable people understand this. If Waxman and company think they can make hay out of this to advance their nefarious schemes, they will be sorely disappointed.

  2. What a ridiculous argument. Yes, the embellishment of heroic stories is an ancient literary tradition. However, so is shameless lying for political gain. A practice’s antiquity doesn’t make it right. By this logic, slavery and torture are moral because they are ancient traditions. Though it wouldn’t surprise me if nabalzbbfr favors torture.

    The Pentagon lied about Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman, deliberately and repeatedly. Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that said, “The Buck Stops Here.” Mr. Bush obviously does not. If Mr. Bush wanted the truth he could get it.

    Ms. Lynch and Mr. Tillman are real people with real stories, who made real sacrifices for our country. The nobility of their sacrifice demands nothing less than that their stories be told truthfully, as Ms Lynch herself has asked. How is her request “unreasonable?” Personally, I find it incredible that anybody thought she would go along with the deception when she found out about it.

    Ms. Lynch is still here and has quite justifiably objected to being made into a “photogenic archetype.” Mr. Tillman is no longer with us to defend himself, but his reaction, from all accounts, would have been louder, longer, and more profane, certainly including the popular expletive b***s***.

    As it happens, I know quite a bit about b***s***. I grew up next to a dairy farm in rural New England. And I can tell you from personal observation that piling turds on top of each other does not create a larger “big picture” truth, which is entirely valid. What it creates is a larger pile of turds. Into which nabalzbbfr has obviously stepped.

  3. The nobility of their sacrifice demands nothing less than that their stories be told truthfully, as Ms Lynch herself has asked. How is her request “unreasonable?” Personally, I find it incredible that anybody thought she would go along with the deception when she found out about it.

    For those whom “Fame and Wealth” are the Holy Grail, the thought NEVER crossed their minds that she wouldn’t ‘go along’, if for no other reason then to ‘get along’.

    Part of a “Heroic Narrative”? Give me a break…

  4. One is not supposed to take them literally. Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman represent photogenic archetypes of our brave fighting men and women. While the stories told about them may not be literally true, they portray a larger “big picture” truth, which is entirely valid. Reasonable people understand this.

    Tell that to the Tillman family, mate. To their faces.

    As for Bush, this is not the first time: he made the same noises about the leaking of Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity, apparently unaware that he could get the truth from his senior staff by, y’know, asking them under pain of dismissal. Astonishing how El Deciderissimo’s powers wax and wane.

  5. nabalzbbfr has a point. Perhaps we should slaughter a sheep, examine it’s bowels and determine thereby how to proceed.

    Or, given that this is a different day and age, we might reflect on the corrosive impact of these patent lies when the truth is inevitably discovered.

  6. The current Secretary of Defense, let us remember, has shown in the past (Walter Reed) that he’s not shy at all about demanding someone’s head on a plate when they screw up big time.

    So the fact that he’s not so demanding could well mean that:
    a) “Someone” has ordered him not to
    b) The head in question belongs to someone untouchable. Which could be Rumsfeld or Cheney. Or Rove. Or it could equally be Bush

    let’s also remember that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, chief of the Army’s Special Operations Command sent a cable to Gen. John Abizaid, chief of U.S. Central Command, “only a week after Tillman was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan”, suggesting that President Bush and other senior officials should be informed immediately that Tillman had probably been killed by friendly fire, lest they embarrass themselves by publicly claiming otherwise

    It is pretty inconceivable that Bush was not warned. So it is pretty plausible that Bush presided over the cover-up and lies, even if he did not order them. Hey, that’s what Presidents do, right? Preside?

  7. Doesn’t the expression “someone will be held responsible” just cry out “SCAPEGOAT!!”.

    Perhaps the *guilty party (-ies)* should be held responsible?

    Hey, George, why don’t you just say “It’s Clinton’s fault.” and have done with it?

