Eight years ago today, the lies began

By Phil Plait | August 3, 2008 12:35 pm

The mainstream media are, of course, full of campaign "news", so it’s easy to forget about how all this started… and that’s a shame, because that’s what this election is all about.

On August 3, 2000, Governor George Bush took the podium at the Republican national convention to accept the nomination for President of the United States, and the unending series of lies began. Like these (emphasis mine):

For me, gaining this office is not the ambition of a lifetime, but it is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I will make the most of it.

I believe great decision are made with care, made with conviction, not made with polls.

I do not need to take your pulse before I know my own mind.

I do not reinvent myself at every turn. I am not running in borrowed clothes.

When I act, you will know my reasons. And when I speak, you will know my heart.

I believe in tolerance, not in spite of my faith, but because of it.

I believe in a God who calls us not to judge our neighbors but to love them.

I believe in grace because I’ve seen it, and peace because I’ve felt it, and forgiveness because I’ve needed it.

Reading these words so many years and so many avoidable tragedies later is a lesson in irony that is overwhelming. Go ahead and read that speech, and see how many lies you can spot (and you might want a separate list for just the ironies). I suggest using a large pad of paper to keep track. You might want a calculator, too.

I leave you with this:

So when I put my hand on the Bible, I will swear to not only uphold the laws of our land, I will swear to uphold the honor and dignity of the office to which I have been elected, so help me God.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Piece of mind, Politics

Comments (167)

  1. Cue the “phil should stick to astonomy” concern trolls in 3…2…1….

    P.S. : I agree Phil.

  2. Sully

    Phil Plait has every right to post on things he doesn’t understand as I do on things I don’t understand.

    P.S. I disagree Phil.

  3. Lucas

    Chill. Some people are too afraid of political opinion.

  4. MattGS

    Yeah … Phil just doesn’t understand. Like the rest of the world. We just don’t understand. Right.

  5. Xeno

    Keep posting political comments, Phil. :)

  6. He didn’t exactly lied but rather veered greatly off-course, which I guess can be assessed as lies. (I don’t know if he really had evil intentions.)

    I agree Phil.

    And for Pleco and Sully, why so opposite opinions, seems like a bipolar magnetic flux, eh?

  7. Word up, Phil. In a few short months the nightmare of George Bush’s presidency will be over. Whether we truly turn the page by electing a forward-looking Democrat or settle for extending this political miasma by electing John McSame, I’ll still be happy to see this obscenely stupid and dishonest man walk out of 1600 Pennsylvania. It’s a shame he’ll never be held accountable for his myriad lies and criminal acts, but then ours is apparently not a society that places a premium on accountability.

  8. This sounds pretty much like an Obama speech.

    Can’t wait to see how much Obama increases faith based initiatives.

    It’s fine to call out Bush’s lies, but please don’t act as if he is something unique.

  9. madge

    Dubya should be held accountable! PLEEEZ America don’t inflict “Bush Clone” McCain on the (so called) Free World. We are are begging you. ( BTW our politicians are just as bad only weaker and and too far in your back pocket ) :(

  10. Thomas Siefert

    I think that the rest of the world was more surprised of him being re-elected four years later, all we could do was just stand there with our jaws on the floor. The only thought that made sense was: “You got us into this mess, now we’ll give you another four to get us out again”. Didn’t happen of course.

  11. Funkopolis

    No, you misquoted the speech – it was infinitely more tragic:
    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28784

  12. John Swindle

    Years ago, when lawyer jokes were making the rounds, I heard this one: How do you know when a lawyer’s lying? — His lips are moving…

    It was meant to be funny, but that bit of humor has become so dark, now that the joke applies nearly literally to our president and vice president and the agencies and bureaus and commissions under their control. That any American can still support these evil men is sad and appalling.

    And Sully, we ALL understand. Maybe it’s just that some among us don’t care that they are lying.

  13. Shane Brady: this post isn’t about Obama. It’s about Bush. Stay on target.

  14. MizarKey

    I’m not a Repulican, nor am I a Democrat. In fact, I stay away from orginized politics and religion. It’s all very sad. Politicians lie, all of them, regardless of party. We all lose. There’s a book called “The Truth Machine” by James Halperin, while it’s not a perfect book, I’m fascinated by the idea. What would it be like if people in power had to tell the truth? We’ll never know.

  15. Sir Eccles

    @ Toast: While his presidency may soon be over, the legacy of his time in office will echo through time. I honestly feel sorry for the next president who is likely to end up shouldering the blame for the deficit and associated economic problems (those we know about now and the others about to burst).

  16. ScienceTeacher

    And if (check that, I mean “when” because if you watch the media it is a forgone conclusion) we elect Obama everything will be solved. Yup. That’s right. Our savior is on his way. After all, everyone knows that Obama is not like every other politician – more interested in serving himself than the people. I mean he has cool slogans like “Hope” and “Yes We Can.”

    Its not like Future President Obama has done anything like listen to the preachings of a racist preacher for 20 years and then said he had no idea about the guy.

    It isn’t like Messiah Obama wants to create a domestically operating military force…””We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

    I am surprised those who have criticized Bush for his military action are not freaking out over Obama’s desire to have soldiers policing our citizens.

    I guess things are different when you have a “D” next to your name.

  17. Jeremy

    As a recent subscriber to this feed, I’m extremely disappointed by this post. I have no problem with expressing political opinion, but is this really the correct forum? Ultimately, this does cheapen this blog, regardless of if this post is right or wrong, justified or unjustified. How can science ask for politics to not be involved, but then get involved in politics? This is not to say that a scientist cannot be involved in politics, but they should step down from their scientifically, authoritative platform to do so.

    What is more alarming is the same type of general statements and accusations made without specifics and allowing a response. “Lies” are mentioned, but no statements about particular lies or explanations of how these are different from lies of past presidents, senators, or other political leaders. I’ll use one example. So many criticize Bush for possibly lying or at least having a lack of proof of weapons of mass destruction, but many fail to address the same exact questions that could be stated when Clinton bombed Iraq. There was no proof given then, either.

    But wait, I’m sure that your politician is the first one every not to lie about something major. Yes, I’m sure he’s different. Why? Because he says so.

  18. tamar

    It’s not that Bush’s lies were unique, just uniquely hypocritical. His transparent attempts to pander to the religious right are such a slap in the face now. If only the religious right could see it.

  19. Enough is enough, I want Brian Greene or Michio Kaku as our president!!!!!

  20. bob

    @Sully

    So which of the statements listed do you believe have held true over the past years? I suppose he’s always stayed true to the bits about not listening to the polls. Personally, I think democracy sucks; it’s great that America has a president who agrees.

  21. And Sully, two points.

    1) You have made a baseless accusation, since you don’t back it up with any evidence or facts. Just what is it here I don’t understand, and about which you disagree? Just saying I’m wrong doesn’t help much.

    2) What really is there to understand here? Do you deny that Bush has been lying constantly for nearly a decade to the American public and the world? He lied to get us into a war. He has lied repeatedly about torture, habeas corpus, the firings of US attorneys, the Plame scandal (he said he would fire anyone in his Administration who leaked info, but instead pardoned Libby), and on and on.

    If I have made a substantive error in this post, then I would like to know what it is.

    And ScienceTeacher, as I said, this is not about Obama. Don’t change the subject.

  22. Mikel

    So, no astronomy news going on now, Phil?

    :-)

  23. gila

    Toast: No, it won’t be over. Regardless of who wins in November, we’ll be feeling the effects of the last eight years for some time to come.

  24. Radwaste

    So, let’s see: if you’re a scientist, routinely chiding others for not sticking to “reason”, you get to throw that stricture away when you need to hate somebody?

    Setting aside the actual situation – where, in most cases, Congress has the Constitutional duty to do what you blame the President for not doing – go back and count the fallacies in the original assertion. If you imagine yourself to be a great investigator, that should be easy.

    I’m betting that you, the reader, cannot name your Congressmen and Senators, and have not corresponded with them about their duties. I will be happily surprised to find out otherwise.

    The great bulk of what people think they know is superstition and lies. This blog goes a long way towards dispelling those about the nature of the real world w/r/t astronomy. Of course the bulk of what you “know” about things other than your profession is uncertain, in proportion to their distance from your job.

    Answer these questions: from whom have you “learned” what you know about Mr. Bush, and what independent peer review did you consult to confirm what you “learned”?

  25. tamar

    Politicians go under peer review?

  26. I watched Fahrenheit 9/11 for the second time last night (I’d watched it when it came out). It made me wonder how many decades it will take for you guys to get through the psychological damage this guy and his cronies have inflicted on you.

  27. This sounds pretty much like an Obama speech.

    Smurf, please. You want to make this about Obama? Here’s a thought: Let’s wait for a full term with Obam in office before anyone dares compare him to the disaster Bush has been.

    Obama didn’t launch an illegal war based on lies.

    Obama didn’t suspend the 4th amendment and launch a program to indiscriminately spy on American citizens.

    Obama didn’t blow off Habeas Corpus, a legal precept which has informed “civilized” nations for 800 years.

    Obama didn’t turn the Department of Justice into a playground for clueless right-wing cronies.

    Seriously, Sparky, you’d best pipe down about Obama and Democrats generally. The GOP has trashed everything America purports to stand for, and if Obama can repair even half that damage it will be a miracle.

    (Adding for Phil: No, not literally a miracle, just highly improbable.)

