Dollars to Donuts
Official transcript of interview conducted with President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney by The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11 Commission), April 29, 2004.
9-11 Committee Member: Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to answer our questions today, Mr. President and Mr. Vice President.
Bush: Does anyone have a donut? There’s nothing I likes better in the morning than a fresh, hot donut with my coffee. This is coffee, right? It’s brown and… ouch! Yeah, coffee.
Cheney: What the President means is that he’s pleased to be able to be here with you to answer your questions. This is vital and important work, and he appreciates the time and effort each of you is taking to make America a place that’s safer from terrorism.
Bush: Terrorism! Did y’all see that commercial for that movie this Sunday? ‘Bout a big earthquake and tidal waves and dogs and cats getting married? It’s the end of the world! Ah, man, I love that.
9-11 Committee Member: Yes, thank you. Mr. President, I’d like to ask you about the briefing you attended on August 6, 2001 concerning terrorist threats to the United States.
Bush: What you have to understand, I think, is that at no time at that time did we… I… was there any sort of… I thought all they did in Afghanistan was make rugs! And, you know, Iraq, yeah, and Saddam was there and he was… I dunno… spending the Iraqi people’s money on this huge chocolate, what’s it? Effi… eff… statue! Of his dog, or his wife, or wives. I saw the video.
Cheney: What the President means is that we were presented with non-specific information that could not be verified to the extent that taking action in regard to the threat would have made any difference, due to the details and vagaries known at the time and subsequently.
Bush: You know, Laura and the girls were saying just the other day that what a cute guy that Justin Timberland is. And I had to ask, who? Who is this Justin Timberland? And Laura said, he’s the one who snatched the dress shield off that black singer and everyone saw her nipple.
9-11 Committee Member: Uh, specifically about that briefing. The FBI…
Bush: Now, I think the question you want to ask, and excuse me for interrupting, but I am the President and I can do whatever I want to do, right Dick? Okay, I think what you want to ask is “Why did that black singer expose her breast on national television when the children are watching?” It’s the children we need to protect, because children are small and they like to watch TV a lot. I do to! TV is fun, I think, and I have learned so many impossibable things from just sitting there at my ranch in Crawford… have I mentioned that I have a ranch? My own ranch? Sometimes I go there and shoot rabbits with Condi and she’ll smile like she does, big teeth, and I’ll say, “Just shot me another terrorist!” And she’ll nod, like she does, and say something like, “That’s good, Mr. President!”
Cheney: What the President means is that the war on terrorism can’t be won if we are not fighting it. Only when you fight a war can you win it. Those who don’t fight wars end up losing them, because they did not fight.
9-11 Committee Member: Is that…?
Bush: Sometimes I call Colin ‘Powellsie’ which sounds a lot like ‘Wowsie,” which is what Laura calls it when we go to bed together and have sexual relations.
9-11 Committee Member: Is it your contention, then, that the briefing was inconsequential to the…
Bush: Whoa, whoa, whoa, there you go, using big words again. Didn’t we agree there would be no big words? I’m pretty sure that when we agreed to meet with you guys that we wouldn’t be put under oath so we could lie if we wanted to… had to… for the good of the country, and that this wouldn’t be televi… tel… shown on TV and that no one would get to use big words except me and maybe Dick. And now you went and used that big word you just used and, you know, I just wanted to make sure that we’re all in agreement that that was a huge word. I mean, that word, you could lay that word down on its side and it would cover the same acrage as my spread down in Crawford. Ah, he, he, no, I’m just pulling your leg. My spread is a lot bigger than that. Like, probably two more words. Um, ‘indivisidible’ and ‘uncommonature’ come to mind. For me.
Cheney: What the President means by that is that the war on terrorism takes the undivided attention of every man, woman and child in America, We must be constantly vigilent and watch out for terrorists everywhere, because they are everywhere. And let me emphasize that I am not just making that up. We have unsubstantiated potential threats to various and possible national monuments and places and things which have been received from uncorroborated sources with unknown credibility. These lead us to move the threat potential to orange and warn the entire population not to trust each other, including strangers they may encounter at any given minute of their lives, their so-called loved ones, those they work with, and their steroid-pumped children intent on using drugs to kill unborn babies.
Bush: I still haven’t seen one of you offer me a donut. I wasn’t elected President of the United States just so I have to sit here and be undonuted. Imdonuted. Antidonuted.
9-11 Committee Member: Let’s move on.
Bush: Is that a question? I can’t tell, because your voice didn’t go up at the end, so I don’t know if that was a question? I can’t answer anything unless I know it’s a question, because if I answer statements, then I’ll look like the French people do, with their cheese and their stupid bike races and their “No, I won’t support your invasion, because I like to stink and I like to eat snails and I’m all stupid.”
9-11 Committee Member: No, Mr. President, that wasn’t a question.
Cheney: Perhaps it would be helpful if you could indicate which of your questions are actually questions, and which are gross oversimplifications of the truth. May I suggest that when you want to ask the President a question, you preface your question with a simple statement such as, “Here is my question,” so that the President’s time is not wasted.
