"Mission Accomplished!" - The real story

US. President George W. Bush never said those words on May 1, 2003, aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. Nope…he never said the words.
Sorry folks, the phrase was from the “Mission Accomplished” banner hanging behind the president during his speech. Put there by the crew of the USS Abraham Lincoln. Their mission, the reason for their cruise, was accomplished - the removal of Saddam Hussein from power.

Transcript of speech that day:

[quote]ABOARD THE USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CNN) – The following is an unedited transcript of President Bush’s historic speech from the flight deck of the USS Lincoln, during which he declared an end to major combat in Iraq:

Thank you. Thank you all very much.

Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans, major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.

And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.

In this battle, we have fought for the cause of liberty and for the peace of the world. Our nation and our coalition are proud of this accomplishment, yet it is you, the members of the United States military, who achieved it. Your courage, your willingness to face danger for your country and for each other made this day possible.

Because of you our nation is more secure. Because of you the tyrant has fallen and Iraq is free.

Operation Iraqi Freedom was carried out with a combination of precision and speed and boldness the enemy did not expect and the world had not seen before.

From distant bases or ships at sea, we sent planes and missiles that could destroy an enemy division or strike a single bunker. Marines and soldiers charged to Baghdad across 350 miles of hostile ground in one of the swiftest advances of heavy arms in history.

You have shown the world the skill and the might of the American armed forces.

This nation thanks all of the members of our coalition who joined in a noble cause. We thank the armed forces of the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland who shared in the hardships of war. We thank all of the citizens of Iraq who welcomed our troops and joined in the liberation of their own country.

And tonight, I have a special word for Secretary Rumsfeld, for General Franks and for all the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States: America is grateful for a job well done.

The character of our military through history, the daring of Normandy, the fierce courage of Iwo Jima, the decency and idealism that turned enemies into allies is fully present in this generation.

When Iraqi civilians looked into the faces of our service men and women, they saw strength and kindness and good will. When I look at the members of the United States military, I see the best of our country and I am honored to be your commander in chief.

In the images of fallen statues we have witnessed the arrival of a new era. For a hundred of years of war, culminating in the nuclear age, military technology was designed and deployed to inflict casualties on an ever-growing scale.

In defeating Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Allied forces destroyed entire cities, while enemy leaders who started the conflict were safe until the final days. Military power was used to end a regime by breaking a nation.

Today we have the greater power to free a nation by breaking a dangerous and aggressive regime.

With new tactics and precision weapons, we can achieve military objectives without directing violence against civilians.

No device of man can remove the tragedy from war, yet it is a great advance when the guilty have far more to fear from war than the innocent.

In the images of celebrating Iraqis we have also seen the ageless appeal of human freedom. Decades of lies and intimidation could not make the Iraqi people love their oppressors or desire their own enslavement.

Men and women in every culture need liberty like they need food and water and air. Everywhere that freedom arrives, humanity rejoices and everywhere that freedom stirs, let tyrants fear.

We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We’re bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous. We’re pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime who will be held to account for their crimes. We’ve begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons, and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated.

We are helping to rebuild Iraq where the dictator built palaces for himself instead of hospitals and schools.

And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by and for the Iraqi people.

The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done and then we will leave and we will leave behind a free Iraq.

The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001 and still goes on.

That terrible morning, 19 evil men, the shock troops of a hateful ideology, gave America and the civilized world a glimpse of their ambitions. They imagined, in the words of one terrorist, that September the 11th would be the beginning of the end of America.

By seeking to turn our cities into killing fields, terrorists and their allies believed that they could destroy this nation’s resolve and force our retreat from the world.

They have failed.

In the battle of Afghanistan, we destroyed the Taliban, many terrorists and the camps where they trained. We continue to help the Afghan people lay roads, restore hospitals and educate all of their children.

Yet we also have dangerous work to complete. As I speak, a special operations task force lead by the 82nd Airborne is on the trail of the terrorists and those who seek to undermine the free government of Afghanistan.

America and our coalition will finish what we have begun.

From Pakistan to the Philippines to the Horn of Africa, we are hunting down Al Qaida killers.

