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The Presidential debate

Is Bush Wired?

Is he prompted through an earpiece?

Is Bush Wired at http://www.isbushwired.com/    8 October 2004
www.globalresearch.ca    8 October 2004

The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/IBW410A.html

We bring to the attention of Global Research readers the following article on  Bush's earpiece. This issue has already been documented in a number of articles. It is of course known to the White House press, who prefer to remain mum on the subject.

This article with supporting photos and links to various news sources must be taken seriously.

If Bush has an audio device in his ear not only during press conferences but also during the presidential debates with John Kerry, what this suggests is that the sitting President and Commander in Chief is incapable of articulating his own ideas on important domestic and foreign policy issues. 

Watch carefully the Second Bush-Kerry debate.


What are you wearing tonight?

A former Special Forces officer of my acquaintance who served in Iraq during the first Gulf War says that the photos of Bush's back are not body armor. Bush often appears in shirtsleeves at public rallies with no visible bulges. Think about it: If you were George Bush, what would you fear more, going into a debate with John Kerry without body armor -- or without your prompter?

For more details on this device.

October 05, 2004

What's the frequency, Karl?

New as of Friday p.m: mediachannel.org reports Bush campaign media director Mark McKinnon denied that the president has received "audio signals." Salon posted a story early Friday.

This site is a clearinghouse for discussion of whether President Bush uses an earpiece through which he's fed lines and cues by offstage advisers. His speech rhythms suggest this, as do some of his word choices and interjections, and his constantly shifting eye movements while speaking. And there's another form of evidence: Television viewers have sometimes heard another voice speaking Bush's words before he says them. When Bush spoke at D-Day ceremonies in France last June, for example, viewers watching on CNN, Fox and MSNBC, including mediachannel.org's Danny Schechter, were startled to hear another voice speaking Bush's words as if to prompt him. Some said this continued into a q & a. And on the night of 9/11, when Bush appeared on television to address the nation, viewers of one television station in Quincy, Massachusetts heard another voice speaking, slowly and carefully, a few words at a time -- words which were then recited by the president. The voice was nondescript, male, definitely not the president's voice, says Quincy resident Robyn Miller. This went on for at least four sentences, she says, and then the "extra" feed was cut off. [Postscript: A poster to IsBushWired comments that she heard the prompter for Bush's 9/11 address on a New York station: "I was watching ABC in NYC. I had no cable and I could only get ABC from my antenna at that time (the only station that transmitters on the Empire State instead of WTC). I definitely heard the prompter. I posted about it at the time at Salon."]

Reporters should have looked into this long ago. But for the past four years through Bush's first debate last week with John Kerry -- and even in the days after the debate -- the press has ignored the evidence of its eyes and ears, and failed to ask whether the president secretly relies on unseen handlers for some public events, including press conferences. If Bush wore a hidden earpiece to cheat in this way during his first debate with John Kerry (however unsuccessfully), it is urgent that the fraud be exposed before the election.

The agreement set by the debate commission barred shots of the candidates from the rear of the stage. (It also specified only hardwired podium microphones for the first debate, i.e. no lapel mics.) The networks refused to comply with the camera angle rules, broadcasting occasional shots of the candidates from behind. The images here are from the Fox video pool feed.

Many viewers thus saw a squarish bulge the size of a large battery pack under the back of Bush's suit jacket, with an S-shaped cord appearing to snake up the right side of his back. Several blogs have carried speculation that it was an audio receiver.

A poster to NYCIndymedia says, "Think 'passive transducer' earpiece." He writes, "The bulges under his jacket are likely receiver/repeaters that pick up the transmitter (and encrypted?) signals from his handlers and transmit them, at very low power, to the earpiece."

"Sure, Bush uses an earpiece sometimes," a top Washington editor for Reuters said to me last spring. "State of the Union -- he had an earpiece for that. Everybody knows it," he said, or assumes it. But everybody doesn't know it, I said. Why hadn't Reuters investigated? The editor shrugged and said it wasn't so different from using a teleprompter.

Except that a teleprompter isn't a secret. And Americans have the right to know if the president can't or won't speak in public without covert assistance.

Television hosts and news anchors wear earpieces, called IFBs (for internal foldback, or feedback) which fit in the ear canal and are almost invisibly small, to receive cues from their producers. (Language scientists say that "shadowing," repeating the words someone else is speaking, is not at all difficult, but it is difficult not to move your eyes when listening.) Television journalists would be likely to spot the use of an IFB or at least to suspect it. So, why haven't they raised the question? I suspect it's untouchable in part because asking the question now points up all the years they let go by without asking it.

