"Bush has played the American public for suckers." More reader e-mail on the presidential bulge

By Salon Staff
Published October 13, 2004 7:57PM (EDT)

[Read "Technical Expert: Bush Was Wired," by David Lindorff.]

With all the attention Salon is giving to the bulge on Bush's back, why are you overlooking the wire behind the President's tie during the second debate?

It's clearly visible for a moment, before he tucks it back just after saying "real time messages."

I found a clip of the debate on MSNBC.COM, which shows it clearly. It's in the sixth segment of the video, under the title "is a draft possible, about a minute in."

The President is clearly cheating in these debates. It's something worthy of investigation.

-- Ed Rothman

While it looks like Bush was wired for that first debate, and is indeed wearing something of the same shape in the picture from 2002, has anyone considered the possibility that he may be a diabetic and wearing an insulin pump? Could this help explain why he gave up drinking, which contributes to diabetes' early onset, and why he's not taking his annual physical exam until after the election?

-- Jeff Huffman

I sincerely commend you for taking this issue seriously, and giving it the press attention it deserves. Jokes about Bush being Cheney's and Rove's dummy are one thing, but to see that it's a literal possibility is quite another.

I would like to direct you attention to the second debate. No bulge on his back, but Bush often slid a hand down his shirt front towards his belt, patting and adjusting somewhere around his stomach. The movement was too vigorous and lengthy for Bush to have just been adjusting his tie, and it happened three times. Now, even if there was nothing there, this was still a weirdly ungainly gesture. But the fact that he scratched/adjusted while speaking, and not just when listening to Kerry, makes me wonder if he was still wired, only now up the front.

-- Samantha Edussuriya

I found another video of Bush having a rectangle shape showing up on his back. Sadly it is just after his 911 interview. He comes out of the White House to do an short interview with reporters. When he leaves you can see the magic rectangle shape on his back.

I found the video in the additional scenes section of "Fahrenheit 911." Curiously enough, he says again says, "let me finish," though one had interrupted him.

Bush has played the American public for suckers.

-- Ron England

I read your October 8 piece with interest and wondered if and when it would hit the mainstream media. Now, the rumors are indeed circling the globe. I live in Tokyo, Japan, and the local English language newspaper referenced the wiring "conspiracy" on Monday.

That same night, my husband drew my attention to a news program on Japanese television where they were detailing the story. The show identified Republican advisors who could have been assisting Bush, and even had a person model a wireless receiver under a suit jacket, showing how it would have been strapped on, what it would have looked like with the jacket on and off, and what its capabilities could be. I wonder if TV news production in the US would have reported on this story to that extent.

The eyes of the world will indeed be on Bush's back during the final debate!

-- Merete Kropp

The suggestion that the "bulge" seen under the President's jacket is some kind of transmitter beaming cues into his ear canal is absurd, and I'm amazed that any grown man can fall for such an idiotic notion... much less speculate about it to a national audience.

Having worn lightweight bulletproof vests under my clothing, and worked with others who have, it's quite obvious that this is a vest. It doen't take much of an "expert" to recognize it, law enforcement officers, firefighters, medics, and other professionals who go into harms way see similar "bulges" every working day. Your "experts" who are making various gonzo suggestions are revealing themselves to be long on BS and short on practical, real-world experience.

What you are interpreting as a mysterious "bulge" is the point where the back panel of the vest extends upwards to protect the spine. You can also see the points where the straps hold the front and rear of the vest over the shoulders, and in some photos the point where the vest curves under the arms.

You seem to make a big issue over the fact that you don't get an explanation from the White House. Of course the White House isn't going to answer truthfully any questions which stray into protective gear worn by a sitting president. Just because the administration is evading and misdirecting questions on this issue isn't reason to begin wild speculations and whacked-out claims.

-- Andy Moorer

The possibility that Bush is receiving prompting via electronic transmissions could account for a lot more than just a bulge in his jacket and his strange performance in the debates. Bush has remarked several times that he receives his guidance directly from God. I speculate that the electronic appliance he is wearing has been kept secret from him as well as the American people, and he has happily interpreted the voices being amplified inside his head as messages from a higher source.

-- Amnon Buchbinder

Since more than a few debate viewers will be looking closely at Bush tonight, I think the Bush campaign will wise up and not have him wear a wire on Wednesday night. Or, at the very least, they'll hide it better.

Should he not wear one, we can expect more stammering, more stuttering, and more questions unanswered by the President.

-- Eric Nutt

There is another plausible explanation for the mysterious rectangular bulge on President Bush's back.

It could be the small door into which master ventriloquist Karl Rove inserts his hand.

-- John Connolley

Salon Staff

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