excerpts from the book
by Gore Vidal
Nation Books, 2004, paper
Some State of the Union lies [George W. Bush] told the Congress
and the people that they may or may not represent:
Lie One: "The British government
has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities
of uranium from Africa." Bush's speechwriters, aware that
this information was false, thought that by attributing it to
British intelligence Bush would not be culpable under Section
1001. But a lie to Congress is still a lie, no matter to whom
attributed. Also, under another statute, members of the White
House staff that prepared his speech could be prosecuted for partaking
in "a criminal conspiracy to deceive Congress."
Lie Two: Bush declared that his "tax
relief is for everyone who pays income tax." The Tax Policy
Center of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution notes
that 8.1 million lower- and middle-income taxpayers who pay billions
of dollars a year in income taxes will receive no tax cut under
the new law while the 184,000 taxpayers with incomes of over $1
million a year will receive approximately $17 billion in tax cuts
in 2003 alone.
According to the Sierra Club:
"The Healthy Forests Initiative is
President Bush's response to the past year's forest fires... the
administration's true goal ... is to use the forest fire issue
to cut the public out of the public land management decision making
process and to give logging companies virtually free access to
our National Forests."
Randi Spivak, executive director of the American Lands Alliance
"The president's [G W Bush] plan,
would basically gut environmental laws, keeping the public and
the courts out of the process.
Lie Five: "... to meet a severe and urgent crisis abroad,
tonight I propose the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief-a work of
mercy beyond all current international efforts to help the people
of Africa. This comprehensive plan will prevent seven million
new AIDS infections, treat at least two million people with life
extending drugs and provide humane care for millions of people
suffering from AIDS, and for children orphaned by AIDS."
columnist R. E. Blummer writes in the St. Petersburg Times (10/12/03)
If a population is not going to refrain
from sex-the protection against transmission is the best defense.
But subSaharan Africa, home to 30 million of the world's 40 million
HIV/AIDS sufferers is suddenly facing a condom shortage. Family-planning
clinics from Ethiopia to Swaziland have had their American-donated
supplies sharply reduced or cut off and we can thank our president
and his religious-right politics for this. President Bush reinstated
the Mexico City policy, also known as the global gag rule: the
policy bars organizations that receive U.S. international family-planning
funds from having anything to do with abortion; even uttering
the word in counseling is verboten.
Lie Six: "Sending Americans into battle is the most profound
decision a president can make. The technologies of war have changed;
the risks and the suffering of war have not. For the brave Americans
who bear the risk, no victory is free from sorrow." Along
with this plangent tribute to our brave boys, the Bush administration
has been cutting back on medical benefits heretofore taken for
Washington Times, November 9, 2003. Rep. Chet V Edwards, a Democrat
"I have great concern that ' trillion-dollar
tax cuts to some of America's wealthiest families have cut into
our promise to support a decent quality of life for our military
families and health care for our veterans."
Dave Lindorff (December 2, 2003, In These Times) notes:
"Over the last year and a half,
President Bush has staged more than a third of his major public
events before active military personnel or veterans. His rowdy
"Hooahs" and policy pronouncements-even when they have
nothing to do with military matters-are predictably greeted with
But those easy and unquestioning crowds
at military bases and American Legion halls will be increasingly
hard to come by as soldiers and veterans start to notice the string
of insults and budget cuts inflicted upon them. Even more than
his father, and Ronald Reagan before him, Bush is cutting budgets
for myriad programs intended to protect or improve the lives of
veterans and active duty soldiers.
Lindorf goes on to inform us:
"With 130,000 soldiers still in
the heat of battle in Iraq and more fighting and dying in Afghanistan,
the Bush administration sought this year to cut $75 a month from
the "imminent danger" pay added to soldiers' paychecks
when in battle zones. The administration sought to cut by $150
a month the family separation allowance offered to those same
soldiers and others who serve overseas away from their families.
Although they were termed "wasteful and unnecessary"
by the White House, Congress blocked those cuts this year, largely
because of Democratic votes.
This year's White House budget for Veterans
Affairs cut $3 billion from VA hospitals-despite 9,000 casualties
in Iraq and as aging Vietnam veterans demand more care; VA spending
today averages $2,800 less per patient than nine years ago.
The administration also proposed levying
a $250 annual charge on all Priority 8 veterans-those with "non-service-related"
illnesses-who seek treatment at VA facilities, and seeks to close
VA hospitals to Priority 8 veterans who earn more than $26,000
Until protests led to a policy change,
the Bush administration also was charging injured GIs from Iraq
$8 a day for food when they arrived for medical treatment at the
Fort Stewart, Georgia base where most injured are treated.
In mid-October, the Pentagon, at the request
of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, announced plans to shutter
19 commissaries-military-run stores that offer discounted food
and merchandise that helps low-paid enlisted troops and their
families get by-along with the possibility of closing 19 more.
At the same time, the Pentagon also announced
it was trying to determine whether to shutter 8 military-run schools
for soldiers' children at 14 military installations. The White
House is seeking to block a federal judge's award of damages to
a group of servicemen who sued the Iraqi government for torture
during the 1991 Gulf War. The White House claims the money, to
come from Iraqi assets confiscated by the United States, is needed
for that country's reconstruction.
The administration beat back a bipartisan
attempt in Congress to add $1.3 billion for VA hospitals to Bush's
request of $87 billion for war and reconstruction in Iraq and
In perhaps its most dangerous policy,
the White House is refusing to provide more than 40,000 active-duty
troops in Iraq with Kevlar body armor, leaving it up to them and
their families to buy this life-saving equipment. This last bit
of penny-pinching prompted Pentagon critic and Vietnam veteran,
Col. David Hackworth, to point to "the cost of the extraordinary
security" during Bush's recent visit to Asia, which he noted
grimly "would cover a vest for every soldier" in Iraq.
