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Old 11-10-2010, 01:50 PM   #556
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(CNN) -George Bush's memoir only hit bookshelves Tuesday, but already one prominent ex-world leader says the former president isn't being truthful when it comes to his description of a 2002 conversation about the possible use of force in Iraq.

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who left office in 2005, is disputing a passage in Bush's new book that claims Schroeder privately offered the president full-fledged support in 2002 should he decide to invade Iraq.

"The former American president is not telling the truth," Schroeder said Tuesday according to the German newspaper Der Spiegel.

In his new book Decision points, Bush writes that in a January 2002 White House meeting with Schroeder, the German leader said of possible force in Iraq: "What is true of Afghanistan is true of Iraq. Nations that sponsor terror must face consequences. If you make it fast and make it decisive, I will be with you."

"I took that as a statement of support," Bush writes of the conversation. "But when German elections arrived later that year, Schroeder had a different take. He denounced the possibility of using force against Iraq."

Speaking Tuesday, Schroeder said the 2002 meeting was actually focused on the mere possibility former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had anything to do with the September 11 attacks, and said he made no unequivocal commitments

"Just as I did during my subsequent meetings with the American president, I made it clear that, should Iraq ... prove to have provided protection and hospitality to al Qaeda fighters, Germany would reliably stand beside the US," Schroeder said of his comments to the president. "This connection, however, as it became clear during 2002, was false and constructed."

Bush, whose relationship with Schroeder quickly turned frosty after the chancellor expressed opposition to the war, writes he was "shocked and furious" with the actions of his ally, especially after the German justice minister accused Bush of acting like Adolf Hitler in his efforts to "divert attention from domestic political problems."

"It was hard to have a constructive relationship again," Bush writes of his future relations with Schroeder.
I'm not sure the two men's perspectives are mutually opposed. Schroeder may well have given qualified support, provided that a link between al Qaeda and Iraq be proven. And given that Bush either believed (or was led to believe, or was motivated to believe) that such a link existed, he may have taken it as a stronger statement of support than it was.

Foreign diplomacy, however, never really seemed to be Bush's strong suit.

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Old 11-10-2010, 02:10 PM   #557
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Financial Times (UK), November 9


George W. Bush’s bombastic return to the world stage has reminded me of my favourite Bush anecdote, which for various reasons we couldn’t publish at the time. Some of the witnesses still dine out on it.

The venue was the Oval Office. A group of British dignitaries, including Gordon Brown, were paying a visit. It was at the height of the 2008 presidential election campaign, not long after Bush publicly endorsed John McCain as his successor. Naturally the election came up in conversation. Trying to be even-handed and polite, the Brits said something diplomatic about McCain’s campaign, expecting Bush to express some warm words of support for the Republican candidate.

Not a chance. “I probably won’t even vote for the guy,” Bush told the group, according to two people present.“I had to endorse him. But I’d have endorsed Obama if they’d asked me.”

Endorse Obama? Cue dumbfounded look from British officials, followed by some awkward remarks about the Washington weather. Even Gordon Brown’s poker face gave way to a flash of astonishment.

To be fair, this wasn’t completely unexpected. The degree of enmity between Bush and McCain—particularly following their legendarily dirty fight in the 2000 South Carolina primary—is hard to exaggerate. Indeed Bush is far from kind to McCain in the parts of his new book that relate his “complex relationship” with the Arizona senator. I’ve yet to see a copy, so I don’t know whether he mentions how he voted. But it might be worth asking. He was certainly wavering.
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:46 PM   #558
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first, I am always suspicious of unnamed sources

second, it could be true, because W has always been self-absorbed.

the 2008 election 2 candidates ran against W,
Obama kept calling McCain more of the same, Bush.

and McCain kept saying he was not Bush, that is one reason he chose the outsider Palin. And also Bush did not get an invite to McCain;s GOP convention, I don't believe McCain even mentioned his name.
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:34 PM   #559
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Jack Bauer nation....

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Interrogation Nation
The baby steps that have taken the United States from decrying torture to celebrating it.
By Dahlia Lithwick | Slate.com
Posted Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010, at 6:24 PM ET

The old adage held that if they couldn't get you for the crime, they would get you for the coverup. But this week, it was revealed that both the crime and the coverup will go permanently unpunished. Which suggests that everything in between will go unpunished as well.

In an America in which the former president can boast on television that he approved the water-boarding of U.S. prisoners, it can hardly be a shock that following a lengthy investigation, no criminal charges will be filed against those who destroyed the evidence of CIA abuse of prisoners Abu Zubaydah and Abd a-Rahim al-Nashiri. We keep waiting breathlessly for someone, somewhere, to have a day of reckoning over the prisoners we tortured in the wake of 9/11, without recognizing that there is no bag man to be found and that therefore we are all the bag man.

