the most famous picture from his trip to Baghdad,
President Bush had himself artfully photographed
to look like he was serving turkey to the troops.
The image was emblazoned on front pages throughout
the country - and now appears to be an entirely
to the Washington Post, Bush was actually holding
"a decoration, not a serving plate." In other
words, he was holding a prop, not real food, and
thus only pretending for the cameras to be serving
up the holiday meal.
Post notes that "the foray has opened new credibility
questions for a White House that has dealt with
issues" like this in the past. In fact, the flap
marks the second such distortion in as many days
about his trip to Baghdad. Just yesterday it was
revealed that the White House's tall tale of Air
Force One crossing paths with a British Airways
plane was entirely false.
deceptive picture also harkens back to the controversy
surrounding the President's "Mission Accomplished"
banner. On May 1, he stood on the deck of the
U.S.S. Lincoln in front of the giant sign and
declared that "major combat operations have ended."
Since that time, more troops have been killed
or wounded than before he made that statement,
prompting more questions about his photo-op.
asked why he chose to stand in front of the "Mission
Accomplished" banner at a press conference six
months later, Bush "disavowed the background banner,"
saying the White House staff had nothing to do
with producing it. But then Navy and administration
officials admitted the President had been dishonest,
saying that "the White House actually made it."
White House spokesman Scott McClellan specifically
said, "We took care of the production of it. We
have people to do those things."
course, Bush's penchant for taking misleading
and dishonest photos has not been confined to
Iraq. In July of 2002, the President visited a
low-income housing development in Atlanta to tout
his commitment to funding it. He then proposed
a budget that eliminated its funding. Similarly,
the President visited a Boys and Girls Club in
January of 2003 to tout the organization's efforts.
He said the club "has got a grand history of helping
children." Just four days after his photo-op,
he proposed to cut 15% out of funding for the
Boys and Girls Club.
Posted: December 7, 2003