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Tilting at Windmills

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December 1, 2008

BUSH SAYS HE WAS 'UNPREPARED FOR WAR'.... We've heard Bush express some various regrets in recent years, but I think this one is a first.

Looking back on his eight years in the White House, President George W. Bush pinpointed incorrect intelligence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as "biggest regret of all the presidency."

"I think I was unprepared for war," Bush told ABC News' Charlie Gibson in an interview airing today on "World News."

"In other words, I didn't campaign and say, 'Please vote for me, I'll be able to handle an attack,'" he said. "In other words, I didn't anticipate war. Presidents -- one of the things about the modern presidency is that the unexpected will happen."

Bush, who has been a stalwart defender of the war in Iraq and maintaining U.S. troop presence there, said, in retrospect, the war exceeded his expectations.

The president added, "I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess." Asked if he would have gone to war if he knew Iraq did not have stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, Bush said, "That is a do-over that I can't do."

Bush has changed his mind about the rationale for war more than a few times, but I was under the impression that the WMD case stopped being relevant to him quite a while ago. He was going to war anyway -- because he wanted to "free" Iraqis, eliminate the Saddam Hussein "threat," etc.

As for him being "unprepared," I thought this was obvious, too. Perhaps he should have thought about this before running?

Steve Benen 1:11 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (58)

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"I wish the intelligence had been different,"

9/10 of the country wishes W.'s intelligence had been different. Or that he displayed any at at all.

Posted by: Joshua Norton on December 1, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Well you know "you go to war with the military you have" not the one you could have spent over two years preparing for since you were only talking up the idea since before you were even elected.
I mean it's not like it mattered if we got it right or not. I mean hey, if the whole thing went to hell, then only brown people and those volunteers in the US army were going to pay the price, right?

Posted by: Aaron on December 1, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

might i suggest he show his contrition by refusing to pardon anyone involved with his administration or the war in any way?

(and perhaps letting Obama start cleaning up his messes 50 days early?)

Posted by: zeitgeist on December 1, 2008 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, it sure would have been nice had Bush had the ability to properly evaluate the intel! Listening carefully to those who disagree with you is also a pretty valuable trait.

Posted by: Rich2506 on December 1, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

>As for him being "unprepared," I thought this was obvious, too.
>Perhaps he should have thought about this before running?

Actually, while I think that's important, I don't hold that against him. In my mind it was the job of the American people to be able (or willing) to differentiate between competent candidates and those utterly unsuited for the job. The fact that he was elected twice doesn't say much for the nous of most voters.

Posted by: MaryMeg on December 1, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

The president added, "I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess."

I must admit some confusion concerning this statement. Does the president mean the intelligence that was fixed around the policy had had a different content? Had been sold with a different marketing strategy?

Does he mean that he wishes that Cheney had leaned on the analysts in a different way? Or does he mean that he should've used a different brand of stovepipe?

Posted by: JM on December 1, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps he should have thought about this before running?

Silly Steve, silly, silly, Steve. There you go expecting actual cogitation from him again!

Posted by: Michigoose on December 1, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Bush: I really wish I would have had some advance warning about Osama planning to fly airplanes into skyscrapers.

To Bush: You can leave now. You have exposed your ass to the whole wide world.

Posted by: lou on December 1, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

President George W. Bush always wanted his war in Iraq and he has only himself to blame for it.

Posted by: David W. on December 1, 2008 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

I don't believe it. Not that he was unprepared for war, that I believe. I don't believe he would have done things differently.

Since the moment he got into office, he swore he would not make the same mistakes his father had made. Since everything done by Bush was done for political reasons, I believe that Bush felt his father's biggest mistake was ending the first gulf [undeclared] war too soon. Bush, Sr., was very popular after the first go round, but without the added popularity of being a "wartime" president, the populace turned back to the economy, which sucked at the time. So Bush set out to start a war, and keep it going through the next election so he could run on being a "wartime" president and do his flightsuit photo-ops and such.

