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Satire: Bush’s “Intelligence” Lets Him Down Again

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Former President George Bush is at it again: making up non-existent threats. This time the target is Julian Assange and once again, Bush’s intelligence is completely wrong.  According to the Denver Post:

‘Six months ago, President Bush accepted an invitation to speak to the YPO Global Leadership Summit in Denver on Feb. 26, 2011. This week, upon learning that Julian Assange had recently been invited to address the same summit, President Bush decided to cancel his appearance,’   said Bush spokesman David Sherzer in a statement. ‘The former president has no desire to share a forum with a man who has willfully and repeatedly done great harm to the interests of the United Sates.’

Bush was less likely to find the Wikileaks editor-in-chief in Denver than he was to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. As Assange’s lawyers pointed out when informed of the Bush decision, their client cannot leave Britain. He remains out on bail, on condition he not leave the United Kingdom, while it is determined whether he will be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault charges, whose veracity is on a par with the late Saddam Hussein’s WMDs.

With the important role Wikileaks has played in stirring up Middle East dictatorships along with Twitter, Facebook and Google, some think Assange is a hero. Wikileaks has revealed a considerable amount about how the Iraq invasion was phony.

Bush, Cheney, Judith Miller, and the others sold the U.S., Britain and others on the idea that Iraq had WMDs and therefore Hussein’s regime must be brought down. Now it appears that if the U.S. and Britain had only waited, given what is going on in the Middle East, the Iraqis would have removed Saddam themselves. And the so-called successful invasion isn’t working out as well as Gen. Petraeus and President Obama have said. There have been numerous protests, some of them violent. This weekend the country’s biggest oil refinery was blown up.

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  • El Bicho

    Maybe it’s me, but I don’t see what the satire is or even what your point is about Bush’s “intelligence”. He didn’t want to share a forum with Assange, who with video technology could have addressed the group without being in Denver.

    And we didn’t need Wikileaks to know a considerable amount about Iraq invasion was phony.

  • Robert Weller

    I am not responsible for the content of this article. It was changed without my permission in a manner I disapprove of.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Mr. Weller, welcome to the club of BC writers whose articles were changed without their permission and in a manner the author disapproves of. All I can say is, business as usual at Blogcritics.

  • Clavos

    Editor’s note:

    Blogcritics stands by the editing of this article and the decisions made in that process.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Not knowing the pertinent details, I would tend to cite with the editor. Mr. Weller’s past articles haven’t been exactly heaven sent.

    In any case, Mr. Weller is within his rights to tell us in what exact respects the content is at odds with his original intentions, so much so, I must add, that he now disclaims any responsibility for it.

    The inquiring minds want to know.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    … side with …

  • Robert Weller

    Attributing the report to the Denver Post was completely wrong. They weren’t the first to have it, and it was on at least 30 or 40 other Websites, perhaps more. An editor who did not do a simple google check decided to attribute the statement, which was distributed throughout the u.s. by email, to one publication

  • Robert Weller

    Roger: no, my articles haven’t been heaven sent. they were sent from earth. i am an atheist. i can’t comment on your articles because john lennon lyrics and anarchistic nonsense doesn’t interest me. but i am out of here. good luck with clavos.

  • Clavos

    Attributing the report to the Denver Post was completely wrong.

    Since every publication was printing the same White House press release, it made no difference whatever who it was attributed to and you know it, Robert.

    Not attributing someone else’s work at all, as you had done when the article was submitted, is unethical and dishonest.

  • Robert Weller

    The statement was attributed to the man who released it. You are looking for a lawsuit. If, for example, if the White House issued a statement would I have to say the Washington Post reported it? Even though it was being reported all over the country. Calling me dishonest is libelous.

  • Robert Weller

    I suggest that all writers observe what has happened here.

  • El Bicho

    And yet that attribution has nothing to do with the article’s other flaws.

  • Clavos

    You took it out of another publication, so yes, you should have attributed oit to your source. You say in your bio that you’ve spent years in journalism, so you know that’s how it’s done.

  • Robert Weller

    Are you now accusing me of not being a veteran journalist. The New York Times did not say that the statement came from another publication. Are they dishonest, also.

  • Clavos

    Are you now accusing me of not being a veteran journalist.

    Nothing I’ve written indicates that I am.

    The New York Times did not say that the statement came from another publication.

