Did George W. Bush Actually Ever SAY That Our Mission Was Accomplished?
September 30, 2004 5:41 AM   Subscribe

Debating politics with a (conservative) friend last night, we got to talking about the whole "mission acomplished" thing. He has challenged me to come up with a single quote where Bush says anything similar to "Our mission in Iraq has been accomplished" (as opposed to just standing in front of a sign that says it). Can anyone provide such a quote, with a link to back it up?
posted by anastasiav to Law & Government (16 answers total)
I don't believe you'll ever find that. As I recall, the Bushies tried to distance themselves from the sign immediately after the event, claiming that it was conceived and put up by enthusiastic military personnel, and that the Bush event planning team had nothing to do with it. That was pretty much laughed down, of course.
posted by luser at 5:46 AM on September 30, 2004

In that particular speech, the phrase was:
"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country."
full transcript here
posted by FreezBoy at 5:50 AM on September 30, 2004

I mean, you said that the point is that, by standing in front of the sign, he was effectively saying something he wouldn't dare to say out loud, right? If he'd given the whole speech holding up a sign that said "Mission Accomplished," would it still have been acceptable?

Your friend, by choosing to take everything in as literal a way as possible, is completely missing the point.
posted by josh at 6:00 AM on September 30, 2004

Best answer: Some more info on the flap over the sign. And there is this quote which was in USA Today from last June
"America sent you on a mission to remove a grave threat and to liberate an oppressed people, and that mission has been accomplished,"

posted by jessamyn at 6:01 AM on September 30, 2004

Response by poster: I mean, you said that the point is that, by standing in front of the sign, he was effectively saying something he wouldn't dare to say out loud, right?

He maintains that the MA phrase applied only to the specific deployment of that particular ship, and that Bush "never intended" to send the message that the entire Iraq mission was accomplished.
posted by anastasiav at 6:08 AM on September 30, 2004

Link to USA Today story jessamyn mentioned.
posted by zsazsa at 6:12 AM on September 30, 2004

If you let the argument hinge on Bush uttering two particular words at that one time, you've lost, because you've let him set the frame. Everyone knows the purpose of pulling that flight-suit stunt wasn't to inform the troops that they've got a 'long hard slog' ahead of them.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:25 AM on September 30, 2004

It depends on what your definition of "is" is.

Space Coyote is right on. Your friend has set up a rhetorical trap, hinging his argument on a technicality. Your only resource is a good cockpunch.
posted by mkultra at 6:38 AM on September 30, 2004

A fantastic site for audio of Bush is the George W. Bush Public Domain Audio Archive. If he said it, you can probably find it there. Hell, even if he didn't say it, there's enough material there to make him say nearly anything with a little audio cut and paste.
posted by lasm at 8:02 AM on September 30, 2004

Metafilter: Your only resource is a good cockpunch
posted by fletchmuy at 8:31 AM on September 30, 2004

You also have to look to the things he says through subordinates, who denied for months that there was an insurgency.
posted by inksyndicate at 10:52 AM on September 30, 2004

You could always bring him toward you, look him in the eyes, tell him what a wonderful and treasured friend of yours he is, how you enjoy his company, and despite your political differences you've always respected him as a person and value the time you spend together.

Infront of a big sign saying that he sucks donkey cock.

And then challenge him to quote you said anything even remotely unpleasant about him.
posted by Blue Stone at 11:22 AM on September 30, 2004

O'Reilly also claimed that Bush never used that phrase. Mediamatters.org refutes that.

I do believe, however, that Bush has never used the word "cockpunch." Then again, I haven't checked the transcripts : )
posted by bachelor#3 at 11:26 AM on September 30, 2004

Blue Stone, you reminded me of this bizzare anecdote:

The moderator of the debate, Bob Moore, of the El Paso Times, told me that Bush actually grabbed him just before the debate: "In the hallway, Bush did grab me by the lapels, pull me close to his face, and say, 'Bobby, you clean up real good.' Typical Bush."

From the Atlantic Monthly...
posted by pitchblende at 1:48 PM on September 30, 2004

What does "you clean up real good" mean? I've never heard it used as a threat. Well, except by mothers to their grotty children before suppertime. I simply can't imagine what it's supposed to mean when applied against a moderator.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:53 PM on September 30, 2004

Ah, FFFish, that kind of chummy frat-boy playfulness is what has given millions of Americans the idea that the president is really just a good ole boy, never meanin' no harm.

Someday the moutains might get 'im, but the law never will.
posted by squirrel at 9:05 PM on September 30, 2004

« Older Office 2003 keeps trying to re-install with...   |   kids Hallowe'en party ettiquette Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.