  28. Jeremy, this is my blog and I am free to write about whatever I want. That includes Doctor Who, Comic Con, my cat, the weather, politics, religion, and, yes, science and astronomy.

  29. He lied to get us into war? Please Phil, drop the hysterics. The evidence (you know, the stuff science is based on) doesn’t support that Bush lied. It’s just the mantra of the nutter lefties with Bush Derangement Syndrome.

    You may not agree with his policy decisions, etc. But to say he “lied to get us into a war” is laughable at best. When I ask, no one can ever tell me what that lie was.

  30. Joe Meils

    Let’s see… the lies… (just the ones I can think of off the tip of my head…

    1) We’re going to war with Iraq because they had something to do with 9/11.
    2) We’re going to war with Iraq because Hussein has WMD
    3) We’re going to war with Iraq because we suspect the anthrax mailings came from there.
    4) We’re there to spread Iraqi freedom.
    5) There is no torture going on at Abu Ghraib
    6) If there is torture, it’s just pranks by some college age recruits.
    7) Okay, there is torture, but not much of it.
    8) No, there isn’t any torture, because we’ve redefined what torture is.
    9) Halliburton was the lowest bidder on the Iraq operation.
    10) Cheany and Haliburton have long since severed ties.
    11)We know the troops don’t have all the equipment they need, but this will soon be remedied.
    12) We support the troops! (But we are cutting their benefits…)
    (REPEAT #12, 9 more times.)
    13) We are in the fight of our lives, no other conflict can possibly compare with this one. (but we’re not bringing back the draft, because that would flush our chances at re-election)
    14)This administration denies that any such thing as “global warming” exists.
    15) Hurricane? What hurricane?
    16) You’re doing a heckofa job, Brownie!
    17) No, we had nothing to do with Valerie Plame’s name being leaked to the press, destroying not only her career, but endangering every contact she could be connected with. (oh, BTW, this is considered treason, in most places.)
    18) No, we’re not wiretapping the US…
    19) Okay, so we’re wiretapping, but just calls outside the US….
    20) Okay, we’re wiretapping, but we got Ashcroft’s okay on it while he was still drugged for an operation.. (an idea we got from Newt and the way he got his wife to sign the divorice papers.)
    21) Okay so we’re actually logging everyone’s calls… but we’ll never misuse the info. Promise!
    22) Oh, no, we’re not hiring judges based on political affiliation…
    23) Hebeas corpus is so 9th century… we can do without it.
    24) Okay, so we kidnapped some people off the street, flew them overseas, tortured them, and then left them for dead… they sure looked like terrorists at the time!
    25) We are a nation of laws, and not of men…except in Gitmo.
    26) ..and in several “black prisons” overseas.

    If anyone else cares to pick this up, feel free… I’m personally starting to feel my guts starting to churn at this point, thinking about what’s happened to this country because of this provincial Texas hick being the figurehead for this shadow government.

  31. Radwaste, indulge me: what are the fallacies in my original assertion?

    And if you read my previous posts on politics, you will find that I commonly will send my opinions to my Representative and Senators.

  32. He lied to get us into war?

    Three words: Downing. Street. Memo.

    Yeah, dude, Bush LIED to get us into a war. The foreign policy advisers he surrounded himself with wanted war as far back as the late 90’s. If you don’t know this, it’s your fault for being misinformed.

  33. Joe Meils

    BTW.. how is your cat, Phil? :)

  34. I noticed the complete lack of surprise I had when I saw the Obama red herring pop up….

    Obama may be the next worst president in the history of man, but this post is about the current worst president.

  35. I’m betting that you, the reader, cannot name your Congressmen and Senators, and have not corresponded with them about their duties. I will be happily surprised to find out otherwise.

    Chris Murphy (D), Chris Dodd (D), and Joe Lieberman (Scumbag). I write them fairly often, and I write the Courant as well.

    The system isn’t the problem. “Both parties” aren’t the problem. Underinformed citizens aren’t the problem.

    The GOP is the problem.

    They are the antithesis of everything this nation ostensibly stands for.

  36. History will judge Bush harshly, probably worse than Nixon.

  37. Robert Krendik

    Bush has had to be THE wrost president ever elected. Lies, scams, more lies, more scams…

  38. Joe Meils Says:
    1) We’re going to war with Iraq because they had something to do with 9/11.
    2) We’re going to war with Iraq because Hussein has WMD
    3) We’re going to war with Iraq because we suspect the anthrax mailings came from there.
    4) We’re there to spread Iraqi freedom.

    Only these address “getting into war”
    1) Never claimed by the administration. As far as I can tell, only clueless people-on-the-street believed this, and only nutter left-wingers claimed that the administration was trying to imply it.
    2) Are you saying that the administration didn’t believe that Hussein had WMD? Because everything I’ve seen indicates they indeed believed it.
    3) Never claimed by the administration AFAIK, and in fact the first time I’ve heard this particular conspiracy theory.
    4) Which we are. Iraq is a freed country and it appears the various sects are working together, Al-Qaeda is fleeing, etc.

    Yah, just another nutter with BDS.

  39. Mike

    I’m not a fan of internet political debate. It’s cheap.

  40. We should start a grass-roots movement to organize parties all over the world on 12:00pm January 20, 2009, to celebrate the end of Bush’ reign. If we start now, we can have enormous momentum by then.

    MarkP:
    1) Cheney repeatedly connected Saddam to 9/11;
    2) Hans Blix thought otherwise;
    3) Don’t know;
    4) Propaganda.

  41. We should start a grass-roots movement to organize parties all over the world on 12:00pm January 20, 2009, to celebrate the end of Bush’ reign. If we start now, we can have enormous momentum by then.

  42. MattGS

    @MarkP:

    The evidence (you know, the stuff science is based on) doesn’t support that Bush lied.
    Really? No lies regarding the Iraq war? Enlighten me. I’m really curious about such evidence.

  43. chilton

    I think that when americans wake up as a whole and realize that the world doesn’t cherish, envy, or want to be them, then they can hopefully realize that they are not better than the rest of the world and start to take steps to healing themselves, but, what do I know, I just live in canada and all I can do is shake my head, which is a gift apperently, cuz it seems like the americans can’t get their heads out of the sand

  44. EmptyGodShapedHole

    He who angers you, conquers you. ~ Elizabeth Kenney

  45. Speaker2a

    Phil, it seems that when you wrote “because that’s what this election is all about” that opened up the current candidates and their record of honesty. So I don’t think Obama is Off Topic. The lines you quoted from a speech are typical political rhetoric and can be found in the speeches of both McCain and Obama. Most politicians lie. That’s how they get votes. Then they hope that everyone forgot the lies before the next election.

    Toast, it is the underinformed and sheep-like electorate that is the problem.

  46. Beelzebud

    The Onion called it from day one. The day Bush was sworn into office their headline read:

    “Our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity are finally over.”

    After 8 years, I’d say they got it exactly right.

    And as for the Bush apologists. Yes Bush lied to get us into Iraq. First it was 9/11, then it was fake nukes, then it was because he gassed the kurds (with gas we sold him), and then finally it was to liberate the Iraqis.

    Iraq is a free country? Ask the christian community that once called Iraq home how free they are now. Ask the women who now are subject to islamic law how free they are.

  47. Jeremy

    I’m not saying you don’t have a right to put what you want on your blog. It’s more of a reader’s request. This blog is great as a science blog and why I come here. I think it would be awesome if you had a second blog for this and other things that you listed. I do not think it would require more time on your part to have a second blog. It would also greatly strengthen some of your scientific arguments to keep political bias separate as best you can. You can even link it from this blog. I would still probably read it because I do love political debates (especially if reasoning and logic enters the debate). Think of it terms of science’s take on stem cells. Science merely sticks to whether or not it is a promising area of research. The ethical, and warranted, debate remains in a different realm.

  48. Joe Meils

    Mark P,

    You might want to check youtube for some the video highlights that took place before the invasion… there, you will find quite a few with high ranking officials pushing the Iraq-9/11 connection.

    Also, they KNEW those photos that Powell was holding up in the UN were NOT of “portable bio-weapon manufacturing systems” They were empty trucks.

    I’m not arguing that Hussein was not a bad guy… I’m saying that the Bush administration deliberately fed us a pack of lies to get us into this war. As one of the previous posters reminded us: The Downing Street Memo. I suggest you look it up, please, before you post again?

  49. JUTU

    To anybody that says that Phil shouldn’t write about politics and religion on his blog I say – Boo on you. It is his blog and of course he has every right to write about whatever he wants to (and if you don’t like it start your own).

    Wow November is going to be interesting though. Senator Obama, whose staggering list of accomplishments in the Senate and Executive branches are the stuff of legend, will probably lose. And the blog heads and MSNBC talking heads are going to explode when he does. Track the mix polls on places like RealClearPolitics.com and other sites. Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Missouri- the places that actually count. Not the utterly biased lame polls that they show on MotherJones and The Nation.

    Not sure who I’m going to vote for yet. But to be honest, if I had to vote today, I’d probably go with the war hero over the guy that got his shady lot down on South Chi-Town from a convicted financier.

    Funniest thing I saw today? A Comic Con You Tube video that interviewed those attendees on who they would vote for. Turns out even dorkwad 30 year olds that live with their mothers still tend to vote for a guy like McCain.

