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Balanced Spin: Spinsanity Spins a Spinning Bush
According to Spinsanity's Brendan Nyhan, "an outrageous new falsehood is circulating about President Bush. Last week, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd misrepresented a Bush statement to imply that he said the al Qaeda terrorist network is "not a problem anymore . . ."

To give the appearance of spin impartiality Nyhan has himself spun a twisted, if not outrageous new falsehood. He says that Bush's May 5 comments were "taken wildly out of context" and that it's obvious what Bush meant.

Could this be true? Let's break it down. I put the president's comments in italics, interrupting the flow, but not the order, continuity and context of his statement.

"Al Qaeda is on the run."
Good. I may not agree, but I understand.

"That group of terrorists who attacked our country is slowly but surely being decimated."

Here we run into trouble. Which group of terrorists is Bush talking about? I assume he's including the whole of al Qaeda, because he just said "Al Qaeda is on the run." He didn't say "the 911 hijackers and their accomplices are on the run."

Nyhan would claim that Bush is, indeed, talking about "that group of terrorists who attacked out country" on 911. Unfortunately, our president didn't say that and beside, the enemy that we face surely has more than 19 troops.

Suppose Bush said "the U.S. Armed Forces are victorious." Our president certainly would have been congratulating ALL of our service men and women, not just those who blasted Iraq.

As far as decimation goes, the hijackers are dead. Their accomplices are being hunted. "Decimated" is either a poor word choice or a bit of sarcasm gone awry.

"Right now, about half of all the top al Qaeda operatives are either jailed or dead. "

Since most of us don't know how many al Qaeda operatives exist, it's difficult to determine what percentage have been captured. Nevertheless, Bush used the words "all the top al Qaeda officers" without any qualifiers. He may have meant "all the top al Qaeda officers who attacked our country on 911." He didn't. Apologists and future historians might be more adept at reading Bush's mind . . . or putting words in his mouth.

"In either case, they're not a problem anymore."

Maybe it's the fact he's speaking Texan — not English — that makes our president indecipherable, but I've yet to determine which two cases are not the problem. Jailed or dead? One half or the other half? All of al Qaeda or the 911 hijackers? Jenna or Barbara?

Let's leave it to Ari Fleisher's replacement to explain. In the meantime, I hope this unspins the spin at Spinsanity.
 — Nathan Callahan, May 26, 2003

Led by Captain Jesus H. Christ, son of God, a force of thirty U.S. B-2 Stealth Bombers landed this morning at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, after a “hugely successful” mission over Baghdad.

There was "a buttload of ground fire above the target,” Christ said, describing red, white and black bursts, as well as "a new kind of glowing falafel-shaped Iraqi rocket that made an explosion as bodacious as Buddha. But now, thanks to Western technology and the grace of my Father, there’s not a minaret standing in that city of evil doers.”

Christ added that it's not easy to think that some of his weapons may have killed people. "But this is serious business out here," He said. "I'm not bloodthirsty, but I'll go out and kill them by the mosque-full if I need to protect our guys on the ground. After all, when you look at our job and our bomber and what it's meant to do ... it's not about forgiveness or any of that lame shit," he said. "It's about killing and maiming."

"I've known since I was a little kid in Nazareth that I wanted to fly upside down and blow things up," Christ added. "And it makes it extra special when I realize that my commander-in-Chief’s favorite political philosopher is me."

— Nathan Callahan, April 1, 2003


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