ltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 12675 posts, RR: 13 Posted (3 years 1 month 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2802 times:
This week has seen the release of Former US President George W. Bush's book on him and his Presidency. Of course, a few pages of disclosures in the book get the most attention. While it does avoid criticism of current President Obama, he continues to cling, but with few exceptions, as to his absolute views as to many issues. Among the most interesting bits:
- Admitting to a 'love affair' with alcohol, that continued into his early 40's.
- Admitting that the banner 'Mission Accomplished' was a big mistake.
- Admitting that the picture of him flying over in AF1 the New Orleans and other areas devastated by Katrina was a big mistake.
- That he considered changing out Chenny as his VP in the 2004 election.
- His approval of the use of 'waterboarding' of selected terror suspects.
- His decision to go to war in Iraq even with questionable evidence of Saddam Hussein and WMD's.
- Not giving a full pardon, only a commutation of sentence, to 'Scooter' Libby as to his outing of CIA agent Valerie Palme (perhaps to avoid the criticism of former Pres. Clinton who made a number of very controversial pardons as he left office.
Last night (Monday) NBC network had a 1 hour program where he was interviewed by Matt Lauer about the book. Of course he will be making the rounds from Oprah to Leno and probably Fox News to plug his book. One has to wonder if some of the disclosures will end up being used as evidence to bring Human Rights Law charges in some countries. I also have a serious problem that it is normal for former Presidents and other top government leaders not just in the USA to do a book for personal profit rather than disclose important information that should be public record at no cost. I think what a former PM for the UK did, donating the profits for his book to funds for war injured soldiers is a much more honorable thing.
I suspect this book will continue to be analyzed to death, but I think it will help us to understand GWB a bit better.
virgin744 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 907 posts, RR: 4 Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2754 times:
It still beggars belief how this man was able to get into power and then win reelection, a sad indictment on the American people. Watching him last night reminded me of how inept he was as a leader, absolutely shocking!
Just a couple of points that stood out;
On using torture:
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."
LAUER: Critics say that you got the Justice Department to give you the legal guidance and the legal memos that you wanted.
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.
LAUER: So if-- if it's legal, President Bush, then if an American is taken into custody in a foreign country, not necessarily a uniformed--
BUSH: Look, I --
BUSH: I'm not gonna the issue, Matt. I, I really--
LAUER: I'm just asking. Would it be okay for a foreign country to waterboard an American citizen?
BUSH: It's all I ask is that people read the book. And they can reach the same conclusion. If they'd have made the same decision I made or not.
and on Katrina:
LAUER: The other moment where there seemed to be a huge disconnect between you and the people, especially the people on the ground, was famously with FEMA director Mike Brown.
BUSH: Yeah. (laughs)
LAUER: You know, we were all watching and we were broadcasting images of misery.
BUSH: No, I know. I know.
He says the comment came after he met with the governors of Alabama and Mississippi, both Republicans, who both praised Brown.
BUSH: I tend to boost people's spirits during difficult times. And these two governors are sayin, "This guy's doin' a good job" and of course I say…
BUSH (original press footage): Brownie, you are doing a heck of a job.
BUSH: Basically what I was sayin' it-- "Good job. You're doin' what we expect you to do." The problem is--
LAUER: That's not what we were seein'.
BUSH: Yeah, exactly (laughs). I understand. I understand. I mean the only thing I can tell you is you're right.
Correct and unlike President Obama on President Bush he actually praises President Obama. Given the continued cheap shots that President Obama makes about President Bush at every turn I think that is pretty magnaimous of President Bush and shows who has the greater character.
Praise for ObamaThere is no criticism of President Obama in Bush’s book, and he praises Obama for his more-aggressive policy on Afghanistan, for his “smart, disciplined, high-tech campaign” in 2008, and for the “calm demeanor” Obama displayed at a special White House meeting during the financial crisis in September of that year.
“I thought it was smart when he informed the gathering that he was in constant contact with Hank” Paulson, he writes. “His purpose was to show that he was aware, in touch, and prepared to help get a bill passed.”
