Friday, April 21, 2006

WPE* was for cheaper gas before he was against it

At least that's what he said in 2000.

(*Don't say his diseased name aloud anymore. Just call him Worst President Ever until it becomes a mantra.)

As a presidential candidate in 2000, then-Gov. George W. Bush promised that, if elected, he would use the full weight of the White House to pressure oil-producing countries to increase production if there was a gas-price crisis. He charged, "The president of the United States must jawbone OPEC members to lower the price" and promised that as president he would "convince them to open up the spigot to increase the supply." Yet, when Saudi Arabia led the fight within OPEC last month to cut production and raise prices, the president "refused to lean on the oil cartel" and refused to even "personally lobby OPEC leaders to change their minds." Now, with esteemed journalist Bob Woodward reporting that the Bush administration and top Saudi officials agreed to manipulate oil prices in conjunction with the 2004 election, President Bush's passivity towards Saudi Arabia is raising disturbing questions. Why won't the administration exert serious pressure on the regime both on oil and terrorism policy? Why does the president continue to refer to Saudi Arabia as "our friend" when the country has potential ties to the 9/11 terrorists? Why, as author Daniel Benjamin reported, did the administration weaken efforts to scrutinize potential Saudi money-laundering schemes before 9/11? A look at the president's "deep personal ties with Saudi officials" – and his financial connections to the Saudi royal family and powerful Saudi businessmen – may provide clues.

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