Saturday, September 09, 2006


Sullivan figures things out.
Bush's statement [about torture] is true in his own private universe, and the criterion of his version of truth depends entirely on what the meaning of the word "torture" is. I think what you have to do is think of George W. Bush's statement in the same light as Bill Clinton's famous declaration that he had not had "sexual relations" with Monica Lewinsky. Both statements are semantic evasions to avoid a direct lie. Each man is using a private dictionary to redefine a word otherwise clear to any other rational person. But the broader conclusion is obvious: Clinton lied about an extra-marital affair in a civil sexual harrassment lawsuit. Bush is lying about one of the core featurs of a civilized and decent society in the middle of a vital war. The Republicans ridiculed Clinton for his linguistic somersaults - and even impeached him for it. They are mostly silent today. A telling contrast, I'd say.

Give that man a prize.

It's particularly amazing how conservatives can blame the president's critics for hampering his efforts to fight the War of the Ring by refusing to march in lock step with the president's policies and muddying our moral clarity/weakening our will to win/damaging our resolve/distracting the President/burning the cookies, and then turn around and insist that President Clinton did nothing about bin Laden because he was preoccupied with the Lewinsky affair, that is, preoccupied with a conservative fishing expedition.

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