    The New York Times (and the Denver Post) received the release direct from the WH, they didn’t pull it from another publication.

  • Robert Weller

    FYI, bush isn’t in the White House, and the statement certainly did come from Obama. I have just checked out a few BC stories and found that they frequently did not credit their sources. For example a recent story on an Assange hearing in London. No attribution, no credit.

  • Robert Weller

    What this comes down to is that you made a change in my story without my permission. If you had told me you wanted to do it I would have withdrawn permission for you to use the story. It is a basic write of journalists.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    I note that Robert Weller has reset his BC profile to “Not Available.” That’s a decisive step, considering the following, which appears prominently on each BC writer’s Scrive Dashboard.

    WARNING: Changing your username changes your URL forever, and should not be undertaken lightly. Once changed, you may not change it back.

    In other words, Robert Weller has burned his Blogcritics bridge behind him.

    Since last summer, I’ve kept an informal tally of BC authors who’ve quit blogging here in disgust over their encounters with BC “editors.” I may have missed some, but I know of at least six (including me and Mr. Weller).

    The other four writers on my list left without fanfare and prefer to not publicly discuss their disgruntlement. Having gleaned the backstory of their exits via individual emails, I shall of course respect their privacy and name no names.

    Nevertheless, I can at least disclose the total number of articles that we six contributed to BC, and it’s impressive: 1,812. (Perhaps we can call our collective disaffection The War of 1812.)

    Naturally BC loyalists such as Roger Nowosielski (#5) will, without knowing the pertinent details, reflexively side with BC’s “editors” in such disputes, particularly when it involves an author whom the loyalist disdains.

    But other, less prejudiced readers may wonder about the quality of “editorship” that consistently shoots itself in the foot by alienating prolific writers. It goes without saying that Blogcritics has the right to pull the plug on any contributor for any reason, or for no reason. With the 1812 authors, however, BC drove us away not intentionally but rather out of willful obliviousness to basic authorial courtesy. It’s something to think about.

  • John Lake

    Anyone seeing G.W.Bush in the light of day will be amazed this man could ever have risen to the presidency, and could ever have weileded any influence or power. He is an insecure, nervous man, without a shred of what some call wisdom.
    He refused to negotiate with anyone beyond the singing and dancing small men from Asia. It is not suprising Bush would go to lengths to avoid having to discuss anything of importance.
    I may have missed something in viewing the current article, author unavailable, picture the same. However I will take the opportunity to link to an article I wrote on Bush, which reflected considerable effort, and which I humbly feel we could all profit from review:
    an exhaustive list of Bush impeachable offenses

  • John Lake

    I see, Robert Weller make have taken some shortcuts (by no means certain) and the editors made some changes, for better or for worse. Something we need tolerate.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Alan, writers come and writers go, that’s just a fact of life. That isn’t to be complacent about the matter in either general or this particular case though.

    There are many reasons to be frustrated with many things within Blogcritics and I for one have a longer list than most.

    That said, posting a comment about those issues on an article is not going to achieve anything.

    In this particular case, about which I know only the information in this thread, Robert Weller seems to have an issue about attribution and, rather than try to resolve it, has thrown a tantrum.

    The accuracy and professionalism of someone who claims to have been a journalist for such a long time but has not yet learned how to handle problems – nor the correct usage of the word “write”, as we see in comment #17 – seems odd to me.

    As a matter of fact though, writers don’t have to give their permission for articles to be changed for reasons of accuracy, maybe even any reason at all; that happens all the time at all kinds of publications, offline and online.

    People who want to have total control of their work always have the option to publish their own site.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    That said, posting a comment about those issues on an article is not going to achieve anything.

    Christopher Rose (#21), are you threatening to delete my comments, as you have so often done before? There’s no need to threaten me, just go ahead and do it! Your threats do not intimidate me, nor do your deletions.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Alan, how you might arrive at the perception that pointing out that posting a comment about the futility of seeking changes in Blogcritics editorial policy in the comments space isn’t going to achieve anything equates to threatening to delete a comment of yours is something only you can know.

    My, admittedly limited by the strained nature of communication in this intangible way, perception of that response is that you are being either paranoid or stupid. As I have read other stuff by you, I know you’re not stupid, so unfortunately I am left with paranoia as the only basis on which to understand your behaviour.