  50. Tom O'Reilly

    MarkP wrote:
    >> 1) We’re going to war with Iraq because they had something to do with 9/11
    > […]
    > 1) Never claimed by the administration. As far as I can tell, only clueless people-
    > on-the-street believed this, and only nutter left-wingers claimed that the
    > administration was trying to imply it.

    How clueless can you be? You should be ashamed. You obviously “choose” to forget the rationale officially laid out in the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq, which states:

    Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 or harbored such persons or organizations;

    You can find the full text of the resolution at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021002-2.html – an obvious “nutter left-wing” web site. Do you even know when you’ve been lied to???

  51. This blog is great as a science blog and why I come here.

    And that is precisely why Phil should express his opinions about the Bush administration: They are aggressively anti-science and anti-rational. These are the guys who famously claimed that their detractors were merely part of the “reality-based community”. I’m sorry, but when a president and his administration wage an almost decade-long campaign to overturn the agreed-upon epistemological rules that allow society to function, you bet your sweet ass it behooves the scientific community to call them out on it.

  52. ScienceTeacher

    @Phil and Others:

    I know this post isn’t about Obama and I am familiar enough with the principles of logic to be aware that I was changing the subject. The purpose of my post was not to rebut any of your statements, but rather to record something for future reference.

    As I have only read this blog during the Bush administration he is the only President I have had the opportunity to watch you criticize.

    I am interested to see how often you will point out the lies that Obama will be guilty of once he is coronated. I assure they will be as numerous as Bush, Clinton, Bush, Regan, Carter, etc… My interest is in how much importance you place on the “R” or “D” next to someone’s name.

    I look forward to your list of Obama lies as his term comes to a close.

  53. Oh, and echoing what JUTU said, back off, people. Blogging is a personal form. Phil has every damned right to blog about whatever he wants. If he decided tomorrow to write about nothing but hairstyles, that’d be his business. You’re not paying subscribers, folks. Get over yourselves.

  54. MattGS

    You’re being ridiculous, ScienceTeacher. Do you actually think that Phil is a radical left-wing democrat who is blind to any fault by “his” party? You haven’t read his blog for long, have you?

    Phil’s post has nothing to do with republicans or democrats. Bush is not attacked for being a republican.

  55. Tom O'Reilly

    MarkP, I apologize for the some of the wording of that last post. But it is very outrageous to read your claim that Bush et al never implied a link between 9-11 and Iraq and only clueless people believe it – when their bald-faced assertion is directly in front of you at the Whitehouse web site for God’s sake.

  56. Chief

    re. Joe Meils

    How about this one. Went to war to get Saddam for George Bush Sr.

    As for Bush leaving office. good. but we have to worry about how all the messes will be cleaned up and the lies cleared up. or will things continue with the mistakes in place to get worse.

  57. ScienceTeacher

    @MattGS:

    That is the point of my original post. We will see if Phil is on board with the “Obama can do no wrong” crowd or if he will be willing to point out lies on both sides.

    Only time will tell…

  58. @Tom O’Reilly: If proven otherwise, I’d be happy to correct a mistake of mine. However, I never believed 9/11 and Iraq had planning links, nor did I ever see that case proposed. Telling me “it’s out there” is a little vague. Do you have a specific link?

  59. MattGS

    @ScienceTeacher:

    No worries. Phil will tear Obama a new one if he catches him lying and/or being anti-science. You would know that if you’ve ever really listened to him. We don’t have to wait for time to tell us.

  60. Phil,

    I added in some tags that got dropped which changed how my comment appeared. There was supposed to be some tags in there.

    In any case, my point is, it was just a speech, that any one of a hundred politicians would make. You placed special emphasis on the bible part of the story, as if that is some how unique to bush.

    I’d rather focus on the ineptness of the entire government (most of which is place now and will be in place in January 09) that allowed what happened to happen under bush.

    Singling out a cookie cutter speech doesn’t address any of the that and I think missed the larger context of the problem.

  61. MattGS

    PS: And if you don’t, Phil, I’m going to tear you a new one :)

  62. Joey Joe Joe

    To all the complainers: Phil has every right to post what he likes on this blog, regardless of how it affects his credibility.

  63. Beelzebud

    Being against the most anti-scientific administration in modern history will only affect his credibility in a positive way.

  64. KC

    Phil, this thread and your comments throughout are a good illustration of why I don’t think there’s a real skeptics movement. First, you start off “The lies begin,” quoting President Bush’s speech, implying that this is all lies without a point-by-point exposition of why you think this is true. Next, when you’re called on it, you wrote this:

    “What really is there to understand here? Do you deny that Bush has been lying constantly for nearly a decade to the American public and the world? He lied to get us into a war. He has lied repeatedly about torture, habeas corpus, the firings of US attorneys, the Plame scandal (he said he would fire anyone in his Administration who leaked info, but instead pardoned Libby), and on and on.”

    This isn’t a good display of critical thinking. Why yes, sir, I do deny that Bush has been lying to the American public and the world. First of all, he did not lie to “get us into a war. Do you not recall the Keystone Cops affair that was UN weapons inspections? Do you not recall how they had to file flight plans in advance of flyovers? Do you not recall how Iraq went through elaborate shell games that gave every indication that they were trying to hide something? Do you not recall the tapes played before the UN? Do you not recall that the U.S. took action because of documented violations of the cease fire that ended the first Gulf War? Do you not recall how President Clinton and Ambassador Albright tried to drum up support for military action against Saddam? Do you not recall consistent reports of mustard gas shells and nerve gas agents dating from prior to Gulf War I found in Iraq? Do you not recall the reports a few weeks back of yellowcake found in Iraq?

    Are you not aware that Bush cooperated with Congress over their “investigation” of the firing of eight U.S. attorneys? Are you not aware that this is well within the authority of the President of the United States and that Clinton fired ninety-three? Are you not aware of evidence that Valerie Plame was “outed” as a CIA agent prior to the supposed scandal? Are you not aware that until the recent US Supreme Court decision the Gitmo detainees were treated as enemy combatants and not subject to U.S. law? Are you not aware that to this day there is controversy whether or not the Gitmo detainees are subject to torture? Are you unaware that where there have been cases of clear torture the U.S. military came down hard?

    These are the facts. These are the brass tacks. This is the reality.

    You don’t like Bush? Fine. You want to post about it? Fine. You want to spin it? Fine. It’s your blog and your right. But be aware it’s not an example of critical thinking.

    Have a nice day, Phil.

  65. Phil certainly has every right to post about politics. HOWEVER, the reason I read blogs is to find interesting insights and points of view. Phil provides those when he discusses science and crack-pottery, but when he veers into politics he doesn’t offer anything I couldn’t get from The Huffington Post or Andrew Sullivan. It’s like if the Mythbusters did occasional episodes on home improvement — wouldn’t you complain that they’re drifting into topics where they don’t have any unique insights?

  66. themadlolscientist

    I do not need to take your pulse before I know my own mind.

    That deafening sound you hear is me laughing hysterically. Excuse me, I need to go change my pants.

  67. dave

    phil: it is probably the case that not everything you have ever said is congruent with everything you have ever done. most of the assertions bush makes are subjective. hardly blatent lies as you are claiming. nothing out of the ordinary for a political speech made in any country by any politician.

  68. PP

    (Sean O’Hara) “It’s like if the Mythbusters did occasional episodes on home improvement — wouldn’t you complain that they’re drifting into topics where they don’t have any unique insights?”

    If it was their personal vodcast, not a problem at all.
    Remember this is Phil’s personal blog, not an internationally syndicated TV show.

  69. Mike

    I agree with the point KC made in his first paragraph. Politics and skepticism = oil and water.

  70. The subject entry is sad and pathetic.

  71. robin

    Joe Meils

    I feel your pain. Many of us do. As for Bush and his minions, what goes around comes around. The world will be picking their bones for centuries. I just hope we can learn something from this mess.

    KC: There is no excuse for the speed at which Bush rushed us into an illegal invasion of another nation. Period. Whatever Saddam had or didn’t have, he’d had it for years. We should have pursued Ben Ladin to the gates of hell, but your hero took his eyes off the ball to pursue the something shiny which was being able to use 9/11 to outdo his dad. Sick and twisted, but there it is.

    Phil: Great blog. Period.

  72. Ijon Tichy

    It made me wonder how many decades it will take for you guys to get through the psychological damage this guy and his cronies have inflicted on you.

    The psychological damage was in place before “this guy and his cronies” arrived on the scene; they just took advantage of a population ripe for the picking. Well before these two disastrous Presidential terms of office, a majority of Americans believed in UFOs and creationism; a sizeable minority were crazy evangelical Christians for whom reality was something to be mostly ignored; a majority worshipped a toxic cult of individualism which allowed politicians to strangle public services almost out of existence. Decades is the right sort of measure to describe how long it will take to cure this national psychosis.

  73. JUTU

    Oh goodness people calm down! What actually matters are the results of elections – not what bloggers from Boulder think.

    Phil’s credibility is pretty strong for one reason – he doesn’t try to hide the fact that he’s a left-wing Democrat. I may not agree with him on many things, but I appreciate the fact that he doesn’t hide who he is. And he’s an accomplished scientist.

    People should just know that Discover Magazine is, now, a political mag as well (again, nothing wrong with that, but they decided to not be a straight up “science” magazine anymore).

    And @KC- that was a smack down post. I think the war was wrong. And I think that I just need to read a whole lot more papers to decide on who to vote for. But I do chuckle when I read a post like that. Phil might be stewing a bit over that one.