Quoting ltbewr (Thread starter): I also have a serious problem that it is normal for former Presidents and other top government leaders not just in the USA to do a book for personal profit rather than disclose important information that should be public record at no cost.
You can read about it no cost. Reserve a copy from your local library.
Should he drop Cheney?Bush considered dropping Dick Cheney from the ticket in 2006 (perhaps replacing him with then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee) – an idea put forth by Cheney himself, but subsequently rejected by Bush.
On the waterboarding. President Obama allowed the release of information about the waterboarding but then declines to release the information gained by it only saying its "classified". Well if it remains classified that would indicate to me at least that it has some revelant importance.
He also says in the link on the financial meltdown:
Bush also writes that he was â€œblindsided by a financial crisis that had been more than a decade in the making.â€
“I assumed any major credit troubles would have been flagged by the regulators or rating agencies,” he writes.
Which goes to show that once you enter the bubble that is the White House you can lose a lot of perspective on what is actually happening as there are so many things coming at you every day its hard to keep your head above water. Even when he did realize that things weren't going so well, some in the government worked against any efforts he made to reform the system before it came crashing down.
I just bought the book for my eReader and hope to get time to read it over the next few days. I hope he can shed some light on why he felt it was necessary to increase discretionary spending as he did over his 8 years in the Presidency. That is where I find his greatest fault.
Aaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 7891 posts, RR: 27 Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2670 times:
Quoting dxing (Reply 9): Correct and unlike President Obama on President Bush he actually praises President Obama. Given the continued cheap shots that President Obama makes about President Bush at every turn I think that is pretty magnaimous of President Bush and shows who has the greater character.
I got the distinct impression that his comments about the Obama campaign and specifically the Paulson meeting were more intended to criticize John McCain, who he clearly continues to dislike to this day. He wrote that McCain came to the meeting unprepared, LOL.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
dxing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2640 times:
Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 10): I got the distinct impression that his comments about the Obama campaign and specifically the Paulson meeting were more intended to criticize John McCain, who he clearly continues to dislike to this day. He wrote that McCain came to the meeting unprepared, LOL.
I would agree with that. However praise is still praise and to give it after all the cheap shots still speaks well of the person giving it.
kaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12166 posts, RR: 35 Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2588 times:
Quoting Mir (Reply 7): I'm more worried that he basically asked the Justice Department to tell him that waterboarding was acceptable within the law, and then when they did, said "well, they told me it was legal".
That sort of crap can't stand, no matter what the subject matter is.
I'm no supporter of GWB and will always maintain that he was one of the most disastrous presidents in the country's history, but in decisions like this, I am slower to condemn.
Let's look at it from another perspective; let's say a horrific terrorist attack had taken place - for example the attack on LHR, as mentioned by GWB in his book; let's say it later became public knowledge that the individuals who had knowledge of this were in custody and that they were not "appropriately incentivised" to provide information which could have prevented this attack from taking place; what would the public think then? Bottom line: if you have a choice between saving the lives of x,000 people and undermining the rights/dignities of one person (who is also known to have participated in the planning of other atrocities), are you morally justified in not bringing to bear all possible incentives/pressures to elicit information?
Trouble is, of course, that the line is never absolutely clear; you will never have a clear decision, yes or no; you have to go with your instinct; this is part of what these people have done to western societies, or so they may claim. However, at the end of the day, which is the higher duty of government: to protect the lives or its people or the absolute "by the book" administration of justice? I would strongly argue the former, because "the book" never anticipated some of what we have witnessed and our society - including our legal processes - must not be hamstrung in the pursuit of its ultimate duty.
Mir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 20481 posts, RR: 56 Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 21 hours ago) and read 2516 times:
Quoting kaitak (Reply 18): Bottom line: if you have a choice between saving the lives of x,000 people and undermining the rights/dignities of one person (who is also known to have participated in the planning of other atrocities), are you morally justified in not bringing to bear all possible incentives/pressures to elicit information?
Respecting the existing laws is never the wrong answer. If the lawyers say that certain forms of interrogation are acceptable, then fine, but that whole process breaks down when the lawyers are compelled to tell the president what he wants to hear instead of what is accurate.
