It’s very tough to accept this fact, but yes, George W. Bush is still our President. Apparently, someone still cares enough to interview Teh Deciderer about his eight-year reign of error. Surprisingly, he actually admitted a mistake. But as usual, it was all someone else’s fault.
Dubya’s greatest regret was the “intelligence failure” in Iraq. (I always say that the intelligence that failed was his.)
“The biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq,” Bush said 50 days before president-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration. “I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess.”
Oh yes, I’m sure he did wish it had been different; that the WMD threat had been real! That would be why he ordered the weapons inspectors to leave Iraq when they did not find WMD, despite the extravagant claims of his Vice President, Dick Cheney (“no doubt, nuclear weapons!”) and Secretary of State, Colin Powell (“look at this vial and cartoon, OMG Scaaarryyyy!”) and National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice (“we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud!”).
But Bush refused to say whether he would have ordered the March 2003 invasion if he had known that late dictator did not have , calling it “an interesting question.”
“That is a do-over that I can’t do. It’s hard for me to speculate,” said Bush, who declared as recently as last week that Saddam’s ouster was “the right decision then — and it is the right decision today.”
First of all, this is very sloppy journalism. There is no evidence whatsoever that Bush did not know that Saddam Hussein had no WMD. In fact, there is quite a bit of evidence to the contrary.
Months before the Iraq invasion, President Bush apparently ignored a 2002 Oval Office briefing in which CIA director George Tenet provided the president with intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction, according to former Clinton advisor and Salon columnist Sidney Blumenthal.[snip]
Blumenthal also adds that the intelligence from that day was left out of the National Intelligence Estimate of October 2002, which definitively stated that had WMD.
Second of all, let me get this straight: Bush wishes the intelligence had been different, but he won’t say whether it would have made any difference? In that case, does it really matter what the intelligence, bad or good, even said? Hmmm…it seems like he was determined to go into Iraq no matter what.
“The president had no interest in the intelligence,” a CIA officer disclosed. “Bush didn’t give a fuck about the intelligence. He had his mind made up.”
And from a different source:
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill said Mr Bush was looking for an excuse to oust Saddam Hussein. As a member of the president’s National Security team he said he never saw any evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Mr O’Neill also portrayed the president as unwilling to engage in debate – a charge rejected by Bush officials.
“From the very beginning, there was a conviction Saddam Hussein was a bad person and he needed to go,” the former treasury secretary said in an interview broadcast by CBS News on Sunday.
So, Bush knew there were no WMD’s and went into Iraq anyway. Big deal – the WMD excuse was just one of many the Administration focus-tested. They didn’t really settle on that one until September of 2002. (As Andy Card said, “From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.”)
But as usual, the Commander Guy takes no responsibility whatsoever for his decision to invade Iraq. He also shares no blame for the economic crisis or his inability to handle the two disastrous occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, which were justified by his “war on terror.” What does he think his legacy will be?
Asked what Americans would say when he left office, Bush replied: “I hope they feel that this is a guy that came, didn’t sell his soul for politics, had to make some tough decisions, and did so in a principled way.”
“I will leave the presidency with my head held high.”
Maybe Bush believes those things about himself, but as for the American people, we know what his true legacy will be. It’s a bumpersticker slogan – fitting for a man who sees things in the simplest, most marketable way.
GEORGE W. BUSH: WHO, ME?
Cross-posted at Partizane