Bush’s Defense

The video above (click on the image) offers a good example of a president employing what I recently learned is now called the “Chewbacca Defense,” which Wikipedia defines as follows:

The term Chewbacca defense is used to refer to any legal strategy or propaganda strategy that seeks to overwhelm its audience or jury with nonsensical arguments, as a way of confusing the audience and drowning out legitimate opposing arguments.

Hat tip: John Welborn

9 Responses to “Bush’s Defense”

  1. Christopher, Nathalie, thanks for the comments. It’s always a good thing to stop and take a hard look at one’s thoughts. So taking your advice, I thought about Bush & my reaction to the video clip.

    My comment is an emotional reaction. I’m not saying Bush = Hitler. I *am* saying I don’t find him to be a cartoonish buffoon; instead, he’s scary. I fear that there’s a good chance he’ll start a war against Iran, which will be a disaster for the U.S., for Iran, and for the world.

    You are both correct — the video itself just shows a guy being incoherent and petty. On the other hand, he’s “arguing” that he should have blanket power to torture people who have been accused of terrorism — that’s essentially what this bill is about. So it’s not just South Park.

    How bad is Bush? Bush has brought the U.S. fiscal irresponsibility, the framework for a police state (PATRIOT Act, Real ID, Animal ID, misc. doctrines on holding people w/o trial, and torture), and a needless war in Iraq, waged so unnecessarily incompetently that failure is nearly guaranteed…more than enough to say he’s a villain. He’s been an utter disaster, and America has darker times ahead because of him.

    So…I agree, he’s not really Hitler, and you are right to tell me so. But still he’s a dangerous guy (and anyway I always reserve the right to use rhetorical hyberbole…that’s what blogs are for…even if I get in trouble for it later).

  2. Nathalie I. VOGEL

    Should you run into trouble, which I doubt, I know one or two who would defend your freedom of speech, trust me. I am not saying no one is allowed to criticize his President. But what strikes me, as a foreigner when in the US is this: Lately, one of the most popular sports in society is a strange form of Bush-bashing. Between chit-chat, Dom Perignon and petits-fours anything is allowed at the lowest level, it seems.
    The weirder, the better.
    And, hey, some are in great company in that discipline by the way : Chavez, Ahmadinejad, Lukashenko. So, sorry Charles, etiam si omnes — ego non. NV

  3. It might be over the top to compare Bush to Hitler, butit’s hard to imagine Bush can be bashed too much.

    He deceived the U.S. & rest of world and started an unnecessary war “pre-emptive” in Iraq. He stands for torture, kidnapping, secret prisons, holding people indefinitely w/o trial or judicial oversight, unsupervised & wholesale spying on American citizens, and fiscal irresponsibility. In all of these respects he’s a bad and dangerous man, and more Nazi-like than any U.S. president ever should be.

  4. Tom, I thought your analysis of the clip was like bantha fodder. The reporter’s question is not relevant because this debate is over the treatment of unlawful combatants. A U.S. soldier captured by a signatory to the Geneva Conventions would be required to treat that soldier as a prisoner of war. If a U.S. spy was captured then the same protections would not apply. A spy could be hanged just like any unlawful combatant.

    I would hope that if a U.S. soldier was captured by an enemy nation that we would not only prevail against our enemy, but then hold them to account for their treatment of our soldiers that they held as prisoners. I think that’s what the President was saying when he said he hoped that those enemy states would abide by the same standards that we employ. Realistically, that’s all you can expect in a time of war.

    Furthermore, I think Bush was trying to deliver some important subtext in his comments. We know that most liberals view our military as non-thinking robots and baby-killers. So it is easy for them to believe that our troops would willingly commit torture. But President Bush holds our troops in higher regard and repeatedly said that our troops would not engage in techniques that were not authorized by Congress. The subtext he is delivering is that our troops are at their core honorable and decent human beings who abide by the law. Furthermore, he is saying that as President and Commander in Chief, he will not ask them to do their job without clearly defined rules of conduct. He will not play “cover your ass” with the troops lives and careers at stake. This, in my opinion, is the mark of a true leader.

    Charles, if you could please point out with either a quote or a timepoint in the video clip where President Bush argues for a blanket authority to conduct terrorism then I’d be highly appreciative because I keep missing it on multiple viewings of the clip.

  5. Bob: wake up. This isn’t about parsing Bush’s words in the clip.

    The Congress has just passed a bill (HR 6166, S 3930) that essentially allows the president — whomever that might be — to decide what is or is not torture, who should be imprisoned, and how to try them. It was this bill that’s “discussed” in the video.

    I gather from your post that you are convinced of Bush’s integrity. That’s an extremely weak reed to hang our freedom upon. I would prefer to hang it on the Rule of Law.

    (I hope eveyone realizes that Law is something other than the latest whim of a legislature.)