Not much good (or sensible) ever came out of the mouth of former president George w. Bush. After eight disastrous years in the White House he should have understood that much. Yet Bush couldn't help but come out with his 'memoirs' which is a term that only very loosely describes the nonsense and outright fabrications he peddles in "Decision Points."
Now it's one thing to make silly statements. We've all done it. It happens. Most of us, however, don't go out of our way to incriminate ourselves as Georgie has. In his book Shrub foolishly allows that he quite freely authorized the waterboarding of al Qaeda suspects. One of them, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, was waterboarded an impressive 183-times. I don't even think the Khmer Rouge came close to that. Unfortunately for Mr. Bush, long, long ago the American courts ruled that waterboarding is indeed what it is, torture. That makes Bush a torturer. That makes Bush a criminal, in fact a war criminal.
George tries to muster up something resembling the defence of necessity. He writes that the waterboarding crimes paid off in intelligence that foiled plots to attack targets abroad including Heathrow Airport and London's Canary Wharf. That might be an interesting argument, if it was true, but British officials wasted no time rejecting Bush's claims.
The Brits say they didn't get any actionable intelligence from Mohammed just organizational stuff about al Qaeda. And, as for that Heathrow business? That happened a month before Mohammed fell into U.S. hands.
Years ago F.B.I. agents who did successfully interrogate Mohammed, in the effective, non-torture way, stated that nothing useful or reliable had come from the CIA's waterboarding attempts. That might explain why they repeated them 183-times, no? I mean it pretty much speaks for itself.
So, once again, George is caught up in a lie, just like when he was asked whether he'd ever done cocaine. Meanwhile former German chancellor Gerhard Shroder has come straight out and said Bush is peddling lies in his book. Shroder told der Spiegel that "the former American president is not telling the truth" in claiming that he gave Bush his full support for aggressive action against Iraq. Shroder says he told Bush Germany would stand behind him if the purported link between Saddam and al Qaeda was proven but he quickly came to realize that the American tale was "false and constructed."
Bush was never out of the country before he became president and that's probably a good thing. These days it might not be wise for senior members of his administration to do a lot of traveling abroad where people might start asking awkward questions.