But these are the questions that must be asked now, by the Commission on Presidential Debates, and journalists: Does the president use an earpiece in his meetings with the public and with journalists? Did he wear one in last week's debate? How can members of the public who suspect he wore an earpiece be assured that he will not do so in the next debate? What was the object underneath his jacket?

Email tips and information to [email protected]

Postscript, Friday 8 Oct am: Salon just posted a story in which the debate commission confirms the candidates were not equipped with wireless mics, and that it doesn't know what the object on Bush's back was.


The suspicions of Veritas were aroused by a moment in Bush's December 2003 news conference. Here is an excerpt from his post :

Q I know you said there will be a time for politics. But you've also said you wanted to change the tone in Washington. Howard Dean recently seemed to muse aloud whether you had advance knowledge of 9/11. Do you agree or disagree with the RNC that this kind of rhetoric borders on political hate speech?

THE PRESIDENT: There's time for politics. There's time for politics, and I -- it's an absurd insinuation.

- White House Press Conference, Dec. 15

A funny thing happened at the December 15th presidential press conference. Asked to comment on an earlier statement by Howard Dean regarding his alleged foreknowledge of 9/11, Bush stumbles about the stage, clearly caught off guard by the question, then delivers the line: "It's an absurd asinuation."

...it could not be more clear that Bush was provided the words with which to answer. At first, Bush stumbles about, repeating his previous line that "there's a time for politics." During this time, he's avoiding eye contact, shrugging, and delaying. Then, the answer is given to him, presumably through a wireless ear piece. Bush then suddenly delivers his line that "it's an absurd asinuation." The suddenness of his reply, after having been speechless, the smile in his eyes when he's given the correct answer, and his incorrect pronunciation of the word "insinuation" all lead to [the] conclusion that he was prompted to provide this answer.

More images below: The first is an AFP photo taken in July at a press event at a Michigan airport, where Bush spoke about six judicial nominees. . The debate images are from the Fox video pool feed.

Monday, October 04, 2004

The Voice in Bush's Ear

Some of the comments being posted about the Bush earpiece on other sites are clearly planted by Bush supporters who hope the story won't make it out, [Postscript, Friday a.m: Salon just posted a story by Dave Lindorff, adding a bit more to his Counterpunch piece ] because when people start thinking about it, it's obvious that Bush's been doing this for at least four years in plain view. And there goes the election for the Republicans: the president is not only a miserable flub, but a cheat.

That's why Drudge et al are puffing up silly stories about Kerry's pen!

The point of the Bush wire wasn't to voice entire answers for him. It was to slip him critical information and phrases and cues and prompts. Bush can talk perfectly well for the limited kinds of things he wants to say. He can be folksy and funny. Dyslexic, yes, but he can talk. What he can't and won't do is apply himself (you know, "hard work") to learning things, or considering issues carefully, formulating arguments, assimilating facts. He's lazy. He hates thinking.

And he's always cheated when he could. He believes in cheating and dirty fighting as much as he believes in anything. Still, I suspect that it's been a slippery slope for Bush and Rove and Karen. First they gave him an audio prompter, so he wouldn't have to read speeches and stumble on words. Nothing wrong with that -- it's like a teleprompter for a dyslexic. They should have 'fessed up to it, though. When he started using a human cue card in his ear for press conferences, that's when it became very wrong. Taking it into the debate was outright fraud, a "fuck you" to truth, justice, and the American people.

To me, the most appalling aspect is the role of the press. The Washington press have sat on their smug behinds for four years and watched him do it, and closed their eyes and ears to it, even denied it in his behalf on occasion. They think "reporting" is giving the White House the benefit of the doubt, without even asking the question in the first place! Most amazingly, they actually think they're smarter than Bush.

Below I am reprinting a blogging discussion which took place on dailykos.com about the Bush/Chirac speeches and press conference. Following that are some more blogs about it, and a couple of links.

Sat Jun 5th, 2004 at 18:43:30 GMT
Did anyone else catch it? FOX NEWS carried live...

Bush and Chirac in prepared statements with Q&A at the Elysee Palace.
Here is the odd thing: while I was listening, suddenly there ws an audio bleed thru while BushBaby gave his prepared words in advance of throwing to reporters.

The bleed thru was in advance of his words, not his voice - at first I thought it was the bleed thru of both original transmission and delay but no different voice - but his words.

Then he would track, repeat the words with tiny differences, breaths taken at different times.
Diaries :: Marisacat's diary ::

I really realised what was happening as he threw it to reporters and the voice spoke the name of the first American reporter he took a question from, and Bush called on that reporter by name.

As it moved into Q&A, the "prompting" disappeared.

