Interview With the
OK, a couple of confessions. If I had a cushy gig at a liberal rag like my alter ego Mike Flannigan, I'd be writing full-length cover pieces like this instead of writing largely ignored blog posts for 1% of 1% of 1% of the adult population. Instead, I have to restrict it to 1000 words or less in deference to people who would make a goldfish look like a mnemonic megalodon.
Secondly, I've always considered Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone as kind of my political/writing soulmate. I have very few favorites whom I admit are my betters. People like the late Molly Ivins and Hunter S. Thompson and Truthout's William Rivers Pitt, and sometimes Frank Rich. But Taibbi is the only guy living who writes like me and isn't afraid to throw an "F" bomb once in a while while making some splendidly outrageous and outraged comment, especially on the (in)human condition of George W. Bush.
What follows is a sample of Taibbi's cover story in the latest Rolling Stone, entitled, "Bush Apologizes: The Farewell Interview We Wish He'd Give." Granted it's hard to believe that Bush would ever sit for an interview with anyone who works for RS, much less Taibbi, who has faithfully skewered the Bush administration for many years. But once you get past that implausibility, the interview takes off and Taibbi shows why, even moreso than yours truly, he captures the essence of Bush's voice and... thought patterns... for want of a better word. Below is a sample:
Anyway, it was right around then that they brought me my PDB [Presidential Daily Briefing], and it said something about bin Laden. I mean, we get these warnings about foreign terrorists all the time. How was I supposed to know he was going to attack in the United States?
Well, the memo was titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S."
Well, nobody told me that.
But they wrote it to you.
But nobody told me that they wrote it to me.
I don't know. Whoever is in the room. Vice President Cheney. Don Rumsfeld. Rove. Sometimes there's some other guys. It kind of rotates.
Do you decide who "they" is?
No, they usually decide who they is. Or at least one of they does. Usually Cheney.
Interesting. What did they tell you they wrote to you about why America needed to invade Iraq?
Sometime in the fall of 2001, pretty soon after 9/11, Rumsfeld and Cheney handed me a piece of paper. I asked them what was in it. Rumsfeld says, "Mr. President, we've just written you a memo explaining that we need to invade Iraq." And I said, "OK. Why?" And Dick says to me, "Because of 9/11, Mr. President." [Silence]
Is that the whole story?
Now, check out the top comment by jreb. Methinks he actually thinks this is a real interview. How dare we have liberally-biased media outlets?!
Unfortunately, you have to read the rest by buying a copy at the newsstand (I have a subscription and, no, I'm not violating copyright by painstakingly transcribing the rest of Taibbi's piece.). But this "interview" by itself is well worth the $4.50 cover price. And, no, I won't read it to you even if you call me.