    For the record, I never threaten to edit or delete anything by anybody. I do sometimes advise people that if they carry on as they are, they are going to get edited or deleted, so they then have the opportunity to manage their own behaviour, as people such as troll, and indeed myself, would like to see.

    Similarly, I have no interest at all in trying to intimidate you.

    Do you think you can actually absorb these facts this time?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Editors are a privileged class–privileged by their censorial power over writers and commenters. In my opinion, however, Blogcritics’ editors are privileged not by virtue of having earned it, but merely by having achieved it, through means that are anyone’s guess.

  • troll

    …technorati would do well to reconsider the idea of an ombudsman for BC

    I suggest Alan Kurtz take on the job

  • Robert Weller

    Yes. Some publications do allow writers to withdraw their name. I had that for 35 years as a writer and editor for the Associated Press. Up above I made mistake. When I pointed out that the Bush release did not come from the White House, I meant to add that it certainly did not come from Obama. As for attribution, i gave attribution. I said Bush’s flack has released a statement. It is ridiculous in a day of crowd sourcing to treat a statement as if it was something unique, and the rights to use it must it be obtained. There were more than 40 websites that had it.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Alan, I can’t do anything about your – in my view – inaccurate view that the editors are a privileged class, unless you mean simply that they have an ability that others don’t.

    Whether that is a privilege, a burden or simply the case that editing is a necessary part of the process of running a site like this is for every individual to decide for his or her self.

    As far as I know, the editors have the roles they do by demonstrating a passion for the subject matter of the section of the site they work on, an ability to turn in well written copy that follows the BC format and a certain amount of level headedness.

    That latter quality was probably far less common in the initial wave of editors when they were first introduced but as time has passed it has become more important.

    troll, there are many things that Technorati would do well to introduce with regard to Blogcritics and if you, or any other person whose participation is outside the editorial group, had any idea of how we deal with things, you would know that these issues get brought up, if not resolved, quite frequently.

    Personally, I am extremely frustrated by many things that we could be doing far better and have a long list of things I would like to see introduced to make the site more interesting.

    Gaining any traction for these ideas with the owners or any resources with which to implement them is anything but simple.

    I wasn’t aware that Technorati had ever considered the role of a ombudsman for Blogcritics and don’t really see what benefits such a role would bring, particularly when literally anybody who can string coherent English together can become a BC writer and have the same access to the editors and managers as anybody else.

    Developing the community to empower the participants in various ways is just one of many improvements and upgrades that I would like to see introduced but I refer you back two paragraphs…

    I would welcome any and all thoughtful suggestions, so if you – or anyone else – has anything of substance to contribute, please do feel free to email them to me.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Robert Weller, I’m glad you haven’t disappeared altogether. Please accept my apologies for having confused you with another BC contributor. Regardless of your dispute with BC editorial staff on this particular issue, I sincerely hope you’ll reconsider your decision to sever your relationship with BC and return.

    Roger Nowosielski

  • Robert Weller

    Robert: that is very kind of you. Before I would consider returning I would want to know that I can deny permission to run my story. Sometimes at AP they would go ahead and run a story but remove my name. That was a clue to AP members that something was wrong because AP managers were intent on getting as many bylines out there as possible.

  • Robert Weller

    Roger, sorry. I meant the above for you. And to be honest the only reason I criticized you was because I was angry.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    I gathered as much, Robert. And I sure hope you’ll be able to iron our your differences with the editors. Thank you for your graciousness.

  • Robert Weller

    there are places to write without gatekeepers. allvoices, a startup, is one. you might even make money. they have turned things around in recent months.

  • El Bicho

    Hope you are not counting Saleski in that list of six since your behavior in the comments was one of the things that he said drove him away from BC.

    Further speaking to Mr. Weller’s professionalism, or lack thereof, is his republishing this article at allvoices without attributing that it was published at BC first. While the logic of his piece is still flawed since people can share forums without being in the same city or country, the presentation is certainly no ringing endorsement for doing without gatekeepers.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    El Bicho (#33), as usual, you’re blowing it out of your ass. Mark is a former associate of mine at jazz.com, where I was his editor. After he left BC, I emailed him regretting his departure, and he assured me that my commentary had nothing to do with his leaving. Please tell us where, as you falsely claim, he ever said I played any role in driving him away from BC. You are, sir, a liar.

  • El Bicho

    Jerome (#34), as usual, you run your mouth without knowing what you are talking about and demonstrate a complete lack of self-awareness.

