New York

Coming Clean


Results are back from the Village Voice Political Laboratory: It’s unnatural, it’s square with sharp edges, and it does nothing but lie. No, we’re talking about the Bush Doormat, which we mentioned earlier and now have tested. Will it come clean? Further testing is needed.

Another Bush doormat took a pounding in April 2003 when soldiers used hammers and chisels to rip up a mosaic of Bush the Elder from the lobby floor of the Al-Rashid Hotel. Saddam Hussein had installed it in 1991, along with the Arabic caption “Bush is criminal,” and thousands of foreign officials had walked on it since.

It takes equally constant pounding to extract information from Bush the Younger. The White House gladly cranks out an Iraq Fact of the Day, furnished by the Coalition Provisional Authority. The one for March 24 was particularly cute. Entitled “Free Press in Iraq,” it noted that “free press is flourishing in Iraq” and “is encouraging debate and democracy.”

If that’s the case, Dubya, what about releasing the increasingly infamous “28 Pages” to the press that’s trying to encourage debate and democracy in your own country? We’re referring to the section of last year’s Congressional report on 9/11 that zoomed in on possible links between Saudi officials and the 9/11 hijackers. The full 850-page report is of course fascinating, but CBS’s John Roberts reported last July that, according to “sources,” a heavily redacted (practically deleted on orders of Bush) 28-page section “lays out a money trail between Saudi Arabia and supporters of Al Qaeda.”

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