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Who Owns the UN’s Computer Systems?

Via ThinkProgress, USA Today reports that the cheat sheet for Bush’s speech got placed on the UN website today.

Apparently, a marked-up draft of the president’s speech popped up onthe U.N.’s website as President Bush delivered his remarks this morningbefore the General Assembly, USA TODAY’s David Jackson reports. Thedraft included phonetic spellings of some names and countries, and thecellphone numbers for Bush speechwriters.

Press secretary Dana Perino downplayed the incident, and saidphonetic spellings are used to help interpreters. Asked if thepresident has trouble pronouncing some country’s names, Perino deemedit "an offensive question."

"There was an error made," Perino said, noting it was not a final draft.

"It was taken down and there’s nothing more to say about it."

Apparently, Bush spent his time with Sarkozy in Maine drunk or something, because the French President’s name is one of the ones included in Bush’s pronunciation guide.

  • Kyrgyzstan [KEYR-geez-stan]
  • Mauritania [moor-EH-tain-ee-a]
  • Harare [hah-RAR-ray]
  • Mugabe [moo-GAH-bee]
  • Sarkozy [sar-KO-zee]
  • Caracas [kah-RAH-kus]

Now, Dana Peroxide says it was a mistake. But I’m reminded of another little technical gaffe that Bush had once at the UN. In September 2002, after Powell and Blair (on one side) and Cheney and Rummy (on the other) had been arguing for a month over whether Bush should call for a UN resolution on Iraq or whether the US should just bypass the UN process altogether. In the end, Bush agreed to include a call for a new resolution. But mysteriously, when Bush read the speech from the teleprompter, that line had been removed. From Woodward’s Plan of Attack:

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