President Barack Obama decided long ago that he would "turn the page" on prisoner abuse and other illegality connected to the Bush administration's war on terror. What he didn't seem to understand, what he still seems not to appreciate, is that what was on that page would bleed through onto the next page and the page after that. There's no getting past torture. There is only getting comfortable with it. The U.S. flirtation with torture is not locked in the past or in the black sites or prisons at which it occurred. Now more than ever, it' s feted on network television and held in reserve for the next president who persuades himself that it's not illegal after all.

In his new memoir, Decision Points, former President George W. Bush boasts that he not only granted his permission to water-board detainees but did so cowboy-fashion—with the words "Damn right." This admission has elicited barely a ripple of self-doubt among an American public that reconciled itself long ago to the twin propositions that torture can sometimes be legal and that every terror suspect is always a ticking time bomb. Bush's contention that American torture "helped break up plots to attack American military and diplomatic facilities abroad, Heathrow airport and Canary Wharf in London, and multiple targets in the United States," has been largely rejected by British officials. (You may recall that earlier claims that Bush-era torture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed led to the interruption of a plot to crash planes into the Library Tower in Los Angeles, were roundly debunked by my colleague Timothy Noah, who has shown that the Library Tower plot was disrupted in 2002, before the United States had even captured KSM, much less begun to torture him.)

But even the repeated assertions that torture saved American lives in this or that unfalsifiable international terror scenario is beside the point, as Ronald Reagan's former Solicitor General Charles Fried has argued in Because It Is Wrong, a book co-authored with his son Gregory Fried. They argue that torture is immoral and illegal and that it has degraded and shamed this country. As the Frieds vividly demonstrate in their book, for all that torture hurts our enemies, it invariably hurts us even more. And as Charles Fried reminded an Australian newspaper again today, the illegality of water-boarding isn't a close call, even though we have come to call it "simulated drowning" or "enhanced interrogation." It has been a crime for decades: "In the past we have prosecuted American soldiers who engaged in the equivalent of waterboarding. We have also prosecuted German and Japanese commandants who ordered it. Some were even executed."

British papers may claim that there will be legal repercussions following Bush's admissions, but the truth is that the Bush spin on the old Nixonian formulation for presidential conduct—it's legal if my lawyer tells me it's legal—has become the law of the land. Indeed, it's exactly the formulation used by Jose Rodriguez, the man who ordered CIA officials to destroy videotapes showing prisoners being abused: His lawyers said he could. As Nan Aron explains the "my lawyer ate it" defense has been deemed illegal since Nuremburg. Now it's a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Eric Holder and Barack Obama have taken pains to tell the American people that water-boarding is illegal torture. So what? That's just their opinion. President Bush disagrees. The persistent failure to hold anyone accountable at any level for years of state-sanctioned abuse speaks louder than their words. It has taken this issue from a legal question to a matter of personal taste. What we choose to define as torture is now just another policy disagreement, like extending the Bush tax cuts or picking a caterer. This is precisely the kind of sliding-scale ethical guesswork the rule of law should preclude.

Those of us who have been hollering about America's descent into torture for the past nine years didn't do so because we like terrorists or secretly hope for more terror attacks. We did it because if a nation is unable to decry something as always and deeply wrong, it has tacitly accepted it as sometimes and often right. Or, as President Bush now puts it, damn right. It spawns a legal regime that cannot be contained in time or in place; a regime that requires that torture testimony be used at trials and that terror policies be withheld from public scrutiny. It demands the shielding of torture photos and the exoneration of those who destroyed torture tapes just a day after the statute of limitations had run out. Indeed, as Andrew Cohen notes, when the men ordering the destruction of those tapes are celebrated as "heroes," who's to say otherwise? Check, please.

All this was done in the name of moving us forward, turning down the temperature, painting over the rot that had overtaken the rule of law. Yet having denied any kind of reckoning for every actor up and down the chain of command, we are now farther along the road toward normalizing and accepting torture than we were back in November 2005, when President Bush could announce unequivocally (if falsely) that "The United States of America does not torture. And that's important for people around the world to understand." If people around the world didn't understand what we were doing then, they surely do now. And if Americans didn't accept what we were doing then, evidently they do now. Doing nothing about torture is, at this point, pretty much the same as voting for it. We are all water-boarders now.

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Article URL: The baby steps that have taken the United States from decrying torture to celebrating it. - By Dahlia Lithwick - Slate Magazine
Just as the abuse and expansion of Executive Power under Bush will likely never be reformed because it's now precedent, the torture policy of the U.S. is now legal precedent.

Fucking disturbing. I guess it doesn't matter, because they're "sand niggers"?
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:14 PM   #560
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I wouldn't imagine he has suddenly developed an interest in the world outside of, well, Texas, but if he does suddenly get the urge to go abroad, he may have to choose the destination carefully?
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:13 PM   #561
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Bush, contrary to the opinion of some, is not stupid. The very fact that he went public with that particular admission of authorising watherboarding means that he knows he will not be prosecuted.
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Old 11-12-2010, 02:41 PM   #562
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Hmmm, did Bush plagiarize his memoirs?
George Bush Book 'Decision Points' Lifted Passages From Advisers' Books
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:36 PM   #563
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I would imagine his book was partially ghostwritten or partially written by someone else, like many memoirs are. not sure who fucked up if that is the case.
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:46 AM   #564
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Is waterboarding an appropriate punishment for plagiarism?

