As I've said before, one of the most confounding -- and insidious -- things about President Bush and his aides is that they even lie about things that aren't worth lying about.
The most recent example is photographs of King George and disgraced super lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
First the White House said that no such photos existed. When this was found to be untrue, a spokesman said that the president could not recall meeting Abramoff. The president reinforced this whopper himself at a press conference yesterday when he stated that "I don't know him."
Let's get this straight:
Bush, who has the politician's knack of remembering faces and places, doesn't know the most influential lobbyist of his tenure, a man who was thisclose to Karl Rove, the president's chief aide and mentor, a man so wired that he could arrange meetings (for a hefty fee) between clients and the president, a man so integral to the Republican Party money machine that his fingerprints were all over it.
Wouldn't it have been easier, as well as made political sense, for Bush to have said that he of course knew Abramoff. Who in Washington didn't? But he certainly doesn't condone his conduct.
There's also a rear-guard action here worthy of the infamous 18 1/2 minute gap in a key Nixon White House tape subpoenaed by Watergate investigators:
A company called Reflections Photography was the official photographer for the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign and 2005 inauguration. It is the photo agency of choice at White House events such as those where Bush and Abramoff were photographed.
But in the last two days sections of its Web site where Bush-Abramoff photos resided have just upped and disappeared.
Now isn't that a coincidence!
When Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo inquired about the disappearing act, a Reflections Photography staffer obviously not in the destroy-and-deny loop helpfully suggested that he could purchase a Bush-Abramoff photo from a backup CD. But when the staffer tried to access the photo, she was audibly surprised when she found that it had been deleted from the CD.
And so the coincidences -- and lies about things not worth lying about -- pile up.