George Bush revealed in a speech today that a building in downtown Los Angeles was evidently the target of an Al Qaeda plot hatched in 2001. The building he named, "the Liberty Tower in Los Angeles,'' does not exist.
There is, however, a building which matches Bush's description of the ``the tallest building on the West Coast.'' It is the Library Tower, not the Liberty Tower.
The 73-story Library Tower was built after the devastating 1986 arson fire at the downtown Central Library. Its name has changed a couple of times. Right now it's the U.S. Bank building, but that too will probably change one day. So almost everyone just calls it the Library Tower.
The White House issued a correction about the ''Liberty Tower.'' But we in Los Angeles are left to wonder. Was this a simple slip of the tongue? In this White House, is there any such thing? Bush has been using the word ''liberty'' a great deal about other countries, but not so much about this one lately, given that it's usually been coupled with the word ''civil.''
Maybe the president figures Los Angeles needs liberating -- from what, I'm not sure. Gas prices? The Hollywood Foreign Press Association? Maybe the White House thinks a presidential re-christening will make us decide to change the building's name to Liberty Tower, the way the House changed the name of its cafeteria spuds to Freedom Fries. Or does Bush -- even though he's married to a former librarian -- have some aversion to libraries, and the word just couldn't come out?