Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Doctor is (way) out

No, Doctor, it's really the current bunch of lies we're most concerned about. Image via Business Insider.
Now that Dr. Ben Carson's truthfulness issues are getting to be a thing, would anybody care to revisit the story from the September debate where he spent a lot of time giving George W. Bush foreign policy advice back around 2002, trying to prevent the war in Afghanistan, and that's what Bush gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom for? It sounded just a tad odd to me at the time, and I wasn't the only one:
“What I suggested to President Bush is to be Kennedy-esque,” Carson had said. “Declare that within five to 10 years we will become petroleum independent. The moderate Arab states would have been so concerned about that, they would have turned over Osama bin Laden and anybody else you wanted on a silver platter within two weeks.”
When Wright asked Carson to share the details of his conversations with President Bush, the renowned surgeon did not hold back.
“Actually, I had multiple conversations with him,” Carson explained. “But the point that I was making to him is that those moderate Arab states, they’re much more concerned about their well-being than they are about protecting Osama bin Laden or any of the other terrorists, and that we can use that to our advantage, simply by changing our policy, and bringing them into line, under control, that way.”
“I think he eventually came to understand what I was saying — I believe that’s the reason he gave me the Presidential Medal of Freedom [in 2008],” Carson continued. “But, you know, it’s a process.”
A press release announcing Carson’s award put out by Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, however, cites Carson’s groundbreaking work as a neurosurgeon and philanthropist. (Ilan Ben-Meir, Buzzfeed)
(Curiously enough, Bush did kind of announce a program like that in February 2003—
In his State of the Union address, President Bush announced a $1.2 billion hydrogen fuel initiative to reverse America's growing dependence on foreign oil by developing the technology for commercially viable hydrogen-powered fuel cells to power cars, trucks, homes and businesses with no pollution or greenhouse gases.... Through partnerships with the private sector, the hydrogen fuel initiative and FreedomCAR will make it practical and cost-effective for large numbers of Americans to choose to use clean, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2020. This will dramatically improve America's energy security by significantly reducing the need for imported oil, as well as help clean our air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  (White House Archives
—but unfortunately no moderate Arab state took the bait, possibly because they didn't think the initiative was all that serious— in which opinion they would not have been alone—but I think the really weak point in the plan was that fact that none of the moderate Arab states or indeed any Arab state actually had access to Bin Laden at the time, located as he was somewhere in Pashtun territory in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Still, I'm sure Dr. Carson was doing his best.)

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