February 1, 2006
Special to The Huffington Post
President George W. Bush said today that the reason he invented events that never happened and embellished his account of his life in his widely-viewed talk, "A State of the Union Speech," is because it made a better talk.
In a "note to the viewer" released today and to be included in future editions of the transcript, Mr. Bush also said that officials at The Benway Clinic, the oil-addiction treatment facility where he stayed for several months, had previously questioned his descriptions of WMDs possessed by a country Mr. Bush later invaded.
"They believe my memory may be flawed," Mr. Bush wrote.
The note was released today by The Congressional Record, the reporting service that published the President's speech. The note also was posted on the congressional Web site, http://thomas.loc.gov/ . The note resulted from an article published by The Smoking Gun, an investigative Web site, which said that public records contradicted many of Mr. Bush's claims in the talk.
"I wanted the stories in the State of the Union Address to ebb and flow, to have dramatic arcs, to have the tension that all great stories require," Mr. Bush said, explaining the reason for the changes. "I altered events all the way through the speech."
Some of those alterations include events described by The Smoking Gun but previously defended as true by Mr. Bush, including "my role as a fighter pilot landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier."
"While I was not, in real-life, directly involved in the landing of the fighter jet itself, I was profoundly affected by it," he said. "And I still feel my own personal mission, that of looking fine in a flight suit, was accomplished." Repeating admissions he made last week on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Mr. Bush also said he also falsified descriptions of the amount of brush in Crawford, Texas he had cleared personally.
Overall, his self-portrayal in "The State of the Union Address," is "a combination of facts about my life and certain embellishments," about a person who "I created in my mind to help me cope" with oil addiction and recovery. He said most of the invented material "portrayed me in ways that made me tougher and more daring and more aggressive than in reality I was, or I am."
"I sincerely apologize to those viewers who have been disappointed by my actions," he said.