    I already know of your association at jazz.com from Mark and the reasons he left BC, which we discussed in emails between us. I don’t doubt he assured you that you had nothing to do with his leaving, but just because someone assures you of something doesn’t mean they are telling the truth or we have a lot of innocent folks in jail. Considering what a relentless jerk you can be, as frequently demonstrated here in the comments, did it not occur to you he may have no longer wanted to be bothered by you so he told you what you wanted to hear?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    No, that never occurred to me. I believe Mark Saleski to be a man of integrity who speaks the truth. Unlike some people I could name.

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Robert E. Lee is thought to have said,

    A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Robert Weller

    El Bicho. Because Blogcritics published an article in a manner that violated my trust whatever obligations existed were gone. Now I can see why Blogcritics scores have gone down under the new Google algos.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Dan(Miller) (#37), in this context, that is an ambiguous quotation. Does it relate to this article’s topic of President Bush cancelling his speaking engagement? Or did you mean it to somehow relate to this commentary thread? It leaves me wondering if General Lee ever said anything memorable about being needlessly cryptic.

  • Robert Weller

    El Bicho. What kind of name is that. Did you used to be a closer for the Yankees. Why not come out and use your real name? As Eric Schmidt of Google said we have a right to privacy but non anonymity.

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Re # 39. I don’t see anything at all ambiguous about it. Please interpret it as you will.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    OK, then, my interpretation is that Robert E. Lee was as lousy a writer as he was a general. He looked good on a horse, but in terms of his strategic decisions during the Civil War, he was a horse’s ass.

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Re # 42 — see # 37.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Re # 43 — see # 39.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    More likely, he was a pervert.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Robert E. Lee was a pervert? If you’re in Lee County, Kentucky, you’d best not say that aloud.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Editors are a privileged class–privileged by their censorial power over writers and commenters. In my opinion, however, Blogcritics’ editors are privileged not by virtue of having earned it, but merely by having achieved it, through means that are anyone’s guess.

    And editors are given grief again and again and again. Their lot is no fun…particularly if they’re not paid. Been there, done that, and it sucks, really. Why? Because each and every doggone contributor to the site has a different style, a different skill level, a different set of assumptions and expectations…and nearly every one of them gripe and moan and complain about what the editor has or hasn’t done.

    As for myself, in the years I’ve been writing and commenting on BC I’ve made a few complaints, and save for a couple of global-warming articles being placed in science rather than politics, I’ve made ZERO complaints that weren’t answered to my satisfaction, and quickly.

    The wise writer – though he might butt heads with the editor on a daily basis as Clavos and I do – knows when to shut up and be grateful for the editor’s efforts. Besides, you’re playing on THEIR turf by THEIR rules, and they have the final say with one hundred percent of the vote. If you think the game is rigged, then it’s YOUR fault for continuing to play their game. So either learn to have some gratitude for the editors’ efforts…or pick up your toys and take them elsewhere.

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Re # 45 — Elaboration? Source? Definition? See # 37.

    Re # 47, If you think the game is rigged, then it’s YOUR fault for continuing to play their game. So either learn to have some gratitude for the editors’ efforts…or pick up your toys and take them elsewhere. — quoted for wisdom.

    Dan(Miller)

  • El Bicho

    “I believe Mark Saleski to be a man of integrity who speaks the truth.”

    That makes two of us…for now

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    I am reconsidering my opinion about Mr. Saleski’s integrity. His refusal to clarify, either publicly or privately, what he supposedly said about me forcing him to quit Blogcritics is not the response of an honorable man.

  • Robert Weller

    El Bicho honorable men use their real names and do not hide behind nicknames. I talked with a woman on the phone in Tripoli about what was going on there. She gave me her real name. I withheld it for her safety. Are you afraid someone is going to squash you.

  • Clavos

    El Bicho honorable men use their real names and do not hide behind nicknames.

    So, if an individual uses a handle on the internet, which is a prudent thing to do, that individual is dishonorable?

    Whatev.

  • El Bicho

    of course you are, Alan, but your statement is not entirely accurate. And is hysterical to see you complain about hearsay when that’s all your charge against the editing staff was based on.

    “El Bicho honorable men use their real names and do not hide behind nicknames.”

