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May 07, 2003

Bush's Very Own Tailhook?

In the '90s the Navy was called on the carpet for sexual harassment in what became known simply as "Tailhook." Last week, Yubbledew got a literal tailhook of his very own with the carefully choreographed spectacle of his speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. Might history show that this was also something of a figurative "tailhook" (as in "embarrassing scandal"), as well?

Dan Rather called it a "production," which it was—staged from beginning to end for maximum drama. And in response, many critics have pointed to Yubbledew's own dubious "military" record, which David Corn summarizes here, concluding caustically:

Was this, then, just a campaign stunt? Nah, Bush and Karl Rove wouldn't waste taxpayer money and exploit a war that claimed the lives of 128 Americans--and thousands of Iraqis--for crass political advantage. And Bush really did serve honorably in the Guard.

(At least one website,, appears to be fairly obsessed w/Yubbledew's supposed military service.)

But that's not all. Senator Robert Byrd has denounced the stunt, saying:

it is an affront to the Americans killed or injured in Iraq for the president to exploit the trappings of war for the momentary spectacle of a speech.

Here's the full text of Byrd's speech, which includes the all-important fact that:

It may make for grand theater to describe Saddam Hussein as an ally of al Qaeda or to characterize the fall of Baghdad as a victory in the war on terror, but stirring rhetoric does not necessarily reflect sobering reality. Not one of the 19 September 11th hijackers was an Iraqi. In fact, there is not a shred of evidence to link the September 11 attack on the United States to Iraq. There is no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was an evil despot who brought great suffering to the Iraqi people, and there is no doubt in my mind that he encouraged and rewarded acts of terrorism against Israel. But his crimes are not those of Osama bin Laden, and bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not bring justice to the victims of 9-11.

Meanwhile, Rep. Henry Waxman has called for an investigation into the cost of Bush's little excursion. Not only that, but Waxman is also claiming that Yubbledew, Inc. has given Iraq's oil fields to Halliburton:

It now appears however, that the contract with Halliburton -- a company with close ties to the Administration -- can now include 'operation' of Iraqi oil fields and 'distribution' of Iraqi oil," wrote Waxman to Lt. Gen. Robert Flowers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

As Scripting News notes, Vice President Cheney is still on Halliburton's payroll. The plot thickens.

Posted May 7, 2003 02:00 PM | general politics

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