Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Deciderer

Oh, so it's out? Decision Points by George W. Bush is not only on the shelves but also a best seller on Amazon.com. Bush's memoir is described as a "candid and gripping account" of the "critical decisions that shaped his presidency and personal life." That's funny because when I first heard the title, I assumed it would explain who the hell decided to make him president.

But whatever. I don't think I'm going to read it -- not even the free Kindle sample. I've had enough of this guy, so I will settle for scathing reviews, video mashups, and exclusive interviews (if they include a handy transcript I can easily skim):

LAUER: Did you ever ask yourself the question, "What more could I have done," to prevent this from happening?

BUSH: Well, we just didn't have any solid intelligence that gave us a warning on this. We didn't have any clear intelligence that said you know, "Get ready. They're gonna fly airplanes into New York buildings."

Wow. He's still spreading that horseshit that there was just no way he could have known? Despite the fact that he had been presented with 36 Presidential Daily Briefs that year that related to Bin Ladin or al Qaeda, and that 36th one was actually titled 'Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US.' What more did he want? Bin Ladin to personally pencil in the attack date in his day planner?

But wait, there's more crazy:

LAUER: Here's something else from the book: “I could never forget what happened to America that day. I would pour my heart and soul into protecting this country, whatever it took." It took two wars. It took thousands of lives, American lives. Billions of dollars. You could say it taking Guantanamo and Abu Gharib and government eavesdropping and waterboarding. Did it take too much?

BUSH: We didn't have an attack. 3,000 people died on September the 11th and I vowed that I would do my duty to protect the American people.

We didn't have an attack? WTF? The Republicans are trying to rewrite history again and nobody is objecting?

Finally, here is the heart of the interview, but it's no surprise. In fact, it's Bush's most famous talking point -- you know, the one where he claims he kept us safe:

BUSH: We believe America's going to be attacked again. There's all kinds of intelligence comin' in. And-- and-- one of the high value al Qaeda operatives was Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the chief operating officer of al Qaeda… ordered the attack on 9/11. And they say, "He's got information." I said, "Find out what he knows.” And so I said to our team, "Are the techniques legal?" He says, "Yes, they are." And I said, "Use 'em."

LAUER: Why is waterboarding legal, in your opinion?

BUSH: Because the lawyer said it was legal. He said it did not fall within the Anti-Torture Act. I'm not a lawyer., but you gotta trust the judgment of people around you and I do.

LAUER: You say it's legal. "And the lawyers told me."

BUSH: Yeah.

LAUER: Critics say that you got the Justice Department to give you the legal guidance and the legal memos that you wanted.

BUSH: Well—

LAUER: Tom Kean, who a former Republican co-chair of the 9/11 commission said they got legal opinions they wanted from their own people.

BUSH: He obviously doesn't know. I hope Mr. Kean reads the book. That's why I've written the book. He can, they can draw whatever conclusion they want. But I will tell you this. Using those techniques saved lives. My job is to protect America and I did.

No, torture didn't keep us safe. Bush and Cheney decided to torture for political gain, torture results in false intelligence, and the fact that we torture was used as a powerful recruiting tool for al Qaeda.

Torture is also abhorrent and illegal, despite what Bush's lawyers thought.

But now we have Bush's memoirs which should have been titled "I Approved Waterboarding," and might as well be used as a signed confession if anybody has the balls to prosecute.


SJ said...

I downloaded the free kindle sample :)
I get the whole Afghanistan thing what I don't understand is Iraq. Was this some kind of buy one get another war free scheme?

Kristen said...

Yes, Cheney told him "why have one war for half a trillion dollars when you can have TWO wars for one trillion dollars?" Bush couldn't argue with that logic!

Trung said...

wait a minute. he knows how to write? :P

Kristen said...

Don't they all hire ghost-writers for these things? Or in Bush's case, must have been a ghost plagiarizer?