Bush Portrait Caption Changed After Objection

Senator raised questions over wording

The National Portrait Gallery amended a caption on a portrait of President George W. Bush at the request of a U.S. senator.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., objecting to wording accompanying a portrait of the president installed at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington.  Sanders, a strong opponent of the Iraq war, asked the Smithsonian to rewrite the text that says Bush's two terms in office were "marked by a series of catastrophic events" including the "the attacks on September 11, 2001, that led to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Sanders said the notion that the terrorist attacks were linked to or led to the Iraq war has been widely debunked and that the wording, in essence, was rewriting history.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the gallery's director thought the request was reasonable and ordered that the caption be amended. The new text will be installed Wednesday.

The new wording eliminates the "led to" phrase and instead provides a list of events that mark the Bush terms, the Post reported.

It will read: ". . . Bush found his two terms in office instead marked by a series of cataclysmic events: the attacks on September 11, 2001; the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina; and a financial crisis during his last months in office."

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