  74. Sean O’Hara, if you don’t want to read it, then don’t read it! Nobody is forcing you.

  75. themadlolscientist

    RE the “anthrax coming from Iraq” excuse: One of the major stories on Countdown on Friday was the apparent suicide of the prime suspect in the anthrax-mailing murders. They also reported that night that the administration had indeed tried to nail the guilt on Iraq.

    BTW, they also reported on a proposal to build several Iranian patrolboat lookalikes, send them to the Persian Gulf, and have them shoot at US ships as pretext for an invasion. IIRC, that had come out in an interview with McCain.

    Now Playing in a Theater of War Near You:

    THE INVASION OF THE FALSE PRETENSES

    Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

    p.s. Can’t wait to see Oliver Stone’s latest (scheduled for limited release on October 17, according to imdb): W. Yes, like other Stone flicks it will have to be taken with a few grains of salt, but my morbid curiosity wants to see his take on things.

  76. Howie Modell

    Phil,

    How ’bout this simple but important lie?

    When Bush was inaugurated (both times) he put his hand on a Bible and swore:
    “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”

  77. Ray

    I must have missed the science content of Phil’s post.

  78. Ad Hominid

    Even scientists have political opinions, folks. Nobody’s perfect.

  79. Naked Bunny with a Whip

    wouldn’t you complain that they’re drifting into topics

    No, I’d skip those episodes and use my time for other things. Pragmatism, people!

  80. Naked Bunny with a Whip

    must have missed the science content of Phil’s post.

    Which you illustrated by posting a comment with absolutely no content at all. Bravo!

  81. 80 comments in 3 1/2 hours. You can’t beat politics! :-)

  82. phil should stick to astonomy

  83. Utakata

    @MarkP and other right wing nutters. I shall summerize Phil Plait, Joe Meils and other “left wing nutters” are trying to say which is now common knowledge:

    Goerge W. Bush was wrong.

    Now that wasn’t too painless was it?

    Feel free to disprove us with real evidence.

  84. Joey Joe Joe

    @Utakata

    Phil is not saying G.W. Bush was wrong – that is a historical fact. He is saying he lied.

    “Feel free to disprove us with real evidence.”

    LOL! “Prove us wrong!”. Where have I heard that before?

  85. JUTU

    @Utakata

    Yeah, George Bush was wrong. Very wrong and he is going out of office come November.

    Nobody proved anybody with “real” evidence. Circular arguments are awesome. That wasn’t too painless….”wasn’t it”? I love feeling free with “disputing”.

  86. None of Your Business

    “I did not have sexual relations with that woman!” – Bill Clinton

    Read The Obama Gaffe Machine

  87. justcorbly

    Folks who trash Phil for this kind of post need to remember that this president and the party and movement that support him have had a chilling and deliberately detrimental impact on science in our country. You simply cannot expect to have credibility as a proponent of reason and science if you turn a blind eye to the damage he has caused.

  88. justcorbly

    JUTU said:

    “People should just know that Discover Magazine is, now, a political mag as well…”

    As well they should, when so many people and so many politicians are anti-science. When crazed loons use tax monies to forcefeed school children religious nonsense, they are responsible for politicizing science. Remember, these are the same kind of people who wanted to hang Galileo.

  89. sandswipe

    Fun fact: Obama hates privacy.
    http://www.eweek.com/c/a/VOIP-and-Telephony/Senate-Approves-Telco-Immunity/

    Overall, he’s still a better choice then that bag of crazy that is McCain. He supports everything that Bush did, and any vote for him would effectively be a vote in favor of the policies of George W Bush. I’d at least like a change to a new type of mistakes.

    Maybe if we kick every single republican out of office the democrats will be able to figure out that we don’t like the donkey’s policies. Apparently a huge lead in congress is too subtle.

  90. Folks, two things:

    1) Again, this is not about Obama. Stop trying to change the subject.

    2) This is not about Discover Magazine. They are not responsible for what I write here. It’s all me.

  91. Chip

    “ScienceTeacher” Says:
    [i]”And if (check that, I mean “when” because if you watch the media it is a forgone conclusion) we elect Obama everything will be solved. Yup. That’s right. Our savior is on his way. Obama… preachings of a racist preacher…Messiah Obama…” [/i]

    The only people saying Obama supporters think Obama is going to solve all the world’s problems are Bush-Cheney-Republicans who hate Obama and now support McCain, or Hillary Clinton (humorously) back when she was running for delegates. I haven’t met anyone who thinks Barack Obama is perfect at the many Obama for President planning sessions I’ve attended.

  92. Andrew

    So we know he’s a lying, cheating, murdering fiend….whats new? Science transcends all those boundaries and frees our minds. Politics is man-made and does not apply outside the sphere of our insignificant, tiny blue planet.

  93. justcorbly

    >>”Maybe if we kick every single republican out of office the democrats will be able to figure out that we don’t like the donkey’s policies. Apparently a huge lead in congress is too subtle.”

    I don’t follow that at all.

    And, what huge Dem lead? Looked at the Senate lately?

  94. JUTU

    Phil-

    1-OK I really apologize for bringing up politics. You never do that and I shouldn’t have. Let’s do an Indian shake and let by-gones go (and if people take a look at your postings and find otherwise I’ll do some blogging postings in your defence).
    2-Discover Magazine is who you write for now. “This is not about Discover Magazine”…. ? Man up dude. Discover IS who you write for and who you are affiliated with. Keep typing under their masthead and proving my point.

  95. Phil said:
    “Jeremy, this is my blog and I am free to write about whatever I want. That includes Doctor Who, Comic Con, my cat, the weather, politics, religion, and, yes, science and astronomy.”

    So, how’s the cat doing? :)

  96. Taz

    “Are you not aware that Bush cooperated with Congress over their “investigation” of the firing of eight U.S. attorneys? Are you not aware that this is well within the authority of the President of the United States and that Clinton fired ninety-three?”
    I’m so tired of this right-wing crap. EVERY president puts his own attorneys in when he gets elected. Clinton did it, and so did Bush. The assumption is this after that, the DAs are free to act without fear of political reprisal. Bush’s justice department put pressure on them to pursue cases that were good for Republicans, regardless of merit. The firings of the eight were the culmination of that. And Bush administration officials are still stonewalling congress. Bush has politicized the justice department to an unprecedented degree. But that’s his MO. His administration has valued loyalty and idealogical purity far above competence in their appointments. The affects of that will be felt for years, unfortunately.

  97. MattGS

    Oh my. All those Bush administration apologists and the fact that (according to a recent Spiegel article, Google translation here: http://66.102.9.104/translate_c?hl=de&sl=de&tl=en&u=http://www.spiegel.de/schulspiegel/wissen/0,1518,567907,00.html) almost half of all German pupils in the former German Democratic Republic actually think East Germany was a democracy and a social paradise make me loose my faith in humanity. So is that it? Bush is the greatest president, aliens do exist and the GDR having been a socialist dictatorship is a lie from the imperialistic West German gouvernment? What the hell is wrong with humanity? Have you all gone crazy?

  98. quasidog

    … so why wasn’t he kicked out ? He was full of it, but he was allowed to remain in power for 8 years. That is really the stupid part. The fact he was allowed to remain and lie again and again.

    When all the lies started with the WMD’s and stuff, I thought, from here in Australia, surely the American people would not tolerate a liar running their country, and he would subsequently be removed, like other presidents that got caught out lying in the past. I mean, one of those presidents was kicked out for something regarding sex, which didn’t really kill anyone or cause a war. SO surely for a set of lies as big as the one’s that were told before and during the last Gulf War, Bush would go, together with his underlings. Seemed like a no-brainer. Yet amazingly he remained in power.

    Sometimes I don’t get democracy. Sure it works to vote someone in, but if that person stuffs up, in a special case, why doesn’t that person get voted out and replaced with someone competent; immediately ? Seems like a conflict of interests or just apathy or something. It’s frustrating to witness. Hopefully the next guy will not do the same. Hopefully the next guy has some brains and can make his own decisions, one’s that will bring everything back on a good track. Hopefully the next guy isn’t a lying fool.

  99. @ Pieter Kok: If Phil offered two separate news feeds, one with his occasional political rantings, and one that was pure science, I wouldn’t complain. But the way he has it set up now, my RSS reader is going to show me his political musings no matter what. Or at the very least he could find something more insightful to say than, “George Bush is a liar.” Yes, we know that already.

  100. jasonB

    This is NOT about Obama? You open a political discussion coming into an election and try to turn off certain avenues of debate?

    You claim that Bush KNOWINGLY lied to get us into an unjust war. I have on another occasion supplied this link http://www.freedomagenda.com/iraq/wmd_quotes.html in order to show that there were plenty of people that were convinced that Saddam Hussein had an active WMD program. If all of you that think Bush is a total liar would kindly follow the link and read and WATCH so many beloved democrats declare Hussein guilty of the same thing you’re lambasting Bush about, it would be appreciated.

    Face it, President Bush had to deal with the information he had. Look at the dates on the quotes folks.

    Let us not forget that recently they removed over a million pounds of yellow cake uranium to Canada.

    On one final note. Phil I love your astronomy posts, frankly I enjoy the debates on politics but please don’t complain when the political discussions get biting. If you wish to throw your opinion out there (on a very popular site) don’t be surprised that a lot of people that support the guy you’re attacking, come back at you. You say don’t change the subject (to Obama) let’s say the same rules apply to a Dr Who post. Do you ever chastise someone for bringing up Star Trek?