Here is the interesting thing... I turned on CNN a bit later and in a clip recapping (CNN did not cover live the other two did...) the presser,
and damn if their clip did not include the "prompts". Still there in the taped replay. I wonder if having bled thru, it is stuck in the audio, until it is electronically scrubbed.

Anyway ti was fascinating. I quickly popped it into a post I was making in a thread at the time, but I think it went unread...

It was stellar TV. It surely appeared to be prompts.

Display: Rate? Set

The second voice (none / 1)
Did it sound like Cheney? Rove? The Wizard of Oz?
by KeithH on Sat Jun 5th, 2004 at 18:46:43 GMT

No it was (none / 1)
an older male voice, a bit husky voice, almost a regional locus heard in the voice, vaguely western vaguely southern but slight on both counts.

FWIW, I threw it out.

And (none / 1)
if you recall his several interviews in the oval office (such as with Russert on MTP), he is ALWAYS filmed from his left profile, his head slightly turned to his right (as though to possibly hide an earpiece in his right ear...)
by Jsea on Sat Jun 5th, 2004 at 19:05:57 GMT
[ Parent ]

unclear what you're trying to describe here. Are you saying that a pre-recorded tape of Bush's comments were fed to Bush (perhaps through an earpiece or some device), and he basically just tracked the taped comments orally?
by Jsea on Sat Jun 5th, 2004 at 19:01:57 GMT

Short phrases (4.00 / 3)
were audible, in a voice not Bush's, apparently live delivery of the words, then Bush would speak the words, with minute differences, i.e. breaths, slight additions (such as "well"), which I had just heard. Frankly "the reader", or "prompter" sounded a tad bored.

Then I heard it again in the video played about 20 mins later on CNN, still with the ''prompts''.

I mean this is a world of teleprompters and one may certainly have text of prepared words, etc., in hand, but this is another level. Really, it is.
by Marisacat on Sat Jun 5th, 2004 at 19:08:30 GMT
[ Parent ]

Well I think the bleed thru (4.00 / 4)
may have happened becasue of different feeds (Help, I am not technological)... he wore a standard wired earpiece for the translation feed when Chirac spoke. But that left his other ear.

I assume the bleed was confusion of some sort in the different audio feeds going on. Bush receiving the incoming "prompt" would be yet again another feed on top of translation...

BTW, he really really hated the questions from the French. He had pat answers and apparently no feed, or none audible. If he gets fatigued on this trip as he ahs on past European trips (um spring of 02 was it?, he was testy in Paris) he will have a small melt down. Because it is all critism all the time on this trip.
by Marisacat on Sat Jun 5th, 2004 at 19:15:27 GMT
[ Parent ]

I honestly don't know... (4.00 / 2)
well how could I anyway. One thing that got me was (and I'd love to see and hear it again) he did not refer to notes during his prepared words, not even when he called on the reporter....Normally in a presser he needs to look down very often. He needs his written prompts.

The other single thing htat makes me at least consider this, I think due to boredom and disinterest in the daily reality of serving as president, things have to be made as effortless as possible for BushBaby. Which would be audio feed. But I don't know.
by Marisacat on Sat Jun 5th, 2004 at 19:24:55 GMT
[ Parent ]

Why not just hand the translator a script? (4.00 / 2)
So-called "simultaneous" translation is often done that way -- the translator has a written copy of the speech to work from, but also listens to the speaker live in case there are last-minute changes.

It makes no sense to have someone else read the transcript out loud. Simultaneous translation is challenging enough -- I've done it before and found it one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my entire life -- without having two different simultaneous voices to handle.

This explanation doesn't make sense.
by matt n nyc on Sat Jun 5th, 2004 at 19:46:10 GMT
[ Parent ]

This is way more plausible (none / 0)
...than Bush trying to make sense of someone talking in his ear and him trying to repeat. I seriously doubt he can chew gum and walk at the same time, let alone stand in front of people at a mic, speak from a teleprompter, listen to an audio prompter, and add his own stupid "uh"s and "well"s.

Bush remarks at Elysee (none / 1)
This footage was just broadcast on CNN (although I didn't catch all of it), and the voice of the prompter could be heard even more clearly than Bush himself, reading each phrase before he repeated it - incredible! I wonder how they'll explain this one?!
George Hearn
by old scrivener on Sat Jun 5th, 2004 at 20:03:34 GMT

That is the second time.... (none / 1)
as I heard CNN run a clip earlier, video of the presser, the part with Bush delivering his prepared remarks. They left it in that time too.... I could not believe it really.
Well this is interesting.
by Marisacat on Sat Jun 5th, 2004 at 20:09:03 GMT
[ Parent ]

