"There he sat, surrounded by his father's friends, looking absolutely lost. And despite the years of experience and wisdom represented at that table, the report contains no magic potion to get us out of, arguably, the biggest, deadliest, costliest and potentially most dangerous mess that this country has been in since World War II. And President Bush caused it"
-- CNN commentator Jack Cafferty on "The Situation Room, December 6
" There are a lot of lives that are lost. A country's at stake. A region's at stake. This is a gigantic situation. . . . This didn't have to be managed this bad. It's just awful"
-- Kenneth Adelman, the former member of the Cheney-Rumsfeld brain trust, who wrote in Feb. 2002 that "liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk." Washington Post, November 19
"What do you [do,] punch little buttons and things?"
-- Larry King, revealing to Roseanne Barr November 14 that he's never used the Internet. "You just click on this thing," Barr explained. "The thing is you got to be able to read, so you have to have strong glasses when you've over 50 and then you just scroll down and click. It's not that hard. I can show you how to do it." King replied, "No, thanks"
"[Bush] thinks that, in twenty years, he's going to be recognized for the leader he was -- the analogy he uses is Churchill. If you read the public statements of the leadership, they're so confident and so calm... It's pretty scary"
-- Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh,
McGill Daily (Canada), November 2
"The higher you climb up the tree, the more your ass shows"
-- Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's zen koan on the perils of politics. Allentown Morning Call, October 19
"As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else. It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the U.S."
-- Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) to Bucks County Courier Times, October 17. "You have to really question the judgment of a U.S. senator who compares the war in Iraq to a fantasy book," said Larry Smar, spokesman for Democratic opponent Bob Casey Jr.
"If you look at the general overall situation, they're doing remarkably well [in Iraq]"
-- Cheney on the Rush Limbaugh radio show, October 17. The same day, it was announced that at least 91 people had been slaughtered in Balad, over 3,000 policemen accused of abuse, corruption were fired in a complete overhaul of the Iraq National Police, and Iraqi leaders debated a proposal to create a 5-man junta to rule country
"[President Bush] reminds me of one of those guys at the gym who plays about 40 chessboards at once"
-- White House press secretary Tony Snow, revealing the Bush administration's very, very, best kept secret. New York Times, October 15
"[Bush is] a funny, earthy guy who, for example, can't get enough of fart jokes. He's also known to cut a few for laughs, especially when greeting new young aides"
-- U.S. News & World columnist Paul Bedard, August 20
"I am, you know, amazed that this is a society which so wants to be free that they're willing to, you know, that there's a level of violence that they tolerate"
-- President Bush
October 11 press conference, blaming the victims for being abused. The same day, a study found that 655,000 Iraqis have been slain during the occupation
"It's hard for Americans, all of us, including me, to understand what's wrong with these people. Why do they kill people of other religions because of religion? Why do they hate the Israeli's and despise their right to exist? Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me"
-- Sen. Trent Lott (R-Mississippi), September 28
"I am sick of Karl Rove's bullshit. Nixon was a Communist compared to this crowd"
-- President Clinton on Bush/Rove marketing far-right viewpoints as "compassionate conservatism." New Yorker, September 18
"A lot of people in America see this as a confrontation between good and evil, including me... It seems to me that there's a Third Awakening"
-- President Bush, telling a group of conservative journalists that he believes the Terror War has sparked the long-awaited revival of religious fevor among evangelicals. Washington Post, September 13
"If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation"
-- Air Force secretary Michael Wynne, encouraging testing of nonlethal weapons, such as high-power microwave devices, on U.S. protesters. AP, September 12
"Somebody walked up and said, 'You corrupt bastards,' and that name stuck"
-- Alaska House Finance Co-Chairman Mike Chenault, one of 11 Alaskan Republicans linked to large campaign contributions from an oil field services company. The warrant for the FBI raid of offices for the company and several of the legislators specifically mentioned they were looking for "any physical garments (including hats)" including the names 'CBC,' 'Corrupt Bastards Club,' or 'Corrupt Bastards Caucus.' AP, September 1
"The key thing for me is to keep expectations low"
-- President Bush slipping out a little secret after becoming flustered over questions from Brian Williams/NBC about the books he was reading this summer. Williams noted that instead of recent lightweight fare such as a biography of Joe DiMaggio, the president was now reading Albert Camus' existentialist novel, "The Stranger." Bush explained that he had a very "ecelectic" [sic] reading list that also included "three Shakespeares." August 29
"We're not leaving [Iraq] so long as I'm the president"
-- President Bush press conference, August 21
"It kind of reminds [me of] the Third Reich, the big lie. You say something over and over and over and over again, and people will believe it, and that's their strategy"
-- Senator Jim Inhofe (R - Oklahoma), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, refuting the existence of global warming. "I know the text, and I know they are using old stuff that has been totally discredited," Inhofe told the Tulsa World, July 22. "Everything on which they based their story, in terms of the facts, has been refuted scientifically"
"Well, you kind of had to be there"
-- Ann Coulter, forgiving herself for twice calling Iranians "ragheads" in a February speech to the Conservative Action Political Conference. Coulter also told the NY Observer July 3 issue, "I don't think I've said anything offensive"
"I think -- tide turning -- see, as I remember -- I was raised in the desert, but tides kind of -- it's easy to see a tide turn -- did I say those words?"