Nineteen months ago I pledged that the terrorists would not escape the patient justice of the United States. And as of tonight nearly one half of Al Qaida’s senior operatives have been captured or killed.

The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We have removed an ally of Al Qaida and cut off a source of terrorist funding.

And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no more.

In these 19 months that changed the world, our actions have been focused and deliberate and proportionate to the offense. We have not forgotten the victims of September the 11th, the last phone calls, the cold murder of children, the searches in the rubble. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States, and war is what they got.

Our war against terror is proceeding according to the principles that I have made clear to all.

Any person involved in committing or planning terrorist attacks against the American people becomes an enemy of this country and a target of American justice.

Any person, organization or government that supports, protects or harbors terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent and equally guilty of terrorist crimes. Any outlaw regime that has ties to terrorist groups and seeks or possesses weapons of mass destruction is a grave danger to the civilized world and will be confronted.

And anyone in the world, including the Arab world, who works and sacrifices for freedom has a loyal friend in the United States of America.

Our commitment to liberty is America’s tradition, declared at our founding, affirmed in Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, asserted in the Truman Doctrine and in Ronald Reagan’s challenge to an evil empire.

We are committed to freedom in Afghanistan, Iraq and in a peaceful Palestine.

The advance of freedom is the surest strategy to undermine the appeal of terror in the world. Where freedom takes hold, hatred gives way to hope.

When freedom takes hold, men and women turn to the peaceful pursuit of a better life.

American values and American interests lead in the same direction. We stand for human liberty.

The United States upholds these principles of security and freedom in many ways: with all of the tools of diplomacy, law enforcement, intelligence and finance.

We are working with a broad coalition of nations that understand the threat and our shared responsibility to meet it.

The use of force has been and remains our last resort. Yet all can know, friend and foe alike, that our nation has a mission: We will answer threats to our security, and we will defend the peace.

[b]Our mission continues. Al Qaida is wounded, not destroyed. The scattered cells of the terrorist network still operate in many nations and we know from daily intelligence that they continue to plot against free people. The proliferation of deadly weapons remains a serious danger.

The enemies of freedom are not idle, and neither are we. Our government has taken unprecedented measures to defend the homeland and we will continue to hunt down the enemy before he can strike.

The war on terror is not over, yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide.[/b]

No act of the terrorists will change our purpose, or weaken our resolve, or alter their fate. Their cause is lost; free nations will press on to victory.

Other nations in history have fought in foreign lands and remained to occupy and exploit. Americans, following a battle, want nothing more than to return home. And that is your direction tonight.

[b]After service in the Afghan and Iraqi theaters of war, after 100,000 miles on the longest carrier deployment in recent history, you are homeward bound.

Some of you will see new family members for the first time; 150 babies were born while their fathers were on the Lincoln. Your families are proud of you, and your nation will welcome you.[/b]

We are mindful as well that some good men and women are not making the journey home. One of those who fell, Corporal Jason Mileo, spoke to his parents five days before his death. Jason’s father said, “He called us from the center of Baghdad, not to brag but to tell us he loved us. Our son was a soldier.”

Every name, every life is a loss to our military, to our nation and to the loved ones who grieve. There is no homecoming for these families. Yet we pray in God’s time their reunion will come.

Those we lost were last seen on duty.

Their final act on this Earth was to fight a great evil and bring liberty to others.

All of you, all in this generation of our military, have taken up the highest calling of history: You were defending your country and protecting the innocent from harm.

And wherever you go, you carry a message of hope, a message that is ancient and ever new. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, “To the captives, come out; and to those in darkness, be free.”

Thank you for serving our country and our cause.

May God bless you all. And may God continue to bless America.

* bold emphasis added.

So just remember, when you see another person making the claim that US Pres. G.W. Bush said - ““MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!” and the war is over 'cause he’s soo dumb and ‘Bush lied’ and bush bots this and bushies that” …they are the ones attempting to perpetuate a lie…its just not true. Now you know.

What the President Actually Said on May 1, 2003

Well it it appears it was supposed to be in there, until Rumsy took to the planned speech with a pair of scissors. Apparently some swabbie didn’t get the revised memo.

