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Naked City

Welcome to never-never land

By Michael King, January 30, 2004, News

In the week following his State of the Union address, President Bush was on the defensive for claiming once again that Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction" were at the root of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, despite the fact that chief U.S. weapons inspector David Kay finally admitted no such weapons existed and haven't existed for a decade.

With his poll numbers in free fall and talk-show comedians mocking his speech patterns and his temperament, Bush, accompanied by his wife, Laura, appeared on network TV with Diane Sawyer to defend himself against charges of repeatedly "lying" to the country and also to scotch rumors that his own marriage has been threatened by the specter of homosexual marriage. Sawyer showed a tape of Bush speaking in which he bobbed his head while giggling like a schoolchild and stuck out his tongue whenever repeating a "whopper." Responded Bush, "I am personally not a flawless person, personally, but I hope the American people will understand that Laura and I love each other and have their best interests at heart."

OK, no he didn't – we just made all that up.

In the real world, Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean was on the defensive for being too "angry" to be "presidential," and he and his wife, Dr. Judy Steinberg Dean, were barnstorming both Diane Sawyer and New Hampshire in an (apparently successful) attempt to stave off media-induced political oblivion.

Upon finally admitting the bleeding obvious, Kay resigned, but immediately began speculating that the missing WMDs are actually in Syria – or maybe Iran – depending on which country neocon pundits Richard Perle and David Frum think the U.S. should invade next. Vice-President Dick Cheney took on the onerous task of repeating, to whomever would listen, the stateside Official Prevarications – that there is "overwhelming evidence" that Iraq had both WMDs and close ties with al Qaeda – while simultaneously attempting to woo European countries to help out in stabilizing "postwar" Iraq. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Colin Powell adopted the administration's "moderate" line – that maybe Iraq didn't actually possess WMDs, but Saddam Hussein certainly wanted them, and if that's not a sufficient reason for a U.S.-British invasion, what is?

Still wondering why nobody votes anymore?

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