Battle of the Bulge
From the BBC to The Australian, in Turkey and in Singapore everyone is discussing the Battle of the Bulge. That is, the accusations and denials that Bush was wired for sound - presumably channeling Karl Rove - during the 1st Presidential debate. And the second one for that matter.
Websites, such as isbushwired.com" have been established as clearinghouses"for discussion of whether President Bush uses an earpiece through which he's fed lines and cues by offstage advisers." Others more bluntly ask "What's Hiding in His Back?". The story was officially broken by Indymedia and has since been analyzed to the point of exhaustion by anti-Bush bloggers. Other than the photos, the rumor is supported by a part of the 1st debate where Bush states,"let me finish," even though neither Kerry nor the moderator was interrupting in any manner. As Dave Lindorff wrote in an article entitled"What's the frequency, Karl?" which appeared in CounterPunch,"Even weirder was the president's strange outburst. In a peeved rejoinder to Kerry, he [Bush] said, `As the politics change, his positions change. And that's not how a commander in chief acts. I, I, uh -- Let me finish -- The intelligence I looked at was the same intelligence my opponent looked at.' It must be said that Bush pointed toward Lehrer as he declared `Let me finish.' The green warning light was lit, signaling he had 30 seconds to, well, finish."
The most interesting treatment I've found so far comes from Cryptome.org which analyzes the device for remote promoting most likely to have been used and gives a good break down of the technology from an expert's POV. The site also offers 28 time-stamped video images of Bush's back during the 1st debate.
Also of interest is Cannonfire, the blog-home of Joseph Cannon who is credited with being the first person to speculate about a"wired Bush". His Oct. 10th entry consists of confirmation from an interpreter for Bush who confirms that the President uses"an earpiece to assist him in communicating intelligently with others." This would certainly explain earlier photos being unearthed by avid bloggers which also show bulges in Bush's back.
The consensus in the blogosphere seems to be that Rove wants to put an end to"Bushism" - those embarrassing slips of grammar, context, and reality that pepper W's photo ops. The ramifications for debate #3 are interesting. If Bush was wired for the 1st debate and for the 2nd one as well - which an AP photo seems to indicate - then it may well become an issue prior to the 3rd debate. That is, the Kerry people and the moderator may insist that Bush be verifiably wireless. In the 3rd debate, we may finally meet the unadulterated, unfiltered Bush.
For more commentary, please see McBlog.