  8. Exactly, in what way is the current administration conservative. A more appropriate moniker would be disrespectful. By now most people understand that right and left do not matter. Who cares whether an issue has a political philosophy that supports it? What matters is that the actions taken conclude with a net gain or utilitarian result at a negligible level of risk. What matters is that the conclusions are based on reality or simply the facts. Every idea is not an opinion, and every theory false, because one cannot know perfectly all the elements in play. There remain concepts that facilitate predictable results.

    When the right wing failed in every attempt to impose opinions and prejudices on our society that did not conform to the real world, it chose conclusions based on untenable arguments to obfuscate their confusion. They have been lucky, because they do not take the time to consider real consequences. If its members thought a task was easy, in reality it was impossible. At random times the musings of its members gave the impression of due diligence, but the reality was that their path resembled that of the foolish diver, who finds a “perfect” cliff to dive from then neglects to test the depth of the water beneath it. They are out of their depth. They stay the course because of blind certainty.

    It follows then for officials to be disrespectful of the Tillman family because of their lack of dutiful righteousness, and for not keeping their mouths shut. Why didn’t the Tillman family understand that there are no witnesses, only co-conspirators among the top con men? Not only does the right wing disrespect differences in conclusions held by others, it demands permission to spit on their child’s grave.

    The right wing scoffs at our laws, denies the existence of human dignity, practices torture, spies on innocent Americans, sends Americans to die in an unnecessary war, exposes a C.I.A. agent, and treats the country’s top government executive as if he is a ruler rather than a public servant. Never-the-less, they reserve the right to criticize those who recognize a train wreck when they see one. It is not a question of holding an inappropriate philosophy it is a history of failed policies of enormous proportions, because our leaders are small minded, insincere, opportunists who are married to the idea that if it isn’t about them, it isn’t worth knowing.

  9. Embellishment of heroic war stories in order to inspire people is an ancient literary tradition going back to Homer’s day, if not earlier.

    Yes, a literary tradition. As in stories. That are made up. As in not real. Or fake, if you prefer.

    I’m no expert, but I’d guess when a family is trying to cope with the death of a relative who is a member of the military, they don’t want happy shiny talk that somebody high in the chain of command makes up because it sounds better than what actually happened. That goes double for when the fake, made up story also just happens to make great PR material for an ongoing military action.

  10. The Tillman case shows that the Bushpigs are guilty of necrophilia in addition to all of their other revolting crimes. Anyone making excuses for this one should be tied into a burlap bag with a dozen starved rats and tossed into a bottomless latrine.

  11. Bush is not serious. He made similar comments about the outing of Valarie Plame. What did he do? Nothing, not one thing.

    The guy is a joke. When he made his comments about Pat Tillman, I rolled my eyes. Sure, sure..right.

    Bush has no credibility left, he has no honor. His empty trousers stand starch stiff, pretending the man is there, nothing more.

  12. “Embellishment of heroic war stories in order to inspire people…”

    This is the first time I’ve been here, and so I’m not sure what sort of people I’m dealing with here. Sorry for being thick, but are you being serious here, or are you just screwing with us?

  13. What about Eddie Murphy or the men who raised the second flag on Iwo Jima? I’m not saying it is right to embellish these stories but it certainly is something we have done before. It is stupid to get caught at it though.

  14. I’d guess when a family is trying to cope with the death of a relative who is a member of the military, they don’t want happy shiny talk that somebody high in the chain of command makes up because it sounds better than what actually happened.

    It makes me wonder if some of the circumstances surrounding other non-hostile deaths in Iraq might have been swept under the carpet, with grief and a desire for facts assuaged by medals, citations and warm words about the life hereafter. The Tillmans are not a typical military family, if it’s possible to make such generalisations. More typical is Jessica Lynch’s, from a small town in West Virginia where the church is the cornerstone of the community.

    Does the embellishment and crafting of war narratives have a long history? Sure. But ‘reasonable people’ see real families told lies.

