WHY?….By now everyone and his dog has heard about President Bush’s claim that his staff had nothing to do with the “Mission Accomplished” sign aboard the aircraft carrier last May:

The “Mission Accomplished” sign, of course, was put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln, saying that their mission was accomplished. I know it was attributed some how to some ingenious advance man from my staff — they weren’t that ingenious, by the way.

He deserves every bit of snark he gets for this ridiculous contention, but I still have a question: why?

Bush knows perfectly well that his staff managed every last detail of the carrier speech, and he knows perfectly well that every reporter at the press conference yesterday also knows it. So why engage in such a trivial and obvious lie? He must have realized that the only result would be a barrage of sarcastic stories saying that he was fibbing once again.

So what was the point? Or do you think it’s possible that he really doesn’t know what his own communications staff does?

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation