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Bush Made the Tough Calls But the Mistakes Weren't His

Bush Made the Tough Calls But the Mistakes Weren't His

President Bush's interview with Charlie Gibson aired last night, and Bush made it clear that he intends to leave office with his head held high. Reflecting on the highs and lows of his presidency, Bush concluded that it has been a "joyous" experience. Here are some of the excerpts:

  • On the Iraq war intelligence: "The biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq. A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein. It wasn’t just people in my administration; a lot of members in Congress, prior to my arrival in Washington D.C., during the debate on Iraq, a lot of leaders of nations around the world were all looking at the same intelligence. And, you know, that’s not a do-over, but I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess."
  • On what he was unprepared for: "I think I was unprepared for war. In other words, I didn't campaign and say, 'Please vote for me, I'll be able to handle an attack.' In other words, I didn't anticipate war. Presidents — one of the things about the modern presidency is that the unexpected will happen.
  • On how he judges his legacy: "The thing that's important for me is to get home and look in that mirror and say, I did not compromise my principles. And I didn't. I made tough calls. And some presidencies have got a lot of tough decisions to make."
  • On Obama's election: "I think it was a repudiation of Republicans. And I'm sure some people voted for Barack Obama because of me. I think most people voted for Barack Obama because they decided they wanted him to be in their living room for the next four years explaining policy."
  • Considering that many in the media and numerous Democrats supported the war, do you think history will forget that Bush overlooked good intelligence and reports from the inspectors that concluded Iraq had no WMDs?

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UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
"I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo." Where did he learn that? Whom did he talk to? Is that his assessment? "The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001." If the number will never be known, then how is it fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept 11, 2001? The first statement needs something more, like a source, and the second statement is an opinion, and nothing else.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
"I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo."Where did he learn that? Whom did he talk to? Is that his assessment?"The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001."If the number will never be known, then how is it fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept 11, 2001?The first statement needs something more, like a source, and the second statement is an opinion, and nothing else.
stephley stephley 7 years
Creationism is based on factual evidence? That global warming isn't real is based on factual evidence? That Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was based on factual evidence? But an intelligence officer is just gasing with his personal opinion?There's a lot of cherry picking of what people want to consider factual going on at Citizen these days.
stephley stephley 7 years
Creationism is based on factual evidence? That global warming isn't real is based on factual evidence? That Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was based on factual evidence? But an intelligence officer is just gasing with his personal opinion? There's a lot of cherry picking of what people want to consider factual going on at Citizen these days.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
He speaks from a position of authority, but he doesn't speak authoritatively. There's a difference. He's expressing his opinion, but isn't backing it up with anything resembling factual evidence.
stephley stephley 7 years
He speaks with some authority doesn't he, or do you feel that you're in a better position to assess than an Air Force intelligence officer? He had to know that by publishing the op-ed in the Post that he risked being challenged by people in positions similar to his.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
"It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse."It is an exaggeration and a stupid opinion. He totally shows this in his next statement "The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known," He tries to make it sound gruesome by comparing it to the number of deaths of civillians on 9/11, but the fact is he doesn't know for sure.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
"It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse." It is an exaggeration and a stupid opinion. He totally shows this in his next statement "The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known," He tries to make it sound gruesome by comparing it to the number of deaths of civillians on 9/11, but the fact is he doesn't know for sure.
stephley stephley 7 years
It breaks the author's heart too Dave: he wrote the op-ed to say that what the Bush administration did in Iraq has had dire consequences for us already:"It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001."
stephley stephley 7 years
It breaks the author's heart too Dave: he wrote the op-ed to say that what the Bush administration did in Iraq has had dire consequences for us already: "It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001."
stephley stephley 7 years
"An opinion piece? Does he cite his sources? Then to me this article is no different than you opinion."He cites his own experience in Iraq:"I'm not some ivory-tower type; I served for 14 years in the U.S. Air Force, began my career as a Special Operations pilot flying helicopters, saw combat in Bosnia and Kosovo, became an Air Force counterintelligence agent, then volunteered to go to Iraq to work as a senior interrogator."He essentially worked for Bush - and now regrets that decision.
stephley stephley 7 years
"An opinion piece? Does he cite his sources? Then to me this article is no different than you opinion." He cites his own experience in Iraq: "I'm not some ivory-tower type; I served for 14 years in the U.S. Air Force, began my career as a Special Operations pilot flying helicopters, saw combat in Bosnia and Kosovo, became an Air Force counterintelligence agent, then volunteered to go to Iraq to work as a senior interrogator." He essentially worked for Bush - and now regrets that decision.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
"How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me -- unless you don't count American soldiers as Americans."This last part just kills me. Soldiers have volunteered to protect us, which means that they have to go out and face the bad guys. Guys who have guns who would kill us if they get a chance. Because of that, some soldiers will, and do die. They do it willingly, and because they took an oath to protect us at all costs. They are more American than most.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
"How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me -- unless you don't count American soldiers as Americans." This last part just kills me. Soldiers have volunteered to protect us, which means that they have to go out and face the bad guys. Guys who have guns who would kill us if they get a chance. Because of that, some soldiers will, and do die. They do it willingly, and because they took an oath to protect us at all costs. They are more American than most.
em1282 em1282 7 years
One person's right, another person's...wrong? :)
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
An opinion piece? Does he cite his sources? Then to me this article is no different than you opinion. I see Bush has made mistakes. But I can also look at it from a perspective of what he said in this interview makes sense. And for once it is an interview that doesn't paint him as a horrible person. I am sure that not many think Bush is an awesome president, but at least I can look at him as a person who did what he thought was right. I can respect him a a person regardless of any of the collateral damage that you speak of.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
An opinion piece? Does he cite his sources? Then to me this article is no different than you opinion. I see Bush has made mistakes. But I can also look at it from a perspective of what he said in this interview makes sense. And for once it is an interview that doesn't paint him as a horrible person. I am sure that not many think Bush is an awesome president, but at least I can look at him as a person who did what he thought was right. I can respect him a a person regardless of any of the collateral damage that you speak of.
stephley stephley 7 years
Can't repeat this often enough: The trouble with joking about and defending Bush as having done the best he could or doing what he believed is that it overlooks the pain his flawed policies have caused people. This is from and editorial in Sunday's Post: "I'm not some ivory-tower type; I served for 14 years in the U.S. Air Force, began my career as a Special Operations pilot flying helicopters, saw combat in Bosnia and Kosovo, became an Air Force counterintelligence agent, then volunteered to go to Iraq to work as a senior interrogator." "Torture and abuse are against my moral fabric. The cliche still bears repeating: Such outrages are inconsistent with American principles. And then there's the pragmatic side: Torture and abuse cost American lives. I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. The large majority of suicide bombings in Iraq are still carried out by these foreigners. They are also involved in most of the attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me -- unless you don't count American soldiers as Americans."
stephley stephley 7 years
Can't repeat this often enough: The trouble with joking about and defending Bush as having done the best he could or doing what he believed is that it overlooks the pain his flawed policies have caused people. This is from and editorial in Sunday's Post:"I'm not some ivory-tower type; I served for 14 years in the U.S. Air Force, began my career as a Special Operations pilot flying helicopters, saw combat in Bosnia and Kosovo, became an Air Force counterintelligence agent, then volunteered to go to Iraq to work as a senior interrogator.""Torture and abuse are against my moral fabric. The cliche still bears repeating: Such outrages are inconsistent with American principles. And then there's the pragmatic side: Torture and abuse cost American lives.I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. The large majority of suicide bombings in Iraq are still carried out by these foreigners. They are also involved in most of the attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me -- unless you don't count American soldiers as Americans."
quarterjappy quarterjappy 7 years
I did not vote for Obama...but he will be MY President in January and I will give him due respect....and will not say off handed comments about him exploding...for example.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
http://www.holocaust-history.org/hitler-final-solution/
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
The recent discoveries allude to a clear and unambiguous order from Hitler himself to kill the Jews. At the same time, they suggest three revisions to the current theory may be in order. First, it is now undeniable that Hitler personally ordered the overall Final Solution decision; second, the decision was not made prior to the invasion of the Soviet Union - rather, the ultimate decision was taken near the end of 1941; third, the Final Solution was not a smoothly evolving process, but rather more dependent on the vagaries of the war effort.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
chrstne??????? all I can say is I think you are confused.
Myst Myst 7 years
As much as I don't like George Bush's policy and his presidency, I think his answers here are actually insightful. Who would've thought.
geebers geebers 7 years
I did not want to get involved in this thread but this comment compels me to defend Jon Stewart:"The decisions a country makes, no matter what Jon Stewart has taught you to believe, do not rest on the shoulders of a single man."Jon Stewart has never said that the decisions a country makes rests on a single man. In fact, in nearly all of his shows and interviews with politicians, he has said exactly the opposite of that. He has blamed not just Bush but his administration for ignoring the wishes of Americans* when it came to the war in Iraq and for squashing any chance of debate when anyone disagrees with them (usually by throwing around terms like unpatriotic, evil, terrorist). *based on polls- and yes yes I know polls are not always accurate but they are so far the only way we can judge how Americans think/feel about things.
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