  15. Harsh, MoeLarryAndJesus…. harsh. I love it. ^_^

    I recently read a PDF of Waxman’s hearing notes (actually more like an in-depth fieldstudy) which outlines Bush, Cheney, Condi, and a few others and their statements leading into the war and after the war started. There are charts and graphs of “types of misleading statements” over time, relative frequencies of misleading statements, it’s rife with quotes, and there’s even a special section about statements that were pattently FALSE, not just misleading. False stattements made when there is documented proof that they had knowledge of the fallacy of their statements (most of those type were made by Condi). So yeh — have faith people, we WILL eventually know the truth… once these bloated sacks of emnity, glutt, and protoplasm – that one might refer to as “people” – are brought to heel like the vicious, rabid dogs they are.

  16. It’s commonly used as a form of mockery, but after so many examples (and tragic consequences, including Pat Tillman’s death and subsequent manipulation), one is forced to believe that the driving force and justification for GW Bush’s constant mistakes and contradictions is his sincere belief that he is on a religious mission, and that blind allegiance to that idea trumps any alternative logic. This approach, of course, is not only irrational, but completely at odds with the contemporary idea of democracy.

  17. Bush should just blame Scooter Libby and be done with it. Then he can go to his Happy Room for more of Dick Cheney’s magic pills that make him and Laura feel their pain.

  18. John, I think you meant Audie Murphy, not Eddie Murphy. And Audie Murphy was for real. His amazing exploits did not need any “literary” sweetening.

  19. The scariest part of stuff like this is not that Bush makes these outrageous, nonsensical, lying statements on the public record. The scariest part is how many Americans are still taken in by this kind thing. See comment #1.

  20. John, I think you meant Audie Murphy, not Eddie Murphy. And Audie Murphy was for real. His amazing exploits did not need any “literary” sweetening.

  21. “President Bush hopes someone is held responsible”

    Kind of like OJ looking for Nicole’s murderer.

    I bet neither bush nor OJ get their man.

  22. If this is a bad dream, I sure hope I awaken soon. I never thought the American people would allow a ‘frat boy mentality’ to bring us this kind of low for our country.

    “Say it ain’t so, Joe”

  23. everyone’s missing the point about the heinousness of the tillman exploitation. the lies were concocted to trigger what one recruiting officer called “a recruiting bonanza.” let that one sink in.

    then ask yourself why they would have BURNED HIS DIARY if this were just some horrible accident. the diary would have been the first thing they’d have preserved for the benefit of his grieving family. dollars to doughnuts he was erased deliberately because of his anti-war views. what you’re seeing now is the limited hangout designed to conceal that with admissions that “mistakes were made”. imagine the problem tillman would have been once he returned home after his hitch was up. this was a guy who was a hero BEFORE he went over there. swiftboating him would have been a tall order.

  24. “How petty and small-minded! Embellishment of heroic war stories in order to inspire people is an ancient literary tradition going back to Homer’s day, if not earlier. One is not supposed to take them literally. Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman represent photogenic archetypes of our brave fighting men and women. While the stories told about them may not be literally true, they portray a larger “big picture” truth, which is entirely valid. Reasonable people understand this.”

    “He might turn the speech into the usual denunciation of traitors and thought-criminals, but that was a little too obvious, while to invent a victory at the front, or some triumph of over-production in the Ninth Three-Year Plan, might complicate the records too much. What was needed was a piece of pure fantasy. Suddenly there sprang into his mind, ready made as it were, the image of a certain Comrade Ogilvy, who had recently died in battle, in heroic circumstances. There were occasions when Big Brother devoted his Order for the Day to commemorating some humble, rank-and-file Party member whose life and death he held up as an example worthy to be followed. Today he should commemorate Comrade Ogilvy. It was true that there was no such person as Comrade Ogilvy, but a few lines of print and a couple of faked photographs would soon bring him into existence.”

  25. i’m proud that bush said those things. soldiers can commit awefull things and no one says a word because they are in danger a lo of the times. but if they are not in danger they must be treated like any other murderer.

  26. i’m proud that bush said those things. soldiers can commit awefull things and no one says a word because they are in danger a lo of the times. but if they are not in danger they must be treated like any other murderer.

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