Bush remarks at Elysee (none / 1)
This footage was just broadcast on CNN (although I didn't catch all of it), and the voice of the prompter could be heard even more clearly than Bush himself, reading each phrase before he repeated it - incredible! I wonder how they'll explain this one?!
George Hearn
by old scrivener on Sat Jun 5th, 2004 at 20:03:34 GMT

That is the second time.... (none / 1)
as I heard CNN run a clip earlier, video of the presser, the part with Bush delivering his prepared remarks. They left it in that time too.... I could not believe it really.
Well this is interesting.
by Marisacat on Sat Jun 5th, 2004 at 20:09:03 GMT
[ Parent ]

Did anyone tape it? (none / 0)
Because, by tomorrow the "official" CNN version won't contain the voiceover ...
"Bush too evil even for me", Great Old One says
by Jon Meltzer on Sat Jun 5th, 2004 at 20:38:45 GMT
[ Parent ]

I did not... (none / 0)
the first lasted, hmm, maybe 8 minutes and it took that to fully grasp what might be going on. I assumed it would be scrubbed from later clips, so was surprised when about 20 mins later I happened on the first CNN run of it with the extra "feed" still there.

Both FOX and MSGOP carried the presser live and both had the extra feed. CNN did not carry it live. (That crowd really demands weekends off).
by Marisacat on Sat Jun 5th, 2004 at 20:45:35 GMT
[ Parent ]

Switching ears with translation earpiece (none / 0)
Just saw video on CNN where Bush starts to put the earpiece in his right ear and then stops and holds it for a second before putting it in his left ear. Maybe the right ear already had something in it?
by Kels on Sat Jun 5th, 2004 at 20:32:00 GMT

When will someone jam the earpiece? (none / 1)
The idea that Bush uses an earpiece has come up repeatedly, and has the advantage of explaining strange pauses during his performances. As mentioned on dailykos before, it explains why he had that interview in the Oval Office and not in Russert's studio.

BushWired here again:

And here is a poster (hang, on, links are coming!) who wrote to the Washington Monthly online after the Bush/Chirac press briefing:

"Wow, that really is weird. I just watched a video link of the press conference from the WH itself. Something other than Bush is clearly audible during President Bush's answer to David Gregory.

Here's the relevant portion of the transcript:

Q President Chirac, given the fact that your government also believed that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq prior to the war, do you believe that there was a worldwide intelligence failure? And despite your opposition to the war, do you believe that Iraq is better, or worse off, today?

Mr. President, what role specifically would you like the French to play in Iraq going forward? Merci.

PHANTOM VOICE: The French are going to provide advice...

PRESIDENT BUSH: Listen, the French are going to provide great advice. President Chirac has got good judgment about the Middle East, and he understands those countries well. The French are going to work together to put out a U.N. Security Council resolution that sends a clear signal the free world is united in helping Iraq. And those are great contributions, for which I am grateful, and so is my nation.
Hope that helps.
Posted by: IGrantius on October 4, 2004 at 12:24 PM |
On the Real audio link of the Bush/Chirac press conference, the phantom voice occurs at 22:40.
Posted by: IGrantius on October 4, 2004 at 12:32 PM |

BushWired Editor here again. I couldn't get the video link to work yet (that might be my computer). but the audio is still on the White House website. . First Bush stalls for a second, then the voice comes in sounding muffled and way off-mike, and says, "The French are going to provide advice." Bush changes that to "great advice."

[Later correction: We managed to get the video to work and as the first commenter below points out, it's not clear that there's anything incriminating there. Sorry for the confusion.]

Here's another posting, also from The Washington Monthly online , citing a link that still goes to the White House but seems now to be blank.

"I was watching the Bush press conference and I saw something that I think is interesting.
I remember seeing some comment on another blog (Eschaton?) about Bush wearing an earpiece during press conferences and being fed answers. I think it was a joke or idle speculation. Well, if you watch the press conference starting at about 13:23, Bush is going through a list of names of Al Qaeda terrorists they have caught and he stumbles over the name of Ramzi Binalshibh, eventually calling him Ramzi Alshibh. He jokingly apologizes to Ramzi if he got his name wrong and then, at 13:32, he looks down and to his right intently for about 2 seconds, like he is listening to something, and looks up and says "Binalshibh, excuse me." As I recall, people usually look up and to the left when trying to recall something from memory. So where did he get the correct name from? I've watched the segment several times, and I am sure he has an earpiece in his right ear. It just looks so obvious from the expression on his face and the way he holds his head."

[Editors note about the date stamps: Several readers have suggested that the site reads better with our initial October 5 post remaining at the top, so you read posts in chronological order. We agree, and have made the change, but until we figure out how to effect it on the template, dates on subsequent posts will be inaccurate. The one directly above was actually posted Thursday, October 7th.]

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