TweedleGeorge and TweedleDick testify

TweedleGeorge and TweedleDick

Will they dress alike?

Able to avoid it no longer, George Bush and Dick Cheney will testify today before the 9/11 Commission (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States).

Unlike other witnesses before the commission, George and Dick will appear together, they will not be under oath, there will be no TV cameras and no recording or transcript will be made of the session. In yet another departure from customary practice, George and Dick will not go to Capitol Hill to testify in the hearing room we've all seen on television — the commission will go to the White House.

Tweedledee and Tweedledum from Alice in Wonderland
They were standing under a tree, each with an arm round the other's neck, and Alice knew which was which in a moment, because one of them had "DUM" embroidered on his collar, and the other "DEE". `I suppose they've each got "TWEEDLE" round at the back of the collar,' she said to herself....

`I know what you're thinking about,' said Tweedledum; `but it isn't so, nohow.'

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'

Alice in Wonderland, Chapter 4, by Lewis Carroll

Given the penchant for secrecy in Bushville, we can expect the Tweedle twins to give up very little in their "visit" with the commission. The story will be the same one we heard Condi spin in her appearance: they did everything they could, there were systemic and structural impediments to doing more, terrorism was a top priority from the git-go, they had to develop a comprehensive strategy because the Clintons didn't pass on one, and they weren't obsessed by Iraq and Saddam Hussein.

The White House has no explanation for why the two of them have insisted on appearing together. When Bush was asked during his press conference, he tried to dodge the question, and, when pressed, positively glowered at the questioner as he replied:

Q I was asking why you're appearing together, rather than separately, which was their request.

THE PRESIDENT: Because it's a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9/11 Commission is looking forward to asking us, and I'm looking forward to answering them.

Surely The Shrub's staff anticipated this question, and surely they could have prepared a clever way to deflect it, but it is a measure of this White House's arrogance that they chose to blatantly stonewall with such lame and patronizing nonsense.

Bush could taunt the Iraq resistance — "Bring 'em on!" — when the military would have to deal with them, not him. But when he must come face to face with the ten members of the commission, Bush has to bring Cheney along.

Of course, if you're the White House, having Bush and Cheney appear together is a smart move; that way they can keep their stories straight.

When the White House negotiated a joint appearance before the commission, editorial cartoonists had a field day.

Tom Toles cartoon Tom Toles (Click images to enlarge)
Tony Auth cartoon Tony Auth (Click images to enlarge)