    Have a good evening and I await the well mannered replies.

  101. justcorbly

    Quasidog:

    Clinton was not removed from office. Nixon was not removed from office (he resigned). Andrew Johnson was not removed from office. Each of these presidents wsa impeached (think indicted) by the House of Representatives. None were convicted by the Senate. That’s it.

    Impeachment is a political, not a judicial, process, and the Founders intended it that way. Bush wasn’t impeached because Democratic leaders in the Congress made a political judgement not to do that. I think there is some merit in that because the GOP would eagerly use such a step as a precedent to impeach any subsequent Dem president, regardless of his or her actual performance. I.e., the GOP uses the threat of impeachment as a simple political tool, which is a betrayal of the Founders’ intentions.

  102. My goodness. George W. Bush is the first president in history to make speeches that are bunch of sweet-sounding nothings. Call the media!

  103. @KC,
    “Are you not aware that until the recent US Supreme Court decision the Gitmo detainees were treated as enemy combatants and not subject to U.S. law?”
    I am aware, and it disgusts me. The fact that it was apparently legal to simultaneously declare them unprivileged combatants (not subject to the Geneva Convention) and not civilians (not subject to US law) merely shows how twisted that law has become.

    “Are you not aware that to this day there is controversy whether or not the Gitmo detainees are subject to torture? Are you unaware that where there have been cases of clear torture the U.S. military came down hard?”
    You’re wrong. Prisoners have been tortured in Guantanamo, and the torturers have not been punished.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN06286822

  104. Mena

    There sure are a lot of right “whingers” with Stockholm Syndrome on this blog tonight.
    Personally I, and I’m sure that a lot of Amerans would like to know is why the Republans can’t seem to pronounce “-ic” and they are forced to say “democrat party”. What a bunch of babies without any sense of just how ridiculous they look and sound when they do so. Bush always looks and sounds ridiculous, but it’s a party wide problem. I still am amazed at the Kerry/Bush debate that was highly censored on network tv but was broadcast wide angle on C-Span. He was so twitchy and making some of the funniest faces that I have ever seen him make, and that’s really saying something. Of course he stopped twitching when he was answering questions and knew that the camera was on him. Face it people who are defending him, it has all be theater and you have been duped. The Obama presidency will bring what it will bring but this guy is just a total jerk to everyone around him and is totally incompetent to do anything but be idle rich.

  105. Quiet Desperation

    Zzzzzzz. You’re all just saps arguing over two sides who laugh at you all when they get together for very expensive cocktail parties.

    80 comments in 3 1/2 hours. You can’t beat politics!

    …for generating heat without light.

    Feh.

  106. Don Wiseman

    Have I missed somthng? Is Bush running again? Or is it just easier b….ing about someone with a record than trying to have faith in somebody with very little record who bypassed the tough votes?

    I hae worked with many great modern scientists (to me, but I’m old). Scientists out of their fields are just as susceptible to propaganda as the rest of us – me included. I do not profess to be the be all and know all.

  107. Sully

    Phil Plait – The speech you cite in the original post is standard political boilerplate of the sort spouted by every politician in the history of the world – to call the phrases you highlight lies is to reveal a profound ignorance of history and politics precisely worthy of my previous post.

    But let’s take your parotting assertion “He lied to get us into a war.”

    President Bush gave multiple good reasons for eliminating Saddam Hussein and Baathist party rule of Iraq. One of those reasons was Saddam’s refusal to comply with multiple UN strictures and the clear terms of the truce ending the 1991 war re weapons of mass destruction. In citing that reason he was echoing statements and beliefs held by President Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore and many others during the years of the Clinton administration and during the first couple of years of his own administration.

    Calling this a lie is the favorite meme of the “Bush lied people died” crowd which seems to forget belief that Saddam’s was pursuing WMD was widely and reasonably held by members of both parties. If Bush is a liar on this subject more than half of the politicians in the Democratic party are also liars.

    I certainly don’t believe George W. Bush, or any politician can ever be fully trusted, but to single him out in that regard, especially by quotation of the speech referenced in your original post is preposterous. On balance based on that speech (and his actions in office for that matter) he’s been about as truthful as Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln to pick two other presidents.

  108. themadlolscientist

    IIRC, that had come out in an interview with McCain.

    Oops, my bad. That came from Cheney. Sorry – I should have double-checked first.

  109. Doug Little

    What I like about this is the people who actually click on the blog topic and then comment that Phil should’t be involved with politics. What was so unclear about the heading? Did you think that there was some hidden science posted deep below the fold? If you are interested in science content then read the entries with science content in them, skip over the political entries, or indeed the Doctor Who, or Phil’s cat entries for that matter. There are always plenty of science entries available for one to read, Phil is one of the more prolithic bloggers out there. Why even make a comment, what Phil hasn’t lived up to your expectations of him? does his political view make his science posts any less informative and entertaining?

    Now on topic, can I add a fantastic pandering policy to the mix.

    Abstinence only education

  110. Utakata

    @ Joey Joe Joe Says:

    Nope. He’s also said that George is wrong as well. Lying only makes him wronger.

    And oh…you laugh at someone demanding evidence. Oh that’s typical…

    “I think the Universe is 6000 years old.” “Oh where’s your proof?” “LoL!”

    JUTU Says:

    “Nobody proved anybody with ‘real’ evidence. Circular arguments are awesome. That wasn’t too painless….’wasn’t it’? I love feeling free with ‘disputing’.”

    Tell that to the multitude of Iraqis who died because of George’s lies.

    Hense, George got it all wrong.

  111. bo

    phil’s cat is a closet evangelical republican. ;)

    great post phil. as far as obama, which has nothing to do with anything in this post, hes far from perfect (fisa, faith based funding). but im still voting for him, and support his campaign. he is, by far the lesser of two evils, in this two party government under which we live.

  112. Joey Joe Joe

    @Utakata
    “Nope. He’s also said that George is wrong as well. Lying only makes him wronger.”

    Where in the post does Phil say Bush was wrong? Hint: Nowhere.

    “And oh…you laugh at someone demanding evidence. Oh that’s typical…”

    “I think the Universe is 6000 years old.” “Oh where’s your proof?” “LoL!”

    Holy ****. Please tell me this is not the standard level of critical thinking that goes on here.

    Let’s clear up a couple of things:

    1) When you make an assertion (is this case, Bush being a liar), the burden of proof is on you to back it up. It is not up to me or anyone to prove you wrong. This is why I was (and I am guessing many other people who read your post were also) laughing at you.

    2) For some reason you seem to think I am religious. I think this says a lot about your mindset.

    For the record, I am atheist. Not that it is relevant to this discussion in any way.

  113. Robbie

    Phil Plait: “2) What really is there to understand here? Do you deny that Bush has been lying constantly for nearly a decade to the American public and the world? He lied to get us into a war. He has lied repeatedly about torture, habeas corpus, the firings of US attorneys, the Plame scandal (he said he would fire anyone in his Administration who leaked info, but instead pardoned Libby), and on and on.”

    It is well known that the “leaker” in that case was Richard Armitage. It’s important to note however that the person who literally wrote the rules on who is covert and who isn’t questioned the fact that Valerie Plame was leakable or not.

    The president did not pardon Libby, by the way. He commuted his prison sentence. I believe Libby still had to pay some sort of fine and serve probation.

    It is also true that the president has discretion on the state of US attorneys and their employment for whatever reason he desires. There cannot have been any wrongdoing on his part there.

    I am not familiar with any lies Bush has told about torture or habeas corpus. It has also been stated several times here that even if Bush lied many times about going into Iraq, then most other congressmen and women did as well.

  114. @bo:

    Recently Phil said his cat wouldn’t come out of the closet… you can take that however you want. But the heartfelt support for his cat was overwhelming. Hopefully she has resolved whatever issues that kept her in the closet.

    But there’s just no excuse for being a closet Republican… :)

  115. Robbie

    I don’t mean to excuse Bush for lying, if he did, about the war. My point is that it seems, uh, political to single him out for it.

  116. Ah yes, I mistyped that. I know he commuted the sentence, sorry. That was an incredibly transparent offer of immunity to Libby.

  117. sandswipe

    @justcorbly
    I’m talking about things like Nancy Palosi refusing to discuss impeachment when Bush’s approval ratings fell below 30% and many people loudly talking about Bush breaking laws (illegal wiretapping etc.) and things like the democratic party officially endorsing several republican views, for example that illegal wiretapping is legal.

    When I say huge lead, I mean the large number of seats that went blue in the 2006 election when the democrats gained a majority in the house. This clear call for change from the american people was met with a clear response of more of the same, but louder.

    Most of the people I’ve spoken to didn’t even know that Kucinich introduced a bill to have Bush impeached.
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/11/kucinich.impeach/index.html

  118. Robbie

    $250,000 fine and probation time according to Wikipedia. Come on, I’m drunk and I knew that.

  119. Dan

    Phil, Keep up the good work. I find your comments about science and politics refreshing.

    Just too add to this discussion a clip I found by Glenn Greenwald.

    “Virtually every prediction the President and his followers made about this war has proven to be false, while virtually every prediction made by war opponents has proven to be true.
    The President and his followers controlled every part of this war with an iron fist, ignoring anything which their political opponents said and insisting on the right to exert full-scale, undiluted control over it. And now it has failed.