The Bush administration and the rubber stamp Republican Congress has always been about enhancing and prolonging power and going to extreme lengths to sell it to the American Public.

They had all the fabricated and trumped up intelligence they needed for the snow job for a long time. They just needed to bide their time and let the marketing campaign do its thing. That and if they started it too early, it would finish too early, like Poppy's 1st run at it.

Yes, I really do believe it was really that base. And no, I don't think any sentient being thought that there would be no guerilla war after the "mission accomplished". That was a feature, not a bug. A way to continue the war on terra.

Posted by: coltergeist on December 1, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

President George W. Bush pinpointed incorrect intelligence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as "biggest regret of all the presidency.

Can we put an asterisk after Tenet's name on that Presidential medal of freedom list now?

Posted by: Danp on December 1, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Expecting Bush to have and express any admission of his own personal failures is futile. The man will spend the rest of his life and go to his grave staying inside his psychological bubble to avoid accepting personal accountability for his mistakes.

Posted by: sparrow on December 1, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Follow-up Qs:

What was the key piece of incorrect intelligence that persuaded you to go to war?

Are you concerned members of your administration fed you one side of the story?

Did they do this to deceive you? Or because they thought you wanted to hear one side of the story?

Do you regret giving the impression you wanted to hear information that made the case for war and didn't want to hear information and analysis that suggested that the United States should not invade Iraq?

What did you do to hold people accountable for getting it wrong on the Iraq intelligence?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on December 1, 2008 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

No WMDs were found in Iraq. Iraq was NOT an imminent threat to U.S. security. Now Bush said he was unprepared.

Why aren't people outraged? I just don't understand why people aren't taking it to the streets and demanding justice! What is holding people back? Seriously. What kinds of evidence do you need before you jump up and decide to do something about this? Why are we all just brushing this all off as if it's water under the bridge?

It's time for justice or else this will not bode well for our nation's future. Sometimes what's best is accomplished by painful stages we have to experience. This is one of them.

Posted by: ctrenta on December 1, 2008 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

WTF? He started the Iraq War on a "time of his own choosing". Now he says he wasn't prepared for this war? Then don't start the GD thing! What an idiot we had for a President? And what kind of idiots are we for re-electing this idiot?

Posted by: pgl on December 1, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

He was prepared for victory in 2 months--not for 10 years of war. That's the problem with knowing none of the complexities of the situation.

Posted by: Neal on December 1, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Noah Cross: "As you know mr. Gits, my daughter Evelyn was lost to me years ago."

Jake Gittes: "Who do you blame for that?"

Noah Cross: "I don't blame myself. You see Mr. Gits, you may never have to face the fact that under the right circumstances you're capable of doing...anything."

Chinatown

I think Bush is throwing himself on the mercy of the court (of public opinion). I think sitting Presidents feel invincible. Even going into a re-election campaign or going into a second term, they tend to forget that they're not in power for ever. When you're the most powerful person on the planet its hard to imagine a day when you won't be..even though you know its coming right on schedule. I think now its really sinking in for him that its over, and he's worried about how he will be remembered.

Posted by: Saint Zak on December 1, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

If he is breathing he is lying. They were planning this war from before he was "elected." They weren't prepared for the reality, certainly, but they were planning to do it all along.

Posted by: Emma Anne on December 1, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

"Unprepared for war"

Reminds me of the "Brideshead" episode when one of Sebastian's drunken nights on the town was excused away with the headline, "Viscount Unused to Wine."

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on December 1, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

"I wish the intelligence had been different"? Ummm... the intelligence was completely different than what W. said it was. He lied. He lied to start a war and then got all surprised that, I don't know, people died and USians don't like it when soldiers die?

I can never quite decide if Bush is insane or evil.

Posted by: Personal Failure on December 1, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Really, this is like a drunk driver