Sunday, February 26, 2006

It's not about the bike

The G8 summit of world leaders in Gleneagles, Scotland last June was the scene of an incident the details of which are only now being made public. My Wiki partner Melanie from Just a Bump in the Beltway was alerted to this by one of her readers. You draw your own conclusions (excerpt from The Scotsman):
After a hard day's discussion with fellow world leaders, [President Bush] was looking for some relaxation. Instead, he ended up the subject of a police report in which the leader of the free world was described, in classic police language, as a "moving/falling object".

It was "about 1800 hours on Wednesday, 6 July, 2005" that a detachment of Strathclyde police constables, in "Level 2 public order dress [anti-riot gear]," formed a protective line at the gate at the hotel's rear entrance, in case demonstrators penetrated the biggest-ever security operation on Scottish soil.

The official police incident report states: "[The unit] was requested to cover the road junction on the Auchterarder to Braco Road as the President of the USA, George Bush, was cycling through." The report goes on: "[At] about 1800 hours the President approached the junction at speed on the bicycle. The road was damp at the time. As the President passed the junction at speed he raised his left arm from the handlebars to wave to the police officers present while shouting 'thanks, you guys, for coming'.

"As he did this he lost control of the cycle, falling to the ground, causing both himself and his bicycle to strike [the officer] on the lower legs. [The officer] fell to the ground, striking his head. The President continued along the ground for approximately five metres, causing himself a number of abrasions. The officers... then assisted both injured parties."

The injured officer, who was not named, was whisked to Perth Royal Infirmary. The report adds: "While en-route President Bush phoned [the officer], enquiring after his wellbeing and apologising for the accident."

At hospital, a doctor examined the constable and diagnosed damage to his ankle ligaments and issued him with crutches. The cause was officially recorded as: "Hit by moving/falling object."
It's not clear what the immediate cause of this accident was, although all accounts seem to agree it was Bush's fault. An error in judgement perhaps. Not that serious, really. It's not as if this lapse cost the lives of 2300 Americans, maimed or injured another 17,000 and killed a hundred thousand or more Iraqis, as well as being perhaps the single most serious foreign policy blunder in the history of the country.

That was a different lapse in judgement.