the politics of lying

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It isn’t online yet, but Henry Giroux’s article “The Politics of Lying: The Assault on Meaning in Bush’s America” from the latest issue of Tikkun hits all the right notes in criticizing the Bush administration’s mendacity problem. This passage was especially nice:

In what has to rank as one of the most egregious distortions that has emerged from the Bush administration, President Bush, in an interview with New Yorker reporter Ken Auletta, claimed, “No president has ever done more for human rights than I have.” Such a statement is extraordinary given that Amnesty International condemned the United States in 2002 for being one of the world leaders in human rights violations. [emphasis added]

I was already making a mental list of Bush’s human rights problems, which Giroux had anticipated:

Amnesty International, along with several other organizations such as Human Rights Watch, U.S. Human Rights Network, the ACLU, and the Center for Constitutional Rights, has also accused the Bush administration itself of engaging in various human rights violations. These include: preventing foreign nationals held as prisoners at Guantanamo Bay from gaining access to U.S. courts; executing juvenile offenders; engaging in racial profiling, detention, inhumane treatment, and deportation of Muslim immigrants after September 11; refusing to ratify the American Protocols on Human Rights, the Geneva Protocols, the International Covenant on the Rights of the Child, and numerous other international agreements aimed at protecting human rights.

Jimmy Carter, our greatest former president, stands as a powerful—and recent—rebuke to Bush’s braggadocio. Long after his time in the Oval Office, Carter was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for “his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”

I’m not surprised that Bush can’t seem to remember Carter’s accomplishments; this is a common blind spot for many on the Right. For those of us with some historical knowledge, however, Bush’s statement is a particularly galling combination of ignorance and self-aggrandizement.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on February 23, 2006 10:13 PM.

laying King’s funeral to rest was the previous entry in this blog.

just what we need: aggressive ignorance is the next entry in this blog.

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