    Not that I consider myself in the same league, but I’ll make sure to pass that info onto Bob Dylan, Kirk Douglas, Woody Allen, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, the writers of the Federalist Papers and the countless others who disprove your ridiculous statement.

    And pray tell where’s the honor is writing an article that attacks Bush’s intelligence by using false information?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Robert Weller (#51), there’s no secret to the identity of either El Bicho (#53) or Clavos (#52). Each is an “editor” here at Blogcritics. El Bicho (translation: The Bug or Insect) is Gordon Miller (Film) and Clavos (translation: Cloves) is Nils Florman (Politics). The latter in fact “edited” your article, as indicated in comment #4.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    “Clavos” means nails, not cloves, Al.

    You’re welcome.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Rob Knaggs, I thought Nils means nails. What does Knaggs mean?

  • Clavos

    Not that it’s any of your business Al, but from my childhood in México, my bilingual friends, as children are wont to do, morphed my name and Clavos stuck.

    Nils —> Nails —> Clavos

  • Costello

    This site has bizarre rules. Why is it okay to argue off topic subjects but my critique of an article gets censored without explanation?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Which critique was that?

  • http://www.carminasaturaqueamericana.com Irvin F. Cohen

    RE # 58

    Silly. Because you evidently are a victim of the arbitrary and capricious whims of the Alice-in-Wonderland, Mad Hatter, fickle and petulant Queen thereof, therein; crypto-fascist machinations of the Comments Editor-in-chief of utterly fascistic censorship. That’s why silly.

    But if it is any consolation to you, this post of mine will also be deleted in its entirety within, oh I would say, roughly five to ten minutes – just enough time for the Comments Editor to see my name. He doesn’t even have to read it. All that is necessary for him is to slightly glimpse “Irvin F Cohen” – and he is programmed to automatically push delete button. Because the Comments Editor, gee what’s his name, dare I mention it, dare I say Christopher Rose, is not only a crypto fascist but he is also a petty martinet whose time has come and gone and just like Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak and Muammar – he should step down and voluntarily disappear himself.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    IRC, where the fuck have you been? It’s about time you weighed on this. Sadly, you’re right of course about the survivability of your comment. It won’t outlive the hour.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Sorry, make that IFC.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Incidentally, Sarge, I found a new online photo of you. It’s overly flattering, of course. But it’s still an uncanny likeness.

  • Nails

    Sadly, you’re right of course about the survivability of your comment. It won’t outlive the hour.

    Wrong again, Al. It already has.

  • Costello

    As I have at other sites, I stated my distaste at the charlie sheen coverage.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ It Means a Rocky Outcrop, Shorty

    Actually, no, Clav. The comments timestamp is on Pacific Time…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    So Nils is now officially posting as Nails, and Knaggs is now officially posting as It Means a Rocky Outcrop, Shorty. Oh, no, wait! That last is an answer to my question!

  • Nails

    Actually, no, Clav. The comments timestamp is on Pacific Time…

    I knew that, Rocky, just testing to see who’s on the ball and who isn’t. :-)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Mmm-hmm…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Shorty

    Beneath every Rose is a Rocky Outcrop.

  • Clavos

    You’re awfully cynical, Doc…

  • http://www.carminasaturaqueamericana.com Irvin F. Cohen

    Nails RE your # 64 and my # 60;

    You win, the hour expired over 24 hours ago.

    But do not be so sanguine in your loyal but mindless and vile toady-like defense of him – as I see it, he must be in a coma or have been abducted by arab terrorists or Somali pirates, or I know, as he formerly discussed with Cindy at great length, he must be occupied and all-consumed with breeding with aliens from outer space.

  • http://www.carminasaturaqueamericana.com Irvin F. Cohen

    Correction, not # 71, but rather your # 64.

    My boo-boo, my bad, my fucking error, goddamn mistake.

    See how fucking humble I be!

  • http://www.carminasaturaqueamericana.com Irvin F. Cohen

    Dear Baronius [edited],

    As to your # 11, the “gov” ain’t my type. However you can easily find my ideal Ophelia-esque “type” in my (brazen plug here) recent article entitled “Discontented and Mad as Hell in Cheese Whiz Land” page 2.

    Now as for your #s 17, 23, 39

    I must reluctantly and most begrudgingly address you as Bah-right-on, right-on, right-fucking-on, ah-ronius!!!! Way to go, get some, take names and kick some commie ass too!