Thursday, November 02, 2006

Trust but clarify

In the Cold War era, the US and Russia eventually agreed to reducing their stockpiles of nuclear weapons. The agreeements included a "trust but verify" policy where each side allowed the other to witness or monitor the dismantling of weapons. It seems to me that we need a similar policy for George Bush's statements about the War on Terror. Bush said again today that, "the US does not engage in torture". But it has become clear that we do. In a separate interview with Scott Hennen, Cheney today confirmed that the CIA used waterboarding techniques on captured senior Al Qaeda suspects.

George W Bush's preferred communication style is the "truthiness" approach (otherwise known as lying). This allows the party faithful to go on believing even when the facts say otherwise. I think the press and US citizens should demand a "trust but clarify" policy where unclear statements made by the president and his administration must be verified so that there is no more truthiness... only truth or lies.

With friends like these...

I couldn't believe the news this morning about John Kerry's bungled joke about education and the Iraq War. I'm not sure it would have been funny even if he hadn't bungled it. He told the joke while giving a campaign speach for Phil Angelides. Angelides has almost certainly lost the election against Arnold already but Kerry's joke sealed his fate. In a skit on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart and company were mocking the fact that the Democrats are ahead in the polls despite having no coherent strategy. There was a mock TV ad for a democratic candidate that literally featured no message. After seeing Kerry's botched joke on the news, I couldn't help thinking, we could probably win this thing if John Kerry would just shut the f@*k up.