Truth is survived by his estranged son and daughter, Bullshit and Pretense. MSNBC plans a special half hour retrospective "After Truth, Can Bullshit and Pretense Fill the Void?"
For those with the stomach for it, Rove's manhandling of Truth occurs over a half minute period beginning at about the 35 second mark in the video below, after Mr. Rose asks Karl, "How about we go way back and make the argument that perhaps we should have delayed and let the inspections take their role?"
The autopsy revealed that three principal wounds proved fatal to Truth:
The first occurred during the following exchange:
"Rove: . . . one of the untold stories about the war is why did the United States Congress, the United States Senate, vote on the war resolution in the fall of 2002?
ROVE: This administration was opposed to it."
The second killing blow fell when Mr. Rove explained that "the administration was opposed" to Congress voting on the resolution in October 2002, "because we didn’t think it belonged in the confines of the election. We thought it made it too political. We wanted it outside the confines of the election."
If Truth had somehow been able to survive the previous wounds, the Medical Examiner concluded that the final exchange delivered so massive a blow that it would have, by itself, stopped Truth's heart:
"ROSE: Because your argument– your argument is you would have had maybe more inspections. You would have been able to build a broader coalition. You could have done a whole lot other things if you didn’t have to have a vote, right?
ROVE: Right, right, exactly."
Attributed to George Orwell
As one would expect, there's been a lot written about Rove's appearance on Charlie Rose. When the major White House player sets out to fabricate the Bush administration's biggest of BIG LIES, that's a story to stir the reality-based community. Hearing and reading his utter hogwash above, the only response is to define it as Rovian self-parody. Only that seems to explain how he could have lied with such definitive careless abandon. We almost expect, at the end of the interview, a loud "NOT!" Yet, as we saw, he did not "NOT!"
So, we are left with trying to understand what Bush's so-called "brain" was thinking. Had he somehow missed the breathless run-up to war that he and his group of whooping armchair generals cheerleaded and orchestrated with all the subtlety of a rhinoceros in a Porta Potty? Well, we know that's not it, we can very easily find a history of his statements and even photographic and video evidence that Karl was on the scene. His lies are so outrageous that we're left stunned, as if we'd gone to sleep in our cozy beds and awakened on the rough floor of a frigid cave on the Moon . . . we really need to figure this out . . .
Most who've commented on this have explained it as Rove's attempt to recast history. He's realized that Iraq needs an apologist more than a cheerleader, an escape tunnel rather than a victory parade. So, the explanation goes, Rove determined, in the words of one of his misappropriated heroes, Winston Churchill, that "history will be kind to me for I intend to write it." How else do you explain Rovian-sized whoppers like "one of the untold stories" was that the Bush "administration was opposed to" Congress voting on the war resolution prior to the 2002 election? Untold stories? Yes, of course, "stories," as in "bedtime." And we are to furthermore believe that this utterly craven White House, whose record of purely political machinations is unmatched in our times, magnanimously wanted to remove the topic from the upcoming off year elections. Rove bloviates onward, "We thought it made it too political. We wanted it outside the confines of the election." Uh huh. "Too political." At this, one's head simply wants to explode. . .
It seems to me that Rove is not really -- ultimately -- about "history," or its rewriting or revising. He, and a substantial group of his fellow travelers, have a bigger target, truth and fact, and the relationship between them. I've not yet got my head around how this is occurring, but it's not simply revisionist "history." It's truth being forcefully unmoored from history; cynicism regarding "facts" thoroughly politicized. Watch him: Rove felt quite safe and assured in lying with bold faced text about circumstances and timelines that can be easily checked, as was done by many using the White House's own website. Surely Karl knew this, surely he's set legions of his underlings to work doing just such fact checking when smearing political opponents. So how does he believe he can get away with it at this level, where his every uttering will be immediately vetted by thousands?
That question is something to be thought about often and with great urgency. Part of the answer, of course, is that the media participates in the lying, the politicized "fact checks," the debasement of a free society's journalism. Karl knew, and knows, that little price will be paid for his murder of the truth. He's comfortable with the likes of Charlie Rose, whose follow-up response to Rove's Mt. Rushmore sized lies was to ask for a mild clarification that gave Rove the last word. Is Charlie Rose that incompetent, or thoroughly stupid about the recorded facts of the run-up to the Iraq war resolution? Not likely. It's more likely that he is another of the co-opted class of journalists who no longer seek or champion the truth, even when it's so easily accessible as in this case. Through their complicity, truth is, if not dead, on life support.
But, just for the record, here's four examples of the voluminous factual record where the truth resides, all, ironically, from the official White House website, www.WhiteHouse.gov:
1. September 6, 2002, "Ari Fleischer press briefing":
"Q But some Democrats are not buying that and are saying flat-out that the President asking them to pass this resolution before they leave is politically motivated, it's just too close to the election.
. . .
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, you know, the President is going to continue to do what he thinks needs to be done to protect the country. And the President is pleased that in that endeavor there are many people in both parties who share his concerns and who are focused on the need for action. And people will exercise their opinions and exercise their judgment. That's exactly why this is an important debate to have.
But particularly given the fact that it looks like the House is going to vote on this before they leave, it's just hard to imagine that somebody would say we should wait until next year." [Emphasis added] [Full White House transcript here]
2. September 13, 2002, "President Bush Discusses Iraq with Reporters":
"And the first part of the question was, Democrats waiting for the U.N. to act? I can't imagine an elected United States -- elected member of the United States Senate or House of Representatives saying, I think I'm going to wait for the United Nations to make a decision. It seems like to me that if you're representing the United States, you ought to be making a decision on what's best for the United States. If I were running for office, I'm not sure how I'd explain to the American people -- say, vote for me, and, oh, by the way, on a matter of national security, I think I'm going to wait for somebody else to act.
And so I -- we'll see. My answer to the Congress is, they need to debate this issue and consult with us, and get the issue done as quickly as possible." [Emphasis added] [Full White House transcript here]
3. September 19, 2002, "President Bush to Send Iraq Resolution to Congress Today":
"Q Mr. President, are you going to send Congress your proposed resolution today? And are you asking for a blank check, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: I am sending suggested language for a resolution. I want -- I've asked for Congress' support to enable the administration to keep the peace. And we look forward to a good, constructive debate in Congress. I appreciate the fact that the leadership recognizes we've got to move before the elections. I appreciate the strong support we're getting from both Republicans and Democrats, and look forward to working with them." [Emphasis added] [Full White House transcript here]
4. September 24, 2002, "President Urges Congress to Pass Iraq Resolution Promptly":
"THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for coming. We just had a very productive Cabinet meeting. We realize there's little time left in -- before the Senate and the House goes home, but we're optimistic a lot can get done before now and then. Congress must act now to pass a resolution which will hold Saddam Hussein to account for a decade of defiance." [Emphasis addded] [Full White House transcript here]