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In last night’s wacky excuse for a joint presser with British Lapdog Tony Blair, George Bush made an admission of sorts:

A jaw-dropping moment occurred in Bush and Blair’s Thursday presser: Bush said he regretted saying "bring it on" (precise wording in 2003 was "bring ’em on") and "wanted dead or alive." He admitted he should have been more sophisticated in his use of language.

The significance of this shouldn’t go unnoticed. Bush has now admitted what the progressive blog community has said all along: Bush’s tough talk was wrongheaded and cost lives.

While contrition may be a media policy that works with our lapdog press (and judging from CNN’s first blush of commentary, it seems to be getting the desired result), America must now ask what this admission means. Does Bush take responsibility for the deaths generated by his admitted mistake? Does he accept the logical conclusion that his bluster resulted in the killing and maiming of hundreds if not thousands of US troops?

Peter Daou nails it here.  David Gregory said last night on MSNBC’s coverage that the President’s answer to the question seemed rehearsed.  Personally, I thought Bush seemed like a petulant little baby, forced to take his silver spoon and use it to force down some much needed medicine, and say something because his political polling ass is getting fried.  Conveniently, contrition came at Bushie’s own hour of need, and no earlier.

The President said:  "We’ve been paying for it for a long time."  Well, duh.  Any of the spouses or family members or friends of all those soldiers killed or injured in Iraq and Afghanistan could have told you that.  Or all of our embassy personnel stationed worldwide who have been on higher security alert.  Or any of the members of the President’s cabinet or administration who have had to do the spiraling rapid entry into Iraqi airspace to throw off the stinger missles…or pretty much anyone with a functioning brain, really, could have told him that had he been willing to listen to the truth.

NOTE:  Sharp-eyed reader Op99 caught the fact that the "paying for it" language dealt with Abu Ghraib and not the President’s asinine swagger talk on the public stage.  While the Administration’s lack of foresight in pushing policies, over and over, led to abusive behavior at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, after re-reading that portion of the transcript I’d note that Bush fails to take responsibility for those policies himself.  More of the "buck stops elsewhere."

Here’s a thought for the President:  you should have grown up a long time ago.  Frat boy antics are unbecoming.  And they are especially damaging on the public stage when other people’s children and husbands and wives and friends have their lives on the line.  Try holding your office and its responsibilities in more respect instead of going for the cheap applause line.  We’ll all be the better for it. 

Oh, and Gen. Hayden was approved 78-15 as the new head of the CIA this morning (and just afterward, shots may have been fired somewhere in the Congressional parking garage — weird).  I sure hope all those rumors of Hayden’s willingness to be Mr. Truth to Power are true — because this is one Imperial Presidency that is in sore need of some serious truthtelling.

UPDATE:  I just re-watched the Tweety and Noron Fantasy Island analysis from last night (via Crooks and Liars).  It’s even weirder the second time around.  Bizarro, indeed.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com