Preserved forever on the White House’s official “Iraq home page” is this note supposedly scribbled on June 28 by Condi Rice and handed to George W. Bush:
Mr. President: Iraq is sovereign. Letter was passed from Bremer at 10:26 AM Iraq time. Condi
And on the note, Bush allegedly wrote, “Let freedom reign!”
The big news wasn’t that the U.S. suzerain Jerry Bremer passed “control” of Iraq to a puppet regime, but that Bush didn’t write, “Let freedom rain!”
That’s not the only suspicious thing about this document. Aside from graphological questions, the three words mysteriously jump out at you in this image presented by the White House PR department. The president must have been writing with a magic pen.
You have your own chance to add to his long list of malapropisms by visiting the Bushlibs site. Here’s how it works: You pick a topic, such as “Bush on Iraq,” and you fill out a form asking for various parts of speech. You click “submit,” like a good American, and Ian Kleinfeld and crew substitute your words for Bush’s words in a speech excerpt—which you don’t get to see until you write down your own nouns, adjectives, verbs, and so on. You then get to compare your version to Bush’s, and post it for posterity on the site.
For example, the site’s Iraq shtick lifts a passage from Bush’s 2004 State of the Union speech that ended this way:
They are trying to shake the will of our country and our friends, but the United States of America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins. The killers will fail, and the Iraqi people will live in freedom.
Among the results is this by someone named Billy:
They are trying to steal the SUVs of our country and our good friends at Fox News, but the United States of America will never be intimidated by peace-loving natives and Bush-hating youth. The Democrats will fail, and the Iraqi people will live in a ditch on the side of the road.
And one by Jim from Chicago, whose last sentence came out this way: “The hairlines will fail, and the Iraqi people will live in Nebraska.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 1, 2004