Army Times, a newspaper widely read in military circles, ran a
June 30 editorial saying:
"President Bush and the Republican-controlled
Congress have missed no opportunity to heap richly deserved praise
on the military. But talk is cheap and getting cheaper by the
day, judging by the nickel-and-dime treatment the troops are getting
Ronald Conley, commander of the conservative American Legion,
also recently blasted the White House for VA budget cuts and surcharges,
"This is a raw deal for veterans
no matter how you cut it. The administration is sending a message
that these vets are not a priority at all."
Dr. Howard Strauss who sounded the alarm on Dan Rather's CBS Evening
Strauss, a Princeton computer science
The presidential election of 1992, without
too much difficulty and with little chance of the felons getting
caught, could be stolen by computers for one candidate or another.
The candidate who can win by computer has worked far enough ahead
to rig the election by getting his "consultants" to
write the software that runs thousands of vote-counting computers
from coast to coast. There are so many computers that use the
same software now that a presidential election can be tampered
within fact, may already be tampered with. Because of trade secrecy,
nobody can be the wiser.
"The men who possess real power in
the country have no intention of ending the cold war."
"We cannot maintain an empire in
the Orient and maintain a republic in America."
Theodore Roosevelt defended our war against the Philippine population,
and he attacked the likes of Twain.
"Every argument that can be made
for the Filipinos could be made for the Apaches. And every word
that can be said for Aguinaldo could be said for Sitting Bull.
As peace, order and prosperity followed our expansion over the
land of the Indians, so they will follow us in the Philippines."
Brooks Adams, younger brother of Henry Adams
"The most difficult problem of modern
times is unquestionably how to protect property under popular
Henry Adams, 1890s.
"We have a single system ... in that
system the only question is the price at which the proletariat
is to be bought and sold, the bread and circuses."
Henry Adams, 1910
"The whole fabric of society will
go to wrack if we really lay hands of reform on our rotten institutions...
From top to bottom the whole system is a fraud, all of us know
it, laborers and capitalists alike, and all of us are consenting
parties to it."
Ronald Reagan's secretary of the interior, James Watt, 1981
"I do not know how many future generations
we can count on before the Lord returns."
Jerry Faiwell to the journalist Bob Scheer in the Los Angeles
Times (March 4, 1981)
"We believe that Russia, because
of her need of oil-and she's running out now, is going to move
in the Middle East, and particularly Israel because of their hatred
of the Jew, and that it is at that time when all hell will break
out. And it is at that time when I believe there will be some
nuclear holocaust on this earth ..."
Falwell spells out the Dispensationalist doctrine
"... our Lord is coming back to the
earth. First, he comes to take the Church out. Seven years later,
after Armageddon, this terrible holocaust, He's coming back to
this very earth so it won't be destroyed, and the Church is coming
with him, to rule and reign with Christ on the earth for a thousand
"A Nielsen survey released in October
1985 shows that 61 million Americans (40 percent of all regular
viewers) listen to preachers who tell them that we can do nothing
to prevent a nuclear war in our lifetime."
Governor Ronald Reagan to James Mills, the president of the California
State Senate, 1971 (San Diego Magazine, August 1985)
"All of the other prophecies that
had to be fulfilled before Armageddon have come to pass. In the
thirty-eighth chapter of Ezekiel it says God will take the children
of Israel from among the heathen when they'd been scattered and
will gather them again in the promised land. That has finally
come about after 2,000 years. For the first time ever, everything
is in place for the battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming
... "Everything is falling into place.
It can't be too long now. Ezekiel says that fire and brimstone
will be rained upon the enemies of God's people. That must mean
that they will be destroyed by nuclear weapons .... Ezekiel tells
us that Gog, the nation that will lead all of the other powers
of darkness against Israel, will come out of the north. What other
powerful nation is to the north of Israel? None. But it didn't
seem to make much sense before the Russian revolution, when Russia
was a Christian country. Now it does, now that Russia has become
communistic and atheistic, now that Russia has set itself against
God. Now it fits the description perfectly."
During the presidential race of 1980, Reagan told James Bakker
of the PTL network
"We may be the generation that sees
a writer for the New York Times reported that Reagan (1980) told
a Jewish group that
"Israel is the only stable democracy
we can rely on as a spot where Armageddon could come."
Although most American right-wingers are anti-Semites, the Armageddonists
need a strong Israel in order to fulfill prophecy.
Reagan had said to Gorbachev in Geneva: If the earth were ever
to be invaded by Martians, the United States and the Soviet Union
would, of course, be joint allies in a common cause. Gorbachev
"I told the president that it was,
perhaps, premature to prepare for such an invasion but as we had
a common enemy right now, nuclear weapons, why couldn't we unite
to get rid of them?" But the planter of Mighty Oaks was not
to be seduced.
Walter Dean Burnham
"The state is primarily in business
to promote capital accumulation and to maintain social harmony
Benjamin Franklin, 1787, Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia,
"There is no form of government
but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered,
and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered
for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other
forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted
as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other."
National Security Strategy of the United States (2002)
"As a matter of common sense and
self-defense, America will act against such emerging threats before
they are fully formed."
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution says that only Congress
can declare war. But Congress surrendered that great power to
the President in 1950 and has never taken it back.
former Senator Alan Simpson
"The Commander in Chief of the military
will decide what the cause [for war] is. It won't be the American
historian Charles Beard, 1939
The destiny of Europe and Asia has not
been committed, under God, to the keeping of the United States;
and only conceit, dreams of grandeur, vain imaginings, lust for
power, or a desire to escape from our domestic perils and obligations
could possibly make us suppose that Providence has appointed us
his chosen people for the pacification of the earth.
Gore Vidal page