Suggested reading for Karen Hughes

The president's undersecretary of state teaches the Arab world about the U.S. Constitution. Perhaps she should read it first.

Published September 29, 2005 1:58PM (EDT)

The London Daily Telegraph is reporting that a Spanish judge has ordered an imam who wrote a book on how to beat one's wife without leaving marks to study Spain's constitution. Perhaps a similar sentence -- we mean the studying-the-constitution part -- would be appropriate for Karen Hughes, George W. Bush's former communications director and current undersecretary of state for public diplomacy.

As Sidney Blumenthal notes today in Salon, Hughes boasted this week in Turkey that she'd set an Egyptian opposition leader straight when he complained about Bush's constant invocations of God. "I had one person at one lunch raise the issue of the president mentioning God in his speeches," Hughes said. "And I asked whether he was aware that previous American presidents have also cited God, and that our Constitution cites 'one nation under God.' He said, 'Well, never mind,' and went on to something else."

Which is all well and good, we suppose, but the U.S. Constitution doesn't say anything about "one nation under God." Indeed, unlike the president, the U.S. Constitution never mentions the word "God" at all. The phrase "one nation under God" appears in the Pledge of Allegiance, to which it was added in 1954.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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