    And it’s everyone’s fault except theirs.”
    –Glenn Greenwald

    Not my own words but something I have been saying for many years. Once again Phil keep up the most excellent work.

  120. Pisces

    Hmmm….my comment regarding Dubya?….think back 8 years. Are you better off now?

  121. themadlolscientist

    they are forced to say “democrat party”

    “Democrat Party” is what I sencerely hope we’re going to be throwing on election night when McCain and a bunch of his wingnut cronies wind up as roadkill. :-D

    “This is not about Discover Magazine”…. ? Man up dude. Discover IS who you write for and who you are affiliated with.

    Have you seen his contract? I haven’t either, but you can be damned sure the feisty BA we all know and love wouldn’t be getting on board with them if he were even the slightest bit suspicious that they might try to censor him. And Discover certainly knew what they were getting.

    Over the 20+ years I’ve been a Discover magazine subscriber, the magazine has always addressed issues of science and public policy. If it has become more vocal (some would say “politicized”) in criticizing government policies that interfere with progress in science and technology, it’s because never before in our history has that interference been so heavy-handed and the issues so critical.

    In recent years we’ve seen our government doing such things as:

    [1] cancelling the Superconducting Supercollider, which would have continued and expanded on the work of Fermilab and kept us, if not the world leader in nuclear research, at least in close competition with CERN (OK, that happened during the Clinton administration, but the Rethuglican Contract on America had a lot to do with it);

    [2] placing crippling, ill-founded, religion-based restrictions on stem-cell research funding;

    [3] cutting back drastically not only on medical research funding, but on funding for scientific research across the board;

    [4] denying global warming and refusing to cooperate internationally in dealing with climate-change issues (“Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter”? Wotthef***ingF***?!?!?!?!?!?);

    [5] shooting holes in environmental protection programs, instead allowing industry more and more leeway to “police itself” (yeah, right);

    [6] maintaining tax structures that favor increased oil production instead of providing meaningful incentives for sustainable energy development and conservation;

    [7] gutting the space program (a thoroughly stupid move, considering that it’s one of the few truly profitable investments our government has made; it pays for itself several times over in tax revenues from industries based on technology spinoffs that in and of themselves benefit every one of us here on earth every day);

    [8] endorsing the teaching of “intelligent design” creationism in schools and attempting to put in place a “voucher system” that would divert funding that our public schools desperately need in order to keep our science education on a par with that of other nations;

    [9] Throwing several hundred billion dollars (by some estimates nearly a trillion) down the bottomless pit of a war waged under false pretenses – money that could have put a rocket in the pocket of US science and technology development (not to mention going an awfully long way toward maintaining Social Security, providing universal health care, rebuilding and improving our infrastructure, providing the foundation for a state-of-the-art public transportation system, and restoring our public education system to its former place as the best in the world).

    So I say: Be as political as you want, BA. And keep on being political until we get our feces consolidated and stop sliding into second-rate status in the scientific world.

    End of rant. We now return you to your regularly scheduled emergency already in progress.

    p.s. Has Dinger wiped up the floor with Canis Minor yet?

  122. themadlolscientist

    Oops – that should have been “sincerely.” Preview function. WANT!!!1! :-D

  123. So Phil, no reply to the “lied” bit? Sad.

  124. Joey Joe Joe

    @themadlolscientist:

    I can’t speak for everyone, but my beef with this article isn’t political. If Phil had posted something more like what you wrote, great!

    Why? Because your post has something Phil’s doesn’t have: substance.

    Phil’s post amounted to nothing more than “liar liar pants on fire”. As a preacher of skepticism and critical thinking, he should know better.

  125. CanadianLeigh

    @Joey Joe Joe
    I was going to write a comment about your comment and then re-thought it. You are right to a point. However, whether intended or not, Phil’s blog has generated such an onslaught of interesting comments that I find it hard to critisize him as well. I do not envy the American voters with the decision facing them this November.
    I do find it humorous that so many on this blog refer to Phil as left wing. In Canada we see all Americans as being right wing to very, very right wing. It is just a matter of prospective I guess.
    Mind you we’re still miffed because Bush didn’t phone our PM first after the last election. BOOHOO.

  126. Strange Quark

    I wonder who is going to be cleaning up the mess when my brain explodes at the polls. I also wonder if Phil considers this a good day in the comments section or a bad day (I certainly couldn’t handle all the hatefulness I’ve seen thus far…) – which btw, kudos to him for voicing his opinion on his personal blog, regardless of the idiots I’m sure he knew were going to be coming out of the wood works at the mere mention of the word “politics.” It’s sad to think that the one place where people should try to work together the most is the one place where we fail miserably to come together for a solution. *turns off hippy banter AND the interwebs*

  127. Darrin

    Ugh. Politics. As if it’s not enough for me to be surrounded by it all day, now it’s on my favorite science blog. Wonderful.

  128. themadlolscientist

    @ Joey Joe Joe:

    OK, but I must say I agree 100% with the “liar, liar, pants on fire” sentiment. We never actually elected that jerk in the first place – he got into office largely through the shenanigans of his brother the governor of Florida, who in all fairness and good conscience should have backed away from the whole biz – yet somethow he did get elected the second time around and we got stuck with him for 8 years.

    Clinton screwed an intern and got impeached. Bush has been screwing the country and the rest of the world for the last 8 years and getting away with it. Like the sign says, will someone please give him a blow job so we can impeach him?

    And no, I am definitely NOT volunteering. Blecccccccchhhhhh. :-P

  129. Ijon Tichy

    MarkP, if you really want evidence, read this:

    http://projects.publicintegrity.org/WarCard/

    Not a few lies, not a dozen lies, but 935 lies told by Dubya and seven top officials from the White House, in the two years following September 11, 2001, and leading up to the Iraq invasion.

    I suspect, though, that your call for evidence is just a rhetorical ploy. You’re a supporter of fascists and an adherent of the cult of right-libertarianism. Only out of respect for Phil will I hold back on telling you what you deserve.

  130. themadlolscientist

    @ CanadianLeigh: If I didn’t loathe, abhor, despise, detest, and abominate winter (seasonal depression, aggravated as much by the cold as by the dark), I’d seriously consider moving to Canada. Your politics are so much more sensible than ours!

    A general p.s.: There’s no law that says bloggers always have to write long, detailed expositions of their opinions. It’s equally valid, and equally common, for them to simply toss ideas out there, back off, and let their readers do the discussing. In this case, I’d say he’s succeeded. :-)

    Yoicks. It’s nearly 4 am, getting on towards my bedtime. G’nite, all.

  131. CanadianLeigh

    @themadlolscientis
    Winters have been getting warmer and wetter up our way, however I do not want to open that thread again. As far as politics in Canada are concerned, Canadians would probably not agree with you completely. We usually believe we are over governed. This comes from the fact each province has an elected parliment with all its support staff, and we have an elected fedral parliment with its support staff and a non elected senate with its entire support staff. It takes a fair share of our taxes just to keep all of that running. We do have more parties which gives us more to choose from and yet we still ended up with Harper as Prime Minister. He is just as anti-science as Bush, so go figure.
    If you don’t like winter do not visit Winnipeg. They have two seasons, winter and mosquito.

  132. Jim Sweeney

    It appears to be the case that reality has a liberal bias, that the U.S. president has been extraordinarily cavalier in his use of the bully pulpit, that he was able to rouse a majority of the public in support of the invasion of a small, distant, nearly powerless nation by means of the most brazenly menadcious nonsense, and won reelection by the smallest possible margin by pandering, brazenly and mendaciously, to the worst impulses of the least informed portion of the voting public.

    Anyone who supported the invasion of Iraq? You’re either gullible, ill-informed or dishonest. Anyone who voted for Bush in 2004? Likewise. Get help.

  133. justcorbly

    @Sandswipe: Pelosi’s decision not to move impaeachment forward is exactly the political call I’m talking about. Bush’s low approval ratings are not, considered separately, enough to merit impeachment. One does not remove a president merely because polls show low approval. Being disliked is not a high crime or misdemeanor.

    The Dems majority in the Senate is paper thin, enabling the GOP to block legislation. The 2004 election gave the Dems control of the House, but not real control of Congress.

  134. Eddie

    Right on, Phil.

  135. Chrisw

    …Sigh. I knew it was just a matter of time before we would see political vitriol on this so-called science blog again. So-called because it apparently goes under a science theme and on-line mag, but then can be about anything Phil wants. In business, that’s called “bait and switch”. Others would call that telling lies – especially if they affixed a political slant to it.

    Phil may be able write what he wants. However, writing political crud like this is indeed reason call his credibility on other issues, where critical thinking is required, into question. That’s particularly true when he starts asking in scientific subjects for the kind of logical proof of others that he avoids here. From reading the 130-odd posts here, I’m sure a couple of folks will be keeping these comments to use against him later.

    By the way, when asked about it in a interview on NBC this past week, Speaker Pelosi attempted to also blame Bush for the fact that the only political entity with lower ratings is… (Drum roll please…)

    Congress.

    Phluuueeeese. I really hope that both parties wake up to that, in reality, the American voter isn’t that stupid. A lot of incumbents are going to get tossed if they do.

    Bernard Goldberg wrote in his book, Crazies to the Left of me, Wimps to the Right: “There’s an old line about how politicians are like diapers. They both need to be changed, a lot, and for the same reason. This, of course, is unfair. Diapers serve a useful purpose.”

