Propaganda on YouTube: Video Blogger Lies about Bush Lies

Video blogger Mike McIntee thought he found another Bush doozie. The White House, he says in his YouTube video, has tried to eliminate the infamous Mission Accomplished sign from the videos of the event. Problem is, it's McIntee himself who is lying.

US President George W. Bush is a liar -- it's a statement a lot of people are happy to believe. They point to the climate change reports his administration allegedly changed to lessen the impact. There are the Web pages altered. And then, of course, there were the number of doozies he and his government told in the run up to the invasion of Iraq -- culminating in then Secretary of State Colin Powell's speech before the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 5, 2003.

A YouTube user thinks he has found another. On the White House Web page, according to a video snippet posted by Mike McIntee shortly before the US elections last Tuesday, the White House is seeking to play down Bush's infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech. In the speech, delivered on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, Bush declared the end of "major combat operations." What most people remember, though, is the lovely sunset lighting casting a warm glow on the gigantic sign reading "Mission Accomplished" just behind Bush. And just before the insurgency in Iraq started.

According to McIntee's video, which has now been viewed almost 200,000 times, the video of the speech posted on the White House Web page has been altered so that the "Mission Accomplished" sign is no longer visible. Instead, there is a large black stripe at the bottom edge of the video -- proof, McIntee will have us believe, that the perspective of the video was lowered in order to cut the sign out of the image. In other words, the government would like to forget about the embarrassment of pronouncing the end of a war before the war really got going -- a war that was a major factor in the Tuesday electoral trouncing of Bush's Republican party.

Indeed, the video has been picked up across the blogosphere with hundreds of blog links discussing its implications. The Huffington Post has also picked up the story and run with it.

The problem is though, it's likely not true at all. Another video has been posted on YouTube called simply "Mike McIntee Is Lying." Viewed by a relatively paltry 18,424 people as of Saturday, the video demonstrates that all videos posted on the White House page have the same black bar on the bottom of the video -- put there to cover up the CNN logo from which the White House got many of its videos. Plus the video seems to have been taken from an angle where the "Mission Accomplished" poster wouldn't have figured prominently anyway.

And, McIntee, it seems, has been going out of his way to avoid criticism of his video. A number of bloggers have written that their critical comments of the original McIntee video have actually been deleted from YouTube -- which is possible to do on the site. As the maker of the "Mike McIntee Is Lying" video concludes: "He apparently doesn’t want people to know that he is being deceptive which makes me think that he was deceptive intentionally all along."

What about the original deception itself? That the US mission in Iraq had been accomplished? YouTube, of course, hasn't been necessary to disprove that one. CNN has been more than enough.

-- Christian Stöcker

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