[quote]When he received an advance copy of the speech, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld took care to remove any use of the phrase “Mission Accomplished” in the speech itself. Later, when journalist Bob Woodward asked him about his changes to the speech, Rumsfeld responded:"I was in Baghdad, and I was given a draft of that thing to look at. And I just died, and I said my God, it’s too conclusive. And I fixed it and sent it back… they fixed the speech, but not the sign."

Bush reiterated his “Mission Accomplished” statement to the troops at Camp As Sayliyah on June 5, 2003 — about a month after the aircraft carrier incident: “America sent you on a mission to remove a grave threat and to liberate an oppressed people, and that mission has been accomplished.”[

For critics of the war, the photo-op became a symbol of the administration’s unrealistic goals and perceptions of the conflict. Anti-war activists questioned the integrity and realism of George W. Bush’s “Major combat” statement. The banner came to symbolize the irony of the President giving a victory speech only a few weeks after the beginning of a relatively long war. Many in the administration came to regret the slogan. Karl Rove later stated “I wish the banner [had] not [been] up there.”[8][/quote]

Just more incompetence, basically, or do you suppose we should be somehow reassured buy this additonal bungle? But thanks for the heads up, it’s always nice to know when the Bush supporters are ready to start rewriting history, which is as always, when they’re on the ropes.

Squirm baby, squirm, disco inferno!


[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]Well it it appears it was supposed to be in there,…"

HG[/quote]HGC -
But it wasn’t.
It appears that you are the one attempting the re-write of history.
The facts have been laid out.
Now wiggle like a nice lad and call it a Sunday Dance Special!

Sigh, even when it is there in your face?

Good for you. Tell me, on your planet does the water head down the toilet in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction?


[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]Good for you. Tell me, on your planet does the water head down the toilet in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction?
HG[/quote]HGC -
Depends on which hemisphere the toilet is located in.
But…what does this have to do with the OT?

Nothing at all, so it appears. But glad I could help you with the swirly Q.

Speaking of hemispheres, I think the real metaphor/imagery in that speech was this:

It’s just that I can’t quite work out if it should be “cock up”, “balls up” or “dropped ball.”


Well, now your posts have moved from the toilet to male genitalia.
Still not quite on the OP even with your nice picture.

Sorry, but did it really deserve more consideration?


TC is right. What we really should be busting his balls for is the assenine “bring 'em on” comments.

There is a great deal of evidence that the White House was the actual reason that the sign was even there in the first place. Even if someone in the Navy suggested it might make a cute motto, it was the White House who grabbed the idea and ran with it. It was the White House that made the sign in the first place.

“Navy and administration sources said that though the banner was the Navy’s idea, the White House actually made it.” - http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/10/28/mission.accomplished/

Furthermore, George Bush said on that day, “The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September 11, 2001,” and that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” Now we know that though both of those can be summed up in two words (mission accomplished), it is clearly untrue that it was mission accomplished at that time. Saying that it is not mission accomplished is not disparaging the troops, but it is embarrassing for the White House.

Mission Accomplished - The sign was made by the White House.

What’s the point of all this? The mission’s obviously not accomplished, though the White House made a big sign that said it was.

TC, not really sure why you’d want to bring up this moment of embarassment for the US. But sure, if you want to give it even more bandwidth, go right ahead.


do you really think that the White House wasn’t fully aware and supportive of this sign/statement?

c’mon! they exclude people from attending Dubya’s speaking engagements if they have a bumper sticker on their car deemed non-supportive…

this White House makes Nixon look like a well-adjusted, trusting guy.

You guys are too funny…youz got nuthin’ and still youz attempt the spinn…:roflmao:

the White house admit they made the sign. What more is there to spin out of that? :unamused:

The fact that the White House made it is irrelevant, because the WH didn’t put it there, it was the crew.
Imagine someone from the White House would actually have flown there to hang the banner. See? TC really got a point there.

It’s just gonna be one of those quotes that is forever attributed to someone who didn’t say it.

It was a dumbdumb thing for Bush’s team to allow him on that ship. Really, wtf was the point of it all? You CAN’T give a speech to only Americans anymore. You give it to the world. Waving your dick around after beating the hell out of essentially one city was a beeg mistake.