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
AirTran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3661 posts, RR: 13 Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 21 hours ago) and read 2505 times:
I bought the book and am about 100 pages into it. So far it is a good book. I am enjoying reading it in Business Elite on DL as we scream towards SFO with a bunch of Liberals giving me bad looks for reading it. Bush jumps back and forth on the timeline of his life. To be honest it is nice to read it. The book gives him a human side. Say whatever you want about him, he was a man who loves this country and did everything that he thought that could to make it a better and safer place. Some of the insight to the Rumsfeld and Powell feud is quite interesting. You guys should read the book before you judge it.
Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
well i'm a screaming lefty and i can't wait to read the book. problem is - most of the good points were already given away in the promotional interviews, so now i'm a little slower to pick it up. oh well
it'll turn into my thanksgiving holiday weekend read, most likely.
Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
seb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 10720 posts, RR: 16 Reply 16, posted (3 years 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2341 times:
Quoting ltbewr (Thread starter): Admitting that the banner 'Mission Accomplished' was a big mistake.
What about delcaring major combat operations in Iraq have ended?
I kinda feel sorry for the guy, now. It sounds like he did a lot of this stuff to gain acceptance from his collegues and peers, not so much for the good of the nation. I think he needs some heavy therapy.
ltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 12675 posts, RR: 13 Reply 18, posted (3 years 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2014 times:
Getting back to the subject of this book....
Apparently this book fails to discuss certain decisions and behaviors of GWB. For examples just as to the events of 9/11:
- His decision to evacuate relatives of the bin-Ladin family from the USA by air to Saudi Arabia in an exception to the grounding of all aircraft but for military need. To me they all should have been brought to a military base, all their USA assets seized and held until Osama was found and dead. Why was this done? Was it due to the close relationship of the bin-Ladan family and the Bush family to the Saud family who controls Saudi Arabia ? Crickets chirp.
- His decisions to have the EPA declare the air to be safe lower Manhattan along with the 'reopening' of the areas businesses despite the dangerous, toxic air, dusts and debris. Now many 1000's face premature death and terrible illnesses from those exposures and insufficient cleaning just to put Wall Street back in business as a symbol to the terrorists that they Dian't win. Better would have been to enforce EPA and OSHA laws on workers in the neighborhood, to temporarily relocate key financial operations to outside the neighborhood and make sure all structures in the area were properly cleaned before people could return to work or live in them.
- How he reacted at that book reading when the attacks went down. Upon the first word from his Secret Service agent, he should have excused himself, gone off stage, then immediately leave the site instead of keep reading.
These are just a few examples of how this book is more about rehabbing his image rather than discussing his 'decision points'.
flanker From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1616 posts, RR: 2 Reply 19, posted (3 years 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2013 times:
Quoting ltbewr (Reply 49): - How he reacted at that book reading when the attacks went down. Upon the first word from his Secret Service agent, he should have excused himself, gone off stage, then immediately leave the site instead of keep reading.
He discussed this during the Sean Hannity interview for the book. It would be wise for you to go see it and listen to what he said before making assumptions.
Excellent interview with Bush on the factor with Bill.
SA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3128 posts, RR: 26 Reply 21, posted (3 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1871 times:
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OA412 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 5156 posts, RR: 25 Reply 23, posted (3 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1866 times:
I do not tend to read books by politicians of any stripe since I find them to be completely self-indulgent and self-congratuladtory. I may read this one just to see what he has to say about his presidency, but I have not yet made up my mind?
Quoting flanker (Reply 19): He discussed this during the Sean Hannity interview for the book. It would be wise for you to go see it and listen to what he said before making assumptions.
qantas077 From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 5798 posts, RR: 42 Reply 24, posted (3 years 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1844 times:
Quoting OA412 (Reply 24): I do not tend to read books by politicians of any stripe since I find them to be completely self-indulgent and self-congratuladtory. I may read this one just to see what he has to say about his presidency, but I have not yet made up my mind?
well if this is anything to go by...then you might not be reading his memoirs.