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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Testimony: Compared and Contrasted

I watched some extended clips of testimony from Pat Tillman's family and Jessica Lynch in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee today and something occured to me...

Didja ever notice what a difference there seems to be between ANY outside party testifying before Congress about things that have transpired in the past six years versus ANY member of the Bush Administration? Whether it's Al Gore talking about global warming, Valerie Plame talking about her view of a security breach, a soldier talking about consistently shoddy care at Walter Reed, or Pat Tillman's mother talking about the charade played with the story of her son's death, they all

1) get in front of the committee,
2) raise their right hand and take the oath,
3) sit in the chair (some times for HOURS),
4) and calmly answer any question raised...
5) with complete sentences and coherent thoughts

In contrast, Bush Administration officials

1) attempt to submit half their testimony in writing beforehand to keep extemporaneous speech to a minimum to avoid tripping over prior mis-statements,
2) have others argue as proxies for them about whether they should be "subjected" to being sworn in in the first place,
3) practice their delivery in front of a "murder board" for weeks beforehand,
4) finally sit in the chair (some times for HOURS),
5) respond with hostility or outright sneering contempt for all of those asking the questions (including those of their own party)
6) usually fail to recall half of the material at issue,
7) and invariably speak in mangled fragments with miles between subjects and verbs with little coherence to any idea being conveyed

I don't think this is just some freak statistical oddity that this Administration became populated with a bunch of oratorial non-savants.

You really can't defend much of what this administration has done. Something about the act of actually saying things out loud must trigger some sort of subliminal (mmmmbbbullsssshhh______) reflex in the human brain that prevents virtually anyone from faking coherence out of incoherence or sense out of insanity.

In contrast, when the truth is on your side, the facts speak for themselves. Very little rehersal seems to be necessary.