However, as mistakes go, if was a faux pas more than some cataclysmic error. But damn did the press and bloggers chew it down to the marrow.

Just a deconstructionist sign of the times. blah blah yak yak

Damned right JD, and I for one was happy to leave dogs lie, but oh no, history had to be rewritten.


[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]Damned right JD, and I for one was happy to leave dogs lie, but oh no, history had to be rewritten.
HG[/quote]HGC -
Well…this attempt didn’t work for ya…what’s next on your list?

rascals’ pic and its bone-headed balloon quotes? Wanna run that one through the ‘truth machine’?
Beat that dead dog like a cheap drum?

The fact that the White House made it is irrelevant, because the WH didn’t put it there, it was the crew.
Imagine someone from the White House would actually have flown there to hang the banner. See? TC really got a point there.[/quote]

Ok, so now it’s coming down to who put it there as opposed to who made it and asked it to be put there? Righty-oh. I guess the White House Aircraft Carrier Banner Hanger Upper dude was busy that day.

The Captain of the ship would have considered receiving a banner from the Commander in Chief’s admin team to be following orders, don’t you agree TC?

Drat! Foiled . . . again!

"Asked at a news conference whether the “Mission Accomplished” banner had been prematurely boastful, the president backed away from it, saying it had been put up by the sailors and airmen of the Lincoln to celebrate their homecoming after toppling Saddam’s regime.

Not long afterwards, the White House had to amend its account. The soldiers hadn’t put up the sign; the White House had done the hoisting. It had also produced the banner — contrary to what senior White House officials had said for months. In the end, the White House conceded on those details, but declared them mere quibbles. The point was, they said, that the whole thing had been done at the request of the crewmembers. Even that explanation didn’t sit well with some long-time Bush aides. “They (the White House) put up banners at every event that look just like that and we’re supposed to believe that at this one it was the Navy that requested one?” asked a senior administration official. Others remember staffers boasting about how the president had been specifically positioned during his speech so that the banner would be captured in footage of his speech."
Time Magazine

"Officials of past Democratic and Republican administrations marvel at how the White House does not seem to miss an opportunity to showcase Mr. Bush in dramatic and perfectly lighted settings. It is all by design: the White House has stocked its communications operation with people from network television who have expertise in lighting, camera angles and the importance of backdrops. . .

“I don’t know who does it,” Mr. Deaver said, “but somebody’s got a good eye over there.”

That somebody, White House officials and television executives say, is in fact three or four people. First among equals is Scott Sforza, a former ABC producer who was hired by the Bush campaign in Austin, Tex., and who now works for Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director. Mr. Sforza created the White House “message of the day” backdrops and helped design the $250,000 set at the United States Central Command forward headquarters in Doha, Qatar, during the Iraq war.

Mr. Sforza works closely with Bob DeServi, a former NBC cameraman whom the Bush White House hired after seeing his work in the 2000 campaign. Mr. DeServi, whose title is associate director of communications for production, is considered a master at lighting. “You want it, I’ll heat it up and make a picture,” he said early this week. Mr. DeServi helped produce one of Mr. Bush’s largest events, a speech to a crowd in Revolution Square in Bucharest last November. . .

The most elaborate — and criticized — White House event so far was Mr. Bush’s speech aboard the Abraham Lincoln announcing the end of major combat in Iraq. White House officials say that a variety of people, including the president, came up with the idea, and that Mr. Sforza embedded himself on the carrier to make preparations days before Mr. Bush’s landing in a flight suit and his early evening speech.

Media strategists noted afterward that Mr. Sforza and his aides had choreographed every aspect of the event, even down to the members of the Lincoln crew arrayed in coordinated shirt colors over Mr. Bush’s right shoulder and the “Mission Accomplished” banner placed to perfectly capture the president and the celebratory two words in a single shot.
The speech was specifically timed for what image makers call “magic hour light,” which cast a golden glow on Mr. Bush.

“If you looked at the TV picture, you saw there was flattering light on his left cheek and slight shadowing on his right,” Mr. King said. “It looked great.”