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Dubya and the SNAFU Principle

July 13th, 2003 · No Comments

The recent bruhaha over Bush’s maybe-lie maybe-exaggeration vis a vis Iraqi attempts to buy Nigerian uranium put me in mind of the SNAFU Principle, which should be familiar to fans of Robert Anton Wilson or the Principia Discordia. The idea is that the further up on the hierarchy one is, the further disconnected from reality one becomes.

Now, I’m not in Bush’s head, maybe he knew full well he was feeding the public a line of shit and assumed that by the time it came out, we’d all be too drunk on victory to call him on it. But it’s fully possible that layer upon layer of subordinates all just realized that the folks up top had a hard-on with Saddam’s name tatooed along the central vein and decided that the prudent thing to do was feed the bosses information that supported that desire, downplaying their doubts.

That doesn’t let Bush off the hook entirely, of course: the SNAFU Principle can only operate when leaders allow it to. But this seems at least as plausible as a deliberate lie. And, as the always-useful Hanlon’s Razor dictates: “Never attirbute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” In the instant case, given what we know about Dubs, I’m willing to let stupidity play a downright massive explanatory role.

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