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Bush By The Numbers

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On some European TV stations you can watch a program called No Comment, where you get to see the action without being told what to think. News footage of recent events is shown without commentary; you have to form your own opinions. It's a simple yet radical idea in our world of TV talking heads feeding us lies and distortions.

The centrist British newspaper The Independent follows this trend with an occasional series that sets out the record of George W. Bush in a simple series of numbers. In the wake of all the jingoistic hype and hullabaloo of the Republican National Convention, the British newspaper ran an updated tabulation of Bush's performance with statistics from a new book by American Graydon Carter entitled What We've Lost published in early September. Here is an edited sample from a very long list.

1 Number of Bush administration public statements on national security issued between 20 January 2001 and 10 September 2001 that mentioned al-Qaeda.

104 Number of Bush administration public statements on national security and defense in the same period that mentioned Iraq or Saddam Hussein.

237 Minimum number of misleading statements on Iraq made by top Bush administration officials between 2002 and January 2004.

0 Number of times Bush mentioned Osama bin Laden in his three State of the Union addresses.

83 Number of times Bush mentioned Saddam or Iraq in his three State of the Union addresses.

0 Number of times Bush mentioned Saudi Arabia in his three State of the Union addresses.

79 Percentage of 11 September hijackers who came from Saudi Arabia.

140 Number of Saudis, including members of the Bin Laden family, evacuated from United States almost immediately after 11 September.

$1 million Estimated value of a painting the Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, received from Prince Bandar, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States and Bush family friend.

2.5 Number of hours after Rumsfeld learned that Osama bin Laden was a suspect in the 11 September attacks that he brought up reasons to "hit" Iraq.

28 Number of vacation days Bush took in August 2001, the month he received an August 6 Presidential Daily Briefing headed "Osama bin Laden Determined to Strike US Targets."

1972 Year that Bush walked away from his duties in the Texas National Guard, nearly two years before his six-year obligation was up.

$3,500 Reward a group of veterans offered for anyone who could confirm Bush's Alabama guard service.

600-700 Number of guardsmen who were in Bush's unit during that period.

0 Number of guardsmen from that period who came forward with information about Bush's guard service.

1002 US soldiers killed in Iraq (as of this writing).

0 Number of coffins of dead soldiers returning home that the Bush administration has permitted to be photographed (even so, some photos managed to become public).

0 Number of memorial services for the returned dead that Bush has attended since the beginning of the Iraq war.

0 Number of minutes that President Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, assistant Defense Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, former chairman of the Defense Policy Board, Richard Perle, and White House Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, the main proponents of the war in Iraq, served in combat (combined).

95 Percentage of foreign goods that arrive in the United States by sea.

$5.5 billion Estimated cost to secure fully US ports over the next decade.

$0 Amount Bush allocated for port security in 2003.

$5.6 trillion Projected national surplus forecast by the end of the decade before Bush took office in 2001.

$7.22 trillion US national debt by mid-2004.

2 Percentage of the world's population that is British.

2 Percentage of the world's oil used by Britain.

5 Percentage of the world's population that is American.

25 Percentage of the world's oil used by America.

25 Percentage of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions produced by the United States.

0 Number of times Bush mentioned global warming, clean air, clean water, pollution or environment in his 2004 State of the Union speech.

0 Number of environmentalists asked to attend Cheney's Energy Task Force meetings.

62 Number of members of Cheney's 63-person Energy Task Force with ties to corporate energy interests.

68 Number of days after taking office that Bush decided not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty to reduce greenhouse gases.

53 Number of days after taking office that Bush reneged on his campaign promise to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

1 The rank of the United States worldwide in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

4 Rank of the United States among countries considered the greatest threats to world peace according to a 2003 Pew Global Attitudes study (behind Israel, Iran, and North Korea).

85 Percentage of American young adults who cannot find Afghanistan, Iraq, or Israel on a map.

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