IAEA labels Bush "fake", Powell "inauthentic"
IAEA labels Bush "fake", Powell "inauthentic"
Follow-up to forgery investigation finds President and "trusted" aide as
phony as Niger documents
By Dennis Hans
A mere three weeks after the International Atomic Energy Agency demonstrated conclusively that letters between Iraq and Niger about the purchase of uranium were forgeries, the U.N. body is about to prove an even more startling claim: President George W. Bush is fake.
“He’s a fraud,” a senior IAEA official said. “He presents himself as the archetypal ‘plain-spoken Texas straight shooter,’ but our technical staff has discovered a number of differences between Bush and the standard model. I can state with 100 percent certainty that Bush is every bit as fake as the ‘official’ documents from Niger that George Tenet and Colin Powell pretended were genuine.”
The “plain-spoken Texas straight shooter,” or PSTSS, is a well-known, highly regarded personality type. The authoritative “Almanac of Stock American Political Characters” offers this definition:
“Honest and trustworthy; keeps his promises; never takes credit for something he didn’t do or for a law he actively opposed; stands by friends in their time of need rather than cutting them loose and pretending he barely knew them; admits when he’s wrong; respectful rather than vindictive toward those who have an honest disagreement with him.”
That definition is highlighted in a working draft of the report on Bush the IAEA will present to the Security Council April 1. The authenticity of the draft, leaked to this reporter by a disgruntled aide to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Negroponte, has been confirmed by three IAEA officials.
The genesis for the Bush investigation was his September 12 address to the U.N. “That was quite the wakeup call,” said an IAEA official from Australia. “No one in our agency pays much attention to U.S. domestic politics, and we had assumed that Bush was the straight shooter he claimed to be. But that speech left us speechless. I quit counting after 25 demonstrable falsehoods.”
A team from the IAEA, including outside experts on character assessment, was immediately dispatched to Texas. Team members observed and interviewed an assortment of genuine PSTSSs to establish what they call “baseline behaviors.” They also researched Bush’s tenure as Texas governor and his pronouncements on the gubernatorial and presidential campaign trails.
“We uncovered a pattern of behavior that proved conclusively that Bush was not a PSTSS but an FBP — a ‘full-blown phony,’” the Australian IAEA official said.
“Genuine PSTSSs operate by a code,” said another IAEA analyst. “Their word is their bond, and the only thing they hate worse than liars are smooth operators who communicate in such a way that, technically speaking, they’re not lying, even though the intent is to mislead. Bush is both — an accomplished liar and a Clintonesque misleader.”
According to the IAEA working draft, “Bush exhibited a pattern of lying — as well as condoning lying and cheating by staffers — whenever he deemed it politically necessary. He lied in 1998 to Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne Slater to hide a drunk-driving conviction. In 2000, he condoned vicious smears of John McCain and McCain’s wife, and he repeatedly, knowingly misrepresented his own and Al Gore’s economic plans to enhance his electoral prospects. As president, he has lied or misled on a host of issues, economic, domestic and foreign.”
IAEA has uncovered scores of documents from the early 1990s showing that Bush worked with Republican strategist Karl Rove to “forge a PSTSS political persona.” As the report explains, both definitions of “forge” are applicable, as the two men shaped and molded a persona that they knew bore no relation to the man who would embody it.
Through constant repetition, Bush mastered a number of gestures and mannerisms that are common to straight shooters — a firm handshake, a purposeful stride, sustained eye contact and plain-speaking “jus’ folks” lingo cleansed of the profanity that was Bush’s stock in trade. The only thing missing was PSTSS substance.
Pages from Rove’s 1993 diary (provided to the IAEA by an unidentified Rove relative) indicate that in the early training sessions Bush was able to connect with the assembled focus groups only when he believed what he was saying was true. But within months he was persuading listeners he was shooting straight even when knowingly spouting lies.
So began the greatest charade in the history of American politics — a charade that on April 1 the IAEA will bring crashing to an end.
Bush is not the only U.S. official under IAEA investigation. The agency hopes to complete by mid-May its examination into the “authenticity” of Secretary of State Colin Powell.
“Our preliminary assessment is Powell is inauthentic,” said an aide to IAEA director Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei.
“Powell presents himself to the world as a politically moderate ‘reluctant warrior’ of unimpeachable integrity,” said the aide. “He appears to be none of these: The ‘political moderate’ willingly serves an extreme-rightwing administration. The ‘reluctant warrior’ helped a president he knew was hellbent for war trick the international community into thinking Bush remained open to peace. The man of ‘integrity’ made on February 5 the most dishonest presentation in Security Council history.”
ElBaradei’s aide cautioned that the IAEA has not rendered a final judgment on the authenticity of Powell’s character and beliefs. “We would welcome evidence that shows Powell is indeed the man he and his admirers say he is. But please, no more forgeries.”
Bio: Dennis Hans is a freelance writer
whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington
Post, Miami Herald and online at outlets too numerous to
mention. He has taught courses in mass communications and
American foreign policy at the University of South
Florida-St. Petersburg, and can be reached at
Bio: Dennis Hans is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and online at outlets too numerous to mention. He has taught courses in mass communications and American foreign policy at the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg, and can be reached at HANS_D@popmail.firn.edu