-- President Bush, answering the question, "Is the tide turning in Iraq?" at a June 14 press conference. Six days earlier, Bush called Zarqawi's death "an opportunity for Iraq's new government to turn the tide of this struggle." Until Bush was sent to an East Coast boarding school, he was raised in the city of Houston and upscale suburbs of Midland, Texas
"They have no regard for human life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation but an act of asymmetric warfare against us"
-- Guantanamo Bay base commander Navy Rear Adm. Harry Harris on the suicide of three prisoners who had been captive
for about four years. All had joined the recent hunger strike to protest their indefinite incarceration and had been force-fed before quitting their protest, Harris told reporters at a telephone press conference, June 11
"There were problems in Kilo Company with drugs, alcohol, hazing, you name it. I think it's more than possible that these guys were totally tweaked out on speed or something when they shot those civilians in Haditha"
-- The wife of a staff sergeant in the Marines battalion under suspicion in the Haditha massacre. Also reported in the June 12 issue of Newseek, the "Thundering Third" long had been given liberal rules of engagement to make sure people who looked like civilians didn't trigger hidden roadside bombs. "If you see someone with a cell phone," said one of the commanders, half-jokingly, "put a bullet in their fucking head"
"We never thought that we would reach a day when we would see Shiites and Sunnis fighting"
-- Halale Ubaidi, a Shiite woman in Baghdad who married a Sunni. Both sons were kidnapped because they were raised as Sunnis, and 29 year-old Haitham was found dead five days later in a Shiite neighborhood dump. His captors had shot him 14 times, gouged one of his eyes, cut his face with a razor, smashed his skull, broken his jaw, slit his back and cut off his penis. LA Times, May 7
"Yeah, we take different routes so that 'The Jackal' can't get me'"
-- Dick Cheney to a friend who noted that his motorcade took different routes every day. In Frederick Forsythe's 1971 thriller, disgruntled military officers seek to assassinate their nation's leader for mishandling the occupation of a Muslim country. Cheney quote from June issue of Vanity Fair
"I've been there before, and I can see that he is [angry] -- he's got that look that he's ready to blow"
-- A former top aide to Bush on the president's reaction to Stephen Colbert's biting humor at the White House Correspondents Association dinner. U.S.News & World Report,
"Half of the service members listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall died after America's leaders knew our strategy would not work. It was immoral then and it would be immoral now to engage in the same delusion"
-- Senator John Kerry, calling April 22 for the Iraqis to have an "effective unity government" in place by May 15 or the face an immediate U.S. pullout. "If Iraqis aren't willing to build a unity government in the five months since the election, they're probably not willing to build one at all. The civil war will only get worse, and we will have no choice anyway but to leave"
"May God damn you. You said in the past that civil war would break out if you were to withdraw, and now you say that in case of civil war you won't interfere"
-- Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr message to Rumsfeld. March 13 interview in Journal of Turkish Weekly reported by UPI
"Here's Newt. Newt. Newt. Reagan. More Newt... but Newt never met me. Ollie North. Newt. Can't be Newt - he never met me. Oh, Newt! What's he doing there? Must be a Newt look-alike. I have more pictures of him than I have of my wife. Newt again! It's sick! I thought he never met me"
-- Jack Abramoff, pawing through a box of old photographs with author David Margolick. April 2006 issue of Vanity Fair
"If he'd been in the military, he would have learned gun safety"
-- Senator Chuck Hagel (R - Nebraska), a Vietnam war veteran, on five-time draft deferment champ Dick Cheney. AP, February 17
"In retrospect it looks like I got off easy"
-- Senator Patrick Leahy (D - Vermont), who Cheney told to "Go fuck yourself" during a 2004 Senate photo shoot. Roll Call, February 14
"I'm not sure we won't miss Saddam"
-- Yuval Diskin, head of Israel's domestic security agency, Shin Bet, saying an Iraqi dictatorship would be preferable to the present situation. "When you dismantle a system in which there is a despot who controls his people by force, you have chaos." BBC, February 9
"Well, you can't anticipate everything"
-- VP Dick Cheney on the Bush administration's failure to plan for an Iraqi insurgency following the invasion. PBS Newshour, February 7
"This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA"
-- Oct. 2005 memo from George Deutsch,
a 24-year-old Bush appointee to the NASA press office, demanding that the word "theory" be added after every mention of the Big Bang found in a web tutorial for students about Einstein. "It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator." Deutsch resigned Feb. 7 when it was revealed that he faked his resume to falsely show he had graduated from Texas A&M. Quote from NY Times, February 4
"We're not fighting terrorism in Iraq. We're fighting a civil war in Iraq. We've got to give them an incentive. We fought our Civil War. Let them fight their civil war"
-- Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania), Pittsburgh Tribune-Review January 26