Saturday, August 19, 2006


From the New York Times:
WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 — President Bush said today that he is confident that a federal court ruling against his administration’s electronic surveillance program will be overturned, and he described those who hailed the ruling as naïve.

. . .

“I would say that those who herald this decision simply do not understand the nature of the world in which we live,” Mr. Bush said in a question-answer session at Camp David, Md. “I strongly disagree with that decision, strongly disagree. That’s why I instructed the Justice Department to appeal immediately. And I believe our appeals will be upheld.”

“We believe, strongly believe, it’s constitutional,” the president added. “And if Al Qaeda is calling into the United States, we want to know why they’re calling.”

He strongly believes.

This word -- believes -- is the key to Bush's entire worldview. Stephen Colbert famously nailed it a few months ago:
The greatest thing about this man is he's steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change; this man's beliefs never will.
Bush believes things, and acts upon them, whether they're objectively true or not. His entire administration has adopted this outlook:

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, at a hastily called news conference after the decision, said he was both surprised and disappointed by the ruling on the operation, which focuses on communications of people suspected of ties to Al Qaeda.

Administration officials “believe very strongly that the program is lawful,” said Mr. Gonzales, a main architect of the program as White House counsel and the biggest defender of its legality in a series of public pronouncements that began after the program was disclosed by The New York Times last December.

Of course, in the real world there are consequences for believing things which are not true. But in Bush's mind, there are only things like belief, faith and trust. He believes the program is constitutional. He has faith that Iraq will become a stable, peaceful democracy. He trusts people like Cheney and Rumsfeld. No set of "facts" can shake belief, faith and trust.

Then there's this:

“It is an appallingly bad opinion, bad from both a philosophical and technical perspective, manifesting strong bias,” said David B. Rivkin, an official in the administrations of President Ronald Reagan and the first President Bush. “It is guaranteed to be overturned.”

Guaranteed? I do hope someone will keep track of this quote so we can see how that prediction turns out.

(As usual, Glenn Greenwald is all over the wire-tapping story.)

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