Saturday, June 09, 2007

The "Accident" Prone President And The Security Protecting Him, From Terrorists And Himself

Interesting from the Times Online turns up these factoids about the security surrounding Bush at the G8 summit, and in particular the preparation of his meals, one of which may have led to the "stomach trouble" that saw Bush miss a morning of meetings, after being spotted drinking "no alcohol" beer the evening before :

60 chefs are on stand by to cook for the eight heads of state, their partners and entourages.

The hotel complex where the conference is being held has its own herds of lamb and goat, and prides itself on fresh, locally grown produce.

Security in the kitchens is tight, and the secret service is monitoring them. Summit observers have noted that the precautions taken around Mr Bush are especially stringent - in one incident, a German police officer was prevented by White House staff from so much as touching the door handle of the President's Lincoln limousine.

Fish - on the menu at Wednesday night's dinner at the start of the summit - is a speciality at the seaside resort. At lunch on Wednesday Mr Bush shared a meal of asparagus and veal schnitzel with his host, Angela Merkel.

Bush is accident-prone, or a heavy drinker who loses control on a fairly regular basis. The Times Online notes that Bush has "an unfortunate record for becoming indisposed while in public office." He sure does, and that's the nice way to put it.

The other way to put it is this way - Bush is a heavy drinker, who regularly loses control of his intake and of himself in a drunken state, which leads to accidents and injuries, not always just to himself :

In January 2002, he grazed his cheek after choking on a pretzel and fainting while watching television.

In June 2003 he fell off his Segway scooter at his family estate in Kennebunkport, Maine, and in May 2004 he fell off his mountain bike, grazing his knees, hand, chin and nose.

In another bit of summit misfortune, in July 2005 Mr Bush crashed into a police officer while riding his bike around the grounds at the Gleneagles hotel while attending the G8 summit in Britain. The US President scraped his hands and arms, and the police officer was hospitalised with an ankle injury.

I've no doubt that a few years after Bush leaves office, a book from a former close White House staffer will appear, detailing the drinking habits of the president at war. Then again, the way Bush is losing friends and allies over the Iraq War and his stand on immigration reform, such a book may appear before he has even left the White House.