  136. Joe Meils

    True. Being unpopular is not a crime.

    However, deliberately comprimising an intelligence oprative for political reasons, is.

    Committing acts of torture, against the rules of the Geneva Convention, are crimes.

    Wiretapping without a warrant is (or rather, was, at the time) also a crime.

    Operating outside the Constitution of the United States, in an official capacity, is both a crime and a severe breech of trust against the oath he took when he took office.

    Thiese are the biggies. There are tons of others. If a democrat had committed any of these offenses, they’d be out of office, and probably doing time. As it was, it took the GOP four years and 47 million dollars, just to get Bill Clinton to commit perjury about getting some oral sex.

    Somehow, that offense seems laughable, compared to 4,000+ American dead, 30,000 wounded, and almost a quarter of a million dead Iraqi civilians. (and in the meantime, the SOB responsible for the twin towers is still sitting happily in a cave somewhere, along with his kidney diaylisis machine, like the frikin’ Joker, laughing as America self-destructs under the pall of fear and paranoia that this little Texas creep helped to foster.)

  137. “Hat tip to Crooks and Liars.”

    You are now a radical leftist fanatic.
    Well done you.

  138. Deepak

    People in US and Europe have no clue on how we lead lives with terrorism around on a daily basis. US has tons of good things, however, couple of bad foriegn policies and the entire globe is under threat. Wish science had an answer for this.

  139. Gustav Nyström

    Phil, you’re not a politician, what right do you have writing about politics? That’s right, none, so stop it! And it’s not like you’re still a scientist, so why do you still write about science, huh? I don’t mean to say you don’t have a right to say what you want, but I come here looking for news about your cat and instead I’m forced to read about politics and stuff. How am I supposed to avoid all these science and politics posts, the content of which I can get elsewhere, and just see the cat-posts? You should write a separate blog about your cat, I think, it’s not like there’s any extra work on your part!

  140. Daffy

    Despite the most incompetent presidency ever (do I even have to list the ways we are all worse off?), Bush still has staunch supporters simply because he is a Republican. For that reason alone, I believe the US is doomed as a major power; there are simply too many people who love their party over their country.

  141. PhysicsTutor

    I agree Bush has been one of the worst (if not the worst) presidents this nation has ever had. Bush lies cheats panders changes his tune depending on the time and audience his is speaking to. He is arrogant and a horrible decision maker.

    I can not help find dozens of similarities between Bush and Obama-both preached change and a new politics (“Some of what Obama says, his overall message, is very similar to the one we ran on in 2000 about changing the way Washington works and what I had so much hope in,” said McClellan, who became the White House press secretary in 2003). Yeah and see how that worked out.

    I hope Phil talks about Obama’s backtracking on NASA–

    In November, Barack Obama Proposed Cutting NASA’s Budget To Fund His Education Programs. “To pay for his education program, Obama would eliminate tax-deductibility of CEO pay by corporations and delay NASA’s program to return to the moon and then journey to Mars.
    And Yesterday- “I think the constellation project is a bold vision but we haven’t thought through all the steps to get there and what the funding sources are.”
    (he also had a pdf file on his website talk about how the constellation project will be cut under his administration)
    See Video here:
    http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/08/03/thats-not-what-i-said-obama-flips-on-nasa/

    Obama’s message (like Bush) is subject to change at a moment’s notice. What beliefs will he change if he is president? Who knows

  142. TheProbe

    Sionce GWB’s push to go back to the moon and then to Mars is being funded by taking money away from science programs at NASA, his plan needs a catchy name. (NOTE: I am pro-science and pro-manned spaceflight).

    I proposed we should refer to it as the NALB program. That is No Astronaut left Behind. It is just another one of his unfunded mandates, like No Child Left Behind.

  143. Quiet Desperation

    phil’s cat is a closet evangelical republican.

    I always pictured cats as more Libertarian, actually, although some do believe in Ceiling Cat and Basement Cat.

    I believe the US is doomed as a major power

    I sort of welcome this. Maybe people will stop blaming us for everything, and taking out all their personal problems on us. Let China deal with it for a century. and see how folks like that. How are those Olympics going?

  144. Daffy

    QD,

    That’s a positive way to look at it; I will try to do the same.

  145. Rodney

    Funny,

    I do something similar, myself.

    Every July 4th, I get out my copy of the Declaration of Independence and line through all the crimes attributed to King George that Bush has made perfectly legal with his signing statements, for that year.

    There is almost nothing left that doesn’t have a line through it.

    He swore to protect the constitution, yet he has worked hard to almost completely subverted it.

    That could be the biggest lie of all,

    rod

  146. Phil Plait – do you intend to respond to this or is it a case of ‘you can’t handle the truth?’ By the way – I like your astronomy stuff, and I like your debunking stuff – you know, the posts where you exhibit and examine evidence and you adhere to logic.

    this is the former post answering your request for specifics.
    “Phil Plait – The speech you cite in the original post is standard political boilerplate of the sort spouted by every politician in the history of the world – to call the phrases you highlight lies is to reveal a profound ignorance of history and politics precisely worthy of my previous post.

    But let’s take your parotting assertion “He lied to get us into a war.”

    President Bush gave multiple good reasons for eliminating Saddam Hussein and Baathist party rule of Iraq. One of those reasons was Saddam’s refusal to comply with multiple UN strictures and the clear terms of the truce ending the 1991 war re weapons of mass destruction. In citing that reason he was echoing statements and beliefs held by President Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore and many others during the years of the Clinton administration and during the first couple of years of his own administration.

    Calling this a lie is the favorite meme of the “Bush lied people died” crowd which seems to forget belief that Saddam’s was pursuing WMD was widely and reasonably held by members of both parties. If Bush is a liar on this subject more than half of the politicians in the Democratic party are also liars.

    I certainly don’t believe George W. Bush, or any politician can ever be fully trusted, but to single him out in that regard, especially by quotation of the speech referenced in your original post is preposterous. On balance based on that speech (and his actions in office for that matter) he’s been about as truthful as Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln to pick two other presidents.”

  147. jasonB

    Sully

    The link I provided earlier provides all of those quotes, often with video of said statements.

    Interestingly enough none of the “He lied and people died.” crowd wishes to weigh in on the evidence (and that is what Phil is all about, evidence) that everyone, including the previous administration thought he had a WMD program.

    Perhaps what really bugs people is that he did what few politicians ever do. He actually dealt with the problem.

  148. bo

    @ Michael L

    too true. although i’d claim there’s no excuse for being a republican in the first place, in the closet or not. :D

  149. Daffy

    Thank you, Sully. It is not often my points get confirmed so thoroughly and quickly.

  150. jasonB – sorry I missed your previous post. I just read it and it was excellent.
    I originally posted my short squib as a (clumsy) equal and opposite reaction to the somewhat funny if reflexive first comment. After that I merely skimmed the following comments to enjoy the lunacy I expected from the reflex liberal side. It surprised me when Phil Plait himself came back at me because my origional comment was pure fluff and intended to be seen as such, but apparently it tweaked him, which itself is telling. He puffed up like a pouter pigeon just the way a religious fanatic (as opposed to a thoughtful believer) does when someone makes a joke about a religious matter. I’m assuming he only read the first couple of comments at a weak moment since I’d hate to suspect that he is as fully devoid of a self reflective sense of humor as most liberals.

    But on reading his reply comment I was amazed. If a similar assertion had been made by a UFO believer he would have hit it out of the park and then layered on some scorn. I answered him without documentary evidence because I’m lazy and also because I write and comment from memory where the facts are obvious and the evidence is out there to be found as they are in the easy case he parroted.

  151. Daffy.
    Hopefully you will learn to contain your urge to sarcasm as you mature.

    Your assertion “Despite the most incompetent presidency ever. . .” tells me all I need to know about your knowledge of history, politics and logic.

    If you’re capable of self improvement Google “Warren Harding” and “Bay of Pigs” as a start. If you can handle the truth and want to move on to something more advanced in the ethics, politics, truthfulness and wisdom Google – Vietnam Robert McNamara John F. Kennedy deposed
    After that revisit your assertion.

  152. Daffy

    Sully, unlike you, I gave no political affiliation. I am perfectly well aware of how the Democrats stumbled us into Viet Nam (which, if you are old enough, I’ll bet you supported); I protested it. I am very well aware of the Bay of Pigs fiasco…and how the US drove Castro to Communism.

    I am also aware of how Ronald Reagan, during the course of his presidency asked Congress for 16 billion dollars MORE than they gave him…and yet is regarded as a spending cutter. I am aware of how Regean RAISED taxes and is regarded as a tax cutter. Bill Clinton was a fool who lied about sex and rendered himself irrelevant as a result. I am also aware of how George W, Bush lied about WMDs as an excuse to invade Iraq, and how 9/11 allowed him and his fellow Neocons to tear away at the very foundations of our constitution, and the spineless Democrats allowed it to happen.

    You see, Sully, I oppose incompetence and downright evil whenever I see it. You, on the other hand, will excuse ANYTHING as long as a Republican does it. It would be laughable were it not for the fact that Republican rule has bankrupted this country morally and financially and left us floundering.

    But go ahead: keep tossing childish insults and making excuses while Rome burns.

    Oh, and btw, since you Republicans have such GREAT senses of humor, here is a cute Bush joke: why is Dubya a post turtle?

