How to Spot a Bad Liar
by Jerry Gilio
September 14, 2004
When I was a little boy, my mother explained to me that liars always get caught because they can't keep their lies straight. The inconsistencies would betray them.

I've become aware of a statement that George W. Bush has made that is at odds with the facts. It has to do with the events of September 11, 2001. The following exchange occurred during a Town Hall Meeting at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida:

JORDAN, a third grader at the meeting:

And another thing is that, how did you feel when you heard about the terrorist attack?


Well, Jordan, you're not going to believe what state I was in when I heard about the terrorist attack. I was in Florida. And my Chief of Staff, Andy Card -- actually, I was in a classroom talking about a reading program that works. I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower -- the TV was obviously on. And I used to fly, myself, and I said, well, there's one terrible pilot. I said, it must have been a horrible accident.

But I was whisked off there, I didn't have much time to think about it. And I was sitting in the classroom, and Andy Card, my Chief of Staff, who is sitting over here, walked in and said, "A second plane has hit the tower, America is under attack."

What seems odd is that he says he saw the plane hit the first tower before he went into the classroom. However, anyone who remembers that day knows that there was no footage of the first plane hitting the tower until much later in the day. So that leaves us with two choices.

One is that Bush saw the plane hit the second tower and entered the classroom anyway. This seems unlikely, although depending on which chronology you believe it may have been possible. I, for one, hope that it wasn't the case. If it was, it would mean that he and his staff were more out of touch with what was happening that morning than were millions of Americans.

The other choice is that Bush was telling the people in that town hall meeting what he thought they wanted to hear. He was telling them something that sounded good. But whatever the case, the President of the United States was playing fast and loose with the facts. He couldn't muster the honesty to say, "I don't really remember exactly what happen or what I was thinking."

So, as November 2nd bears down on us like a runaway locomotive, you have to ask yourself how comfortable you feel about someone running the country who would distort even the most unimportant details. Because someone who will lie to you about the little things will also lie to you about the big things. My mother taught me that.

By the way, I know what you're saying. Why should I believe you? You're a liberal bastard who's probably distorting what the president said. Well you can read it for yourself at the Official White House Web Site. Just click here for the full text of the town hall meeting.

Copyright © 2004