Decision Points


A message from former President George W. Bush  –

George W Bush memoirs: Decision Points in pictures

George W. Bush listens as White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card  informs him of a second plane hitting the World Trade Center while Bush  was conducting a reading seminar at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School  in Sarasota, Florida September 11, 2001

“Decision Points” covers 14 separate decisions Bush made while in the White House, offering analysis about how he reached them in an effort to shed further light on his presidency. The book begins with the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, which drastically reshaped his foreign and military policy, and ends with the economic meltdown during his waning days in the White House.

George W. Bush addresses firefighters and rescue workers with  retired firefighter Bob Beckwith (R) from Ladder 117 at the scene of the  World Trade Center disaster in New York,  September 14, 2001
In the memoirs, Mr Bush said that the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US made his blood boil. His first reaction was that “we will find out who did this and kick their ***”. 

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is seen shortly after his capture during a  raid in Pakistan

Asked if he authorised the use of waterboarding on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he said: “Damn right! We capture the guy, the chief operating officer of al-Qaeda, who kills 3,000 people. We felt he had the information about another attack. He says: “I’ll talk to you when I get my lawyer.” I say: “What options are available and legal?”.”

Detainees sit in a holding area watched by military police at Camp  X-Ray inside Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during their processing  into the temporary detention facility in this January 11, 2002 file  photo

Interestingly, he said that before the waterboarding of three terror suspects, officials gave him a list of legal “enhanced interrogation” techniques, two of which he rejected as going “too far”.


Soldiers in an armoured car stand guard in front of a model of a  BritIsh Airways Concorde near the entrance to London's Heathrow airport  Tuesday February 11, 2003

Mr Bush insisted that “waterboarding” of terrorist suspects by the CIA saved British lives by stopping Islamist attacks on Heathrow, Canary Wharf, US government buildings abroad and many targets within the US.

President George W. Bush is seen in the Oval Office, where he  announced that the U.S. is in early stages of disarming Iraq, Wednesday  night, March  19, 2003.

In the book, Mr Bush writes of his errors in the Iraq campaign and the failure to find weapons of mass destruction, which international intelligence reports strongly suggested Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had obtained. Asked if he considered apologising for the mistakes, the former president said he has not. “Apologising would basically say the decision was a wrong decision,” Mr Bush said

Iraq's deposed dictator Saddam Hussein appears before an Iraqi  tribunal in Iraq July 1, 2004

Mr Bush insists “the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power, as are 25 million people who now have a chance to live in freedom” in Iraq.

U.S. Marine Corp Assaultman Kirk Dalrymple watches as a statue of  Iraq's President Saddam Hussein falls in central Baghdad April 9, 2003

He writes: “What would life be like if Saddam Hussein were (still) in power? It’s likely you would be seeing a nuclear arms race.”

President Bush flashes a 'thumbs-up' after declaring the end of  major combat in Iraq as he speaks aboard the aircraft carrier USS  Abraham Lincoln off the California coast, in this May 1, 2003 file  photo

Mr Bush said he regretted flying a banner bearing the words “Mission Accomplished” on the USS Abraham Lincoln in 2003 before the troop numbers were lowered in Iraq and the insurgency again destabilised the country: “It looked like I was doing the victory dance I had warned against. It was a big mistake.”

The world's most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, taunts U.S.  President George W. Bush in an undated video released October 7, 2001  over the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington  claiming  America will not live in peace until Palestinians can do the same

Mr Bush said that he wished he could have brought bin Laden to justice and the fact that the al-Qa’eda leader continues to evade capture was “among my greatest regrets”.

U.S. President George W. Bush speaks on the phone with Russian  President Vladimir Putin at Camp David, September 22, 2001. The United  States stepped up its military buildup on Saturday for a looming assault  against the Islamic rulers of Afghanistan who refuse to surrender Osama  bin Laden

Mr Bush’s biggest regrets centre on Osama bin Laden and Iraq, particularly “false intelligence” on WMD. “No one was more shocked or angry than I was when we didn’t find the weapons,” he said. “I had a sickening feeling every time I thought about it. I still do.”

President Bush addresses the troops of the 10th Mountain Division  and their families Friday, July 19, 2002, at Fort Drum, N.Y.  Bush,  visiting a storied division of Army troops who made up the main fighting  force in the Afghan campaign, vowed Friday the nation will not abandon  its commitment to the anti-terror war

On Afghanistan, Mr Bush writes: “Our government was not prepared for nation building. Over time, we adapted our strategy and our capabilities. Still, the poverty in Afghanistan is so deep, and the infrastructure so lacking, that it will take many years to complete the work.”

U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony  Blair leave the East Room of the White House after speaking to reporters  about Iraq in Washington May 25, 2006

Mr Bush praised the “wisdom” and “strategic thinking” of Mr Blair in his book, confirming that the former prime minister was his strongest foreign ally. Mr Bush writes in his memoir that following the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, Mr Blair told him “he would stand with America ‘100 per cent’ in fighting terror”.

Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents

George W Bush has disclosed that he and his wife bonded with the Blairs over the film ‘Meet the Parents’. When the group, including Mr Bush’s wife Laura, decided to watch a film, they decided to watch the 2001 comedy starring Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro. “When they agreed on Meet the Parents… Laura and I knew the Bushes and the Blairs would get along”, he wrote.

George W. Bush tours the damage by Hurricane Katrina in the New  Orleans area, Louisiana, with Louisiana's Democratic Gov. Kathleen  Babineaux Blanco (2nd L), September 2, 2005

Mr Bush confesses that he did not respond as effectively as he could have during the Hurricane Katrina crisis, which some critics viewed as the low point of his presidency.

George W. Bush peers out the cabin window of Air Force One as he  surveys the damage along the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi  and Alabama, August 31, 2005

He called his New Orleans flyover a “huge mistake,” and acknowledged he should have stopped in Louisiana to tell local officials and victims of the disaster “I hear you.” He said the photographs now seared in public memory showing the president looking out the window of Air Force One on a flight back to Washington made him seem “detached and uncaring.” “This was a problem of perception, not reality,” Bush said in his book. “My heart broke at the sight of helpless people trapped on their rooftops waiting to be rescued.”

A file picture combo shows US President George W. Bush (L)  speaking during a fundraiser in Bellevue, Washington, 27 August 2007 and  his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) addressing a press  conference in Tehran, 28 August 2007

On Iran, Mr Bush writes: “A government not of the people is never capable of being held to account for human rights violations. Iran will be better served if there is an Iranian-style democracy. They play like they’ve got elections but they’ve got a handful of clerics who decide who runs it.”

U.S. President George W. Bush seen wearing Western hat and boots  strolls past Security officer on the grounds of the White House

Mr Bush shows evidence that contradicts the stereotype of a hick cowboy: he won a competition with his adviser Karl Rove to get through the most history books in a year (110 to 95); read 14 biographies of Abraham Lincoln while in office; and ignored television entirely to spend more time reading. He said: “I found it fascinating to be reading history and making history.”

posted by rightthingtodo on November 15, 2010

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