    “Old man: “When yer driving down a country road, and ya come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top? That’s a post turtle. Ya know he didn’t get there by himself, he don’t belong there, he cain’t get anything done while he’s up there, and you just want to help take the poor thang down.”

  153. Daffy –
    I suggest you look up “nuance”

    That will perhaps prevent you from:
    1. Reading anything you disagree with as an absolute
    2. Posting false absolutes that are easy to prove untrue and make you seem less educated and experienced than you are
    3. Going so far over the top that you’re audience is underwhelmed

    P.S. I wasn’t supporting it, I was fighting it.

    P.P.S You won’t get insults tossed at you if you don’t post childish things although perhaps it’s a little late for that.

    P.P.P.S. Never heard that joke before. It’s half decent, not Howard Stern or even Rush Limbaugh material, but perhaps worthy of Air America

  154. Daffy

    Sully,

    My only comment to your last post is to say that I have profound respect for anyone who has served in our armed forces. We may disagree on pretty much everything else, but not that.

    See ya on the picket lines. ;-)

  155. duke5678

    I thank God no more buildings have toppled. Tell me who I should thank for that please?

  156. themadlolscientist

    @ CanadianLeigh:

    Winters have been getting warmer and wetter up our way

    Ah, but “warm” is a relative term. To me, “cold” is anything below about 50F/10C, and “dark” is less than 14 hours/day of sunshine. If I could manage it, I’d be someplace like the south coast of England or upper New York State or Toronto Apr-Sept and Melbourne or Johannesburg Oct-March.

    We usually believe we are over governed

    I think people in most parts of the world feel that way :-) but your government structure does sound pretty complicated! Maybe what I should have said was that your political attitudes are more sensible. At least you guys don’t seem to try to legislate morality and declare war on places than never really did anything to us the way the idiots down here do. And compared to ours, your health care system TEWTALY RAWKS…… but then, compared to ours, the health care system in just about every other developed country TEWTALY RAWKS. :-P

    If you don’t like winter do not visit Winnipeg. They have two seasons, winter and mosquito.

    Sounds like what they say about Minnesota: two seasons, winter and blackfly. And verily I say unto thee: :-P

  157. justcorbly

    @Joe Meils:

    I pretty mcuh agree, but impeachment, as i’ve said, is a political process, not a judicial process. Decisions to impeach are made for political reasons. The House leadership has decided that bringing impeachment against Bush costs too much politically. You, or I, may disagree with that call, but there it is. The Speaker of the House is not a District Attorney.

    For myself, I don’t want to see impeachment wielded as a campaign tool, which is what the GOP did against Clinton. Government cannot operate if the laders risk impeachment everytime the opposition senses an opportunity, however unmerited.

    Concentrating on pushing the GOP to as severe a defeat as possible this November, on sending them to the wilderness, will punish Bush and his cohorts much more than impeachment charges might. (And don’t forget that Bush would never be convicted by this Senate.)

  158. themadlolscientist

    @ Gustav Nyström:

    Phil, you’re not a politician, what right do you have writing about politics?

    The same right as any Amurrican has to write about politics – especially when that politics involves [1] screwing with the fabric of our own society in a way that makes us less able to stay competitive in the world and [2] making up excuses for screwing with other countries and making us all less safe in the process.

    And it’s not like you’re still a scientist

    Say WHAT? Since when does leaving a career in active research to become a full-time science educator and promote the public understanding of science make you “not a scientist any more”? Science has never stopped at the door of the lab, and it never will.

    The role of dedicated, gifted communicators like BA, Neil deGrasse Tyson (who AFAIK is still doing some theoretical work, although he’s necessarily cut way back), and the late Carl Sagan is not only to demystify science per se, but also to keep pointing out the fact that science is an integral part of our social structure. As such, it interacts with every other part of that structure, including politics.

    The world has seen repeatedly how bad politics promotes bad science – Lysenko, anyone? the persecution of scientists and suppression of new theories by the church/state in pre-Enlightnment Europe? the current round of creationist crap? – so it’s completely within the purview of the science educator to call out bad politics whenever and wherever he or she sees them.

    That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

  159. Ijon Tichy

    themadlolscientist, your sarcasm detector needs cleaning. Happens to the best of us. ;)

  160. Ijon Tichy

    Sully wrote:

    Phil Plait – do you intend to respond to this or is it a case of ‘you can’t handle the truth?’

    You are the one who can’t handle the truth. Look at the link in my second comment in this thread. 935 lies by Bush and top White House officials in the two years leading up to the Iraq invasion. Documented. Do you really want to be an apologist for the fascists at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

  161. Anyone who supported the invasion of Iraq? You’re either gullible, ill-informed or dishonest.

    No, we like to see genocidal dictators hanging from a noose.

    Anyone who voted for Bush in 2004? Likewise. Get help.

    So anyone who has different political opinions from you are mentally ill? By the Lords of Kobol, what a load of codswallop. Why is it a certain tranche of leftists are so susceptible to this sort of idiotic thinking?

    Anyway.

    Let’s be clear here, Phil has the right to post what he wants. Its his blog.

    But he shouldn’t act surprised when people call him up on his drinking of the Obama Kool-Aid and his wholesale regurgitation of far-leftist propaganda.

    HOWEVER, he’s still an utter star when it comes to Science and Rationality, even if his politics utterly stink sometimes. I’d still buy him a pint though, as despite his delusions on the political front by all accounts he’s a good egg. And I speak as someone generally to the right of Genghis Khan on most political matters.

  162. Robert

    I wonder, if a bad Astronomer writes a book about Titan in 1988, and states that Titan’s surface is covered by liquid methane and ethane 1 kilometer deep, and then it’s discovered when a probe lands and takes pictures, that Titan has a mushy surface, and only large lakes of liquid methane and ethane, does that make the bad Astronomer a liar? According to the logic of liberals it does.

    He was basing his book on the best conjecture and information available at the time, but it turned out he was 100% wrong. I suppose I could point out hundreds of other points that scientists have been wrong about, brontosaurus and archeoraptor leap to mind, but does that make them liars? Cheats? Phonies? Well, if you use the liberal standard, yes, they would be liars.

    Now, if we use common sense, which seems to be sadly lacking on the Left, and look at the matter from a historical viewpoint, (well, except for liberals, history began yesterday…) why would Saddam want people to believe he had weapons of mass destruction? Why, so we wouldn’t risk invading, of course! It was a significant advantage for him to make foreign intelligence agencies think he had them. And, of course, he wasn’t keeping that 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium around as a retirement plan…

    Robert

  163. Doug Little

    Yeah the war on Iraq was legal, that’s why we have the full support of the United Nations to help us, who’s resolutions we used as an excuse… Oh we don’t… Hurmmmph, Ahhh scratch that last comment.

  164. themadlolscientist

    @ Ijon Tichy:

    themadlolscientist, your sarcasm detector needs cleaning. Happens to the best of us. ;-)

    And I’m living proof that it happens to the rest of us as well. ;-) yourself! …But it’s still my story, and I’m still sticking to it…… :-)

    @ Dave:

    the Obama Kool-Aid

    I don’t recall any liberal mass suicides having happened recently. The groups that have done that in recent years, such as Jonestown and the Wackos of Waco, have been rigidly authoritarian and way out on the far right sociopolitically due to their basis in religious fanaticism, and the most deadly terrorist attacks have also arisen from the far right.

    Somehow, we liberals aren’t terribly big on barricading ourselves in bunkers, building bombs in our basements, or even wiping ourselves out en masse………..

    @ Robert:

    yes, they would be liars.

    No, they’d simply have their theories proven wrong in light of the new evidence, and science would go on.

    Even if I agreed with your POV (which I couldn’t disagree with more), there would still be one important difference: “Lying” (or even simply being wrong) about what’s on the surface of Titan doesn’t get tens (maybe hundreds) of thousands of people killed and throw entire nations into chaos.

    …he wasn’t keeping that rumored550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium whose existence has never been verified, any more than the existence of the rumored chemical weapons factories, around as a retirement plan…

    There. Fixed that for ya. Had there been any truth to that rumor, it would have been more than just us and the UK up in arms. The UN would have gone bonkers.

    Personally, I’m far more inclined to believe facts, such as Dubya & Co. browbeating the FBI director to pin the anthrax scare on Al-Qaeda even after the stuff was shown to have come from a US weapons lab.

  165. Yeah the war on Iraq was legal, that’s why we have the full support of the United Nations to help us, who’s resolutions we used as an excuse… Oh we don’t… Hurmmmph, Ahhh scratch that last comment.

    The UN does not define legality. Switzerland and Taiwan would be in a lot of trouble otherwise. In fact, contrary to the claims of the Tranzis here, there is no such thing as “international law”.

    The UN would have gone bonkers.

    The UN would have sat on its hands and done nothing. It did nothing for a decade whilst Saddam broke the 1991 Ceasefire Resolutions repeatedly. It did nothing when Saddam was butchering his way through the people of Iraq. In fact, France and Russia who had signed massive oil deals with Saddam, would have had all sanctions against Saddam lifted within months.

    …he wasn’t keeping that rumored550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium whose existence has never been verified, any more than the existence of the rumored chemical weapons factories, around as a retirement plan…

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25546334/

    There are none so blind as those who will not see. Standard liberal behaviour though. Rewriting history to an extent that Creationists would be proud.

  166. TheBlackCat

    According to that article the uranium had been under the control of the UN weapons inspectors, not Saddam.

    Later, U.N. inspectors documented and safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said.

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