A tribute to Condoleeza Rice and George W. Bush who, despite voluminious evidence to the contrary, said, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile," adding that "even in retrospect" there was "nothing" to suggest that" and "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," respectively.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

By the Way: Prelude to a Lie 

I posted on March 21st that it seems whenever George W. Bush uses the phrase, "by the way," there's a 95% chance a lie is about to follow. I wanted to revise that such that there's a 95% chance that a lie either preceded or followed the use of the offending phrase. From his recent speech, I've found 8 instances where the said it. You can judge for yourself whether my hypothesis holds any water.

You got to listen in my line of work, and I listen a lot. Ours is acomplex organization that requires a management structure that lets people come into the Oval Office and explain their positions. And I think it's to my interest, by the way, that not everybody agree all the time. You can'tmake good decisions unless there's a little -- kind of a little agitation in there.

By the way, if you're studying how to achieve diplomatic ends, it might be worthwhile noting -- I think at least -- with the United States being the sole interlocutor between Iran, it makes it more difficult to achieve the objective of having the Iranians give up their nuclear weapons ambitions.

The doctrine of prevention is to work together to prevent the Iranians from having a nuclear weapon. I know -- I know here in Washington prevention means force. It doesn't mean force, necessarily. In this case, it means diplomacy. And by the way, I read the articles in the newspapers this weekend. It was just wild speculation, by the way. What you're reading is wild speculation, which is -- it's kind of a -- happens quite frequently here in the nation's capital.

THE PRESIDENT: Well -- (laughter) -- I take protest seriously. I mean, I -- by the way, I get protested all the time. (Laughter.) And I welcome it. I think this is the great thing about a democracy. There needs to be an outlet. If people feel like their government is not listening to them or doesn't agree with them, there ought to be an outlet for their discontent. And so the protests really don't bother me. I hope that's not viewed as cavalier, but it's just the way I feel. And it's -- in terms of polls, you cannot have a President make decisions based upon the latest political survey. You cannot have a President make decisions based upon the latest political survey. You got to have people making decisions based upon principle. And my attitude is, I'm going to do what I think is right.

I've got to be able to look at myself, by the way -- after the presidency -- in the mirror and say, I didn't come to Washington, D.C. to try to chase political opinion. I came to lead this country in a very historic time.

And so no question the economy is important. In the Palestinian territories, Jim Wolfensohn went over with a plan -- prior to the election, by the way -- with a plan to help the Palestinians develop their economy on the - - on the exact premise that you talk about. Economic development provides hope.

And so, you bet. It's an integral of our policy. We give a lot of aid out, by the way. We give aid to countries that may like us, may not like us, except in few instances. I have changed the development program, however, from -- let me say, I added on to the development programs to what's called the Millennium Challenge Account. And that is a conditional-based aid program. It's condition based upon poverty level, but it's also condition based upon behavior of government.

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