I give him props for refusing to criticize Obama in any of the interviews he's done for this book (and at all, period). And his honestly about his drinking, I really do admire that.
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:52 AM   #565
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Is waterboarding an appropriate punishment for plagiarism?
LOL. Nice.

I too would LOVE to finally see people be held accountable for any illegal activity such as waterboarding and other torture methods and such. Unfortunately, it'd have to be an independent investigation in order for it to be taken even remotely seriously, 'cause otherwise many would just see it as, "Oh, look, the left still can't let go of their hatred for Bush, they want to focus on that instead of the economy and current problems, blah, blah, blah...". I'm not looking for it to happen anytime soon, but it'd be wonderful if it did happen. If it doesn't, though, the best we can do is acknowledge that those practices are wrong and unwarranted and fight to put measures in place to prevent it from happening in the future (but good luck getting THAT to happen, either).

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I give him props for refusing to criticize Obama in any of the interviews he's done for this book (and at all, period). And his honestly about his drinking, I really do admire that.
I'll agree with that. It seems a lot of presidents are reluctant to criticize the people that follow them, it seems they hold a lot more sympathy for them because they've been there. I'm sure he has his own opinions on Obama's methods and actions, but yeah, it is nice that he's not jumping on the "bash Obama" bandwagon. Now if he could just pass that idea on to Cheney...

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Old 11-15-2010, 12:12 PM   #566
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And that's honestY without the l-wtf?

Bush Sr wore a hot pink shirt with yellow pants on Oprah. He IS the man.


President Bush | Are My Testicles Black | Decision Points | Mediaite

President George W. Bush continues his lengthy publicity tour for his tell-some book Decision Points with a week of appearances on Fox & Friends. And although he’s done interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Matt Lauer, Bill O’Reilly and more, there are still some topics yet to be discussed.

Like whether his father’s testicles are black.

Pres. Bush recalled how his father “terrorized nurses at the Mayo Clinic” – which he wrote about in the book. “I was trying to explain his sense of humor,” he told Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade.

And this is how he did it. Apparently after an operation, Bush 41 asked his nurse, “Ma’am are my testicles black?” said Bush 43. “And he says are my testicles black?!” Then, after she reaches for the sheet, he says again: “Are my test results back?”
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:43 PM   #567
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I think GWB has always had a sense of humor that was never funny to people as a president lol.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:23 PM   #568
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CBS News

At groundbreaking ceremony in Dallas for the George W. Bush Presidential Center today, former Vice President Dick Cheney said "history is beginning to come around" to a more positive view of former President George W. Bush.

Cheney said that Mr. Bush, whose approval rating upon leaving office was just 22 percent, always understood that "judgments are a little more measured" with the passage of time. He added that Americans "can tell a decent, goodhearted stand up guy when they see him."

Cheney lauded Mr. Bush as a president who refused "to put on airs," stating that he was thrilled to find that the most powerful person he knew was "among the least pretentious." He said Mr. Bush was someone who could "walk with kings, yet keep the common touch," added that "there were no affectations about him at all - he treats everyone as an equal."

He spoke admiringly of Mr. Bush's actions in the wake of the Sept. 11th attacks, telling the former president that "because you were determined to throw back the enemy, we did not suffer another 9/11 or something even worse."

Cheney, who (unlike Mr. Bush) has been a vocal critic of President Obama, also took a shot at the current administration. Speaking of his expectation that construction would move quickly on the presidential center following the groundbreaking, Cheney quipped that "this may be the only shovel ready project in America." The reference was to the Obama-supported stimulus package that Republicans have criticized as ineffective.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:24 PM   #569
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At groundbreaking ceremony in Dallas for the George W. Bush Presidential Center today, former Vice President Dick Cheney said "history is beginning to come around" to a more positive view of former President George W. Bush.
that's only because of an amazing effort to somehow pin the problems of ~2003-2008 and onwards on obama, surely.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:21 PM   #570
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He said Mr. Bush was someone who could "walk with kings, yet keep the common touch," added that "there were no affectations about him at all - he treats everyone as an equal."
Everyone? Really?

Ask the gays in this country about that.

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Cheney, who (unlike Mr. Bush) has been a vocal critic of President Obama, also took a shot at the current administration. Speaking of his expectation that construction would move quickly on the presidential center following the groundbreaking, Cheney quipped that "this may be the only shovel ready project in America." The reference was to the Obama-supported stimulus package that Republicans have criticized as ineffective.
Couldn't just focus on the event, eh? Had to throw a shot in there, as usual.

Bush outside of his presidency may well be a very down-to-earth guy who could make for a good neighbor, but I fail to see how anyone can possibly idealize or look favorably upon his actions as a president.

Angela
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