9-11 Committee Member: Of course.
Bush: Yeah! Because, you know, time is the thing we all have to be tracking of, because if we aren’t careful, the terrorists will blow it up. And without time, we would never know what time it was. Hey, are you writing this shit down? This is fucking genius!
Cheney: What the President means by that is that in our on-going war on terrorism and drugs and terrorists with drugs, we must be actively observingwatching, if you willthat protion of our population bent on destroying the American way of life and all that it stands for, including lots of guns, especially assault weapons, and drilling for oil in Alaska, and destroying the wetlands.
9-11 Committee Member: I’m sorry, did you just say that destroying the wetlands is part of the American way of life.
Cheney: Check your history books, boys.
9-11 Committee Member: Okay, I think we’re a little off track. And… pardon? Oh, yes, of course. Here is my question: Were you made aware of any specific threats to the country prior to September 11, 2001, and if so please elabor… uh, please detail what they were and what action you took, if any.
Bush: Gosh, that was a lot of words. I only need to pay attention to the last part, right? Hey, do you mind if I rub your head for luck? I like to rub a bald head every day, and Dick won’t let me rub his head anymore because he said that using ‘rub’ and ‘head’ in the same sentence could be miscon… miscorscr… what was it?
Bush: Big word! Point for our side! Okay, I don’t think I’m prepared to actually answer that question without the benefit of understanding it. So what I’ll say here is something about the importance of wildlife and the preservation of all life, especially life that isn’t born yet, which is a kind of life I like to eat for breakfast. Bet you never thought about that, did you? But the abortionists would have us do away with eggs, because that’s their agenda and everyone knows it. So if you favor having abortions, you must also favor not having eggs in the morning, and I think we can all agree that that’s just unpatriotic!
Cheney: What the President means by that is that we would need an exact interpretation of the word ‘specific,’ as well as an inexact interpretation of the word ‘threat.’ ‘Specific’ can mean different things to different people, and a ‘threat’ can be something as small as a child holding a pin to a balloon. Many people are afraid of loud noises, so should we, the United States Government, kill that child to remove that ‘specific threat?’ I think that’s what you’re saying, and I think that we cannot condone such an act and would, in fact, do everything within our power to stop it. Because the childreneven the children with pinsare our future.
9-11 Committee Member: I..
Bush: But not the children with pins on steroids.
9-11 Committee Member: Uh…
Cheney: Or the children with weapons of mass destruction.
9-11 Committee Member: Right.
Bush: Actually, Dick, when you think about it, the children are not our future, unless they’re our children. Because otherwise they’re somebody else’s future. Because if Jenna and Barbara are my future, it looks to me like another trip to detox is coming up soon. [Laughter.]
9-11 Committee Member: I think I’d like to…
Bush: I think I know what you’re going to ask, because I’m very atonal with the people…
Bush: What, Dick?
Cheney: You’re not atonal, you’re attuned. Atonal means you can’t sing.
Bush: I leave the singing to Johnny. Have you heard him? Shit, Ashcroft has the voice of an angel. Sometimes Laura and I will put on a recording he did for us, “Love Will Keep Us Together,” remember that tune, Dick? The Captain and Toenail? Gosh, when I hold Laura close and Johnny starts to sing that song, I get all goosepimply.
9-11 Committee Member: I believe you were about to….
Bush: What? Oh, yeah. Your question. Let me see if I can guess it. You were gonna ask meeeee…. If Jesus and Superman got into a fight, who would win? Is that right? And remember, I’m the President of the United States. One wrong answer and bang, Secret Service all over your ass.
9-11 Committee Member: Yes, that’s correct.
Bush: Damn straight. If Jesus and Superman got into a fight, Jesus would win, and do you know why? I’ll tell you why. Because Superman isn’t even a real man! Ha! Superman only exists in comic books and on TV and the movies, whereas Jesus exists in the Bible and now Mel Gibson made Jesus his own movie! And do you think Superman would go through all that? Would Superman carry the cross and get his ass whipped? No, he would not! Superman never died for your sins! Plus, Superman has indestructible skin so the Romans and the Jews couldn’t hurt him anyway, so even if they did try to nail his hands to the cross, Superman would just laugh and shrug and fly away. But our Savior didn’t! But it sort of makes me wonder why. I mean, couldn’t he have just explained that he was going to die for our sins and then just died without all the… wait, I think I’m getting a headache.
Cheney: Does anyone have a donut? He’s having a sugar crash.
Bush: So if Superman were Jesus, you’re saying that we could go to Iraq and just kill everyone there because now our God is more powerful than a locomotive?
Cheney: What the President means by that is…
9-11 Committee Member: Look, is there really any point to continuing with this? We have… three more hours scheduled.
Bush: I’ve answered every question. Right, Dick?
Bush: Let’s all watch some porno. I have this Martha Stewart thing you would not believe!
April 29, 2004