Friday, October 29, 2004

Bush's Wire
Does This Tinfoil Make Me Look Fat?

Via Kos, one finds this at

Oct. 29, 2004 George W. Bush tried to laugh off the bulge. "I don't know what that is," he said on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, referring to the infamous protrusion beneath his jacket during the presidential debates. "I'm embarrassed to say it's a poorly tailored shirt."

Dr. Robert M. Nelson, however, was not laughing. He knew the president was not telling the truth. And Nelson is neither conspiracy theorist nor midnight blogger. He's a senior research scientist for NASA and for Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and an international authority on image analysis. Currently he's engrossed in analyzing digital photos of Saturn's moon Titan, determining its shape, whether it contains craters or canyons.

For the past week, while at home, using his own computers, and off the clock at Caltech and NASA, Nelson has been analyzing images of the president's back during the debates. A professional physicist and photo analyst for more than 30 years, he speaks earnestly and thoughtfully about his subject. "I am willing to stake my scientific reputation to the statement that Bush was wearing something under his jacket during the debate," he says. "This is not about a bad suit. And there's no way the bulge can be described as a wrinkled shirt."

There's more, and I'd read it were I you. (Note that the article, by way of establishing Dr. Nelson's credibility, is careful to point out that he is "not a blogger." That's funny for several conflicting reasons...)

Look, I don't know what to think about this, but one thing's for sure:

Bush and Rove and co. are not above pulling a deception of this kind. I don't know whether Bush did or did not wear a "wire" in this debate, but if you could boil my reasons for voting against him down to two points they might very well be:

(i) He needs to wear a wire because he's neither intelligent nor knowledgeable enough for the job
(ii) He's dishonest enough to do it if he thought he could get away with it.

I used to think that this wire stuff was crazy. But that now strikes me as a silly thing to think. Bush has lied to us in far more profound ways than this. So there is no reason to think that he'd be above pulling this pathetic deception. He clearly has no respect for the autonomy of the electorate, so I see no reason to think that he wouldn't do something of this kind.

And it's the fact that he's not above doing it that makes him unfit for office.

If he did do it, all that proves (ab esse ad posse) is that he would do it--which is something most of us on the liberal end of the 'Sphere have known all along.


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