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The Smirk of the Cheshire Bush

February 7th, 2004

Josh Marshall pointed out this blog entry by someone looking at Bush’s National Guard records; it’s worth taking a look at. Essentially, it deals with the famous torn document–the only documentation made available by Bush’s people to counter even a small part of the AWOL charge. The document, however, has the left side–with most of the pertinent information–quite carefully torn off, including the name (only a “W” remains, like the Chesire Cat’s smile). The only clue that the form pertains to Bush aside from the “W” is a social security number–which happens to be blacked out, we’re left to trust Bush’s people when they say this document is his.

One has to admit, this is rather brazen of them. One could barely come up with anything that shouts “outright sham” as loudly as this. But then, we have other “proof” that Bush didn’t go AWOL: specifically, Bush’s own word, and assurances that unnamed acquaintances of Bush will anonymously proclaim that they saw Bush leave for duty during the time in question. Well, I’m convinced! That Bush is even a more shameless liar than I had ever thought before, that is.

In the meantime, Bush is not only underfunding domestic defense measures, he has even started trying to cut funding for homeland security.

And he’s going to appear on “Meet the Press” with Tim Russert. Some have predicted that Russert will throw softballs since this is such a treat for a journalist, but I don’t know–Russert has been tough on guests before. We’ll have to see. One can only guess that the Bush people (a) have a plan to manipulate the interview, and/or (b) Bush has been extensively trained to steer the interview as he sees fit. Should be interesting to see what he’s got up his sleeve.

One would think that with the possibility of the FBI actually threatening to arrest Cheney’s chief of staff in the Plame affair (one could have easily predicted the charge would not come from Ashcroft’s office), and with the WMD farce coming even more out in the open (despite Bush’s stacked, hand-picked panel), that Bush & Co. would be trying to keep a lid on things. Ergo my impression that something has been carefully planned for the “Meet the Press” appearance–Bush is too volatile when he’s not been carefully coached in what to say.

Will Bush implode? I strongly doubt it. Too often have we seen him shrug off hard evidence of his impropriety and illegal shenanigans, disappearing from accountability and leaving only a smirking “W” in his place.

But we should not lose hope. As the real Cheshire Cat reminded Alice, we’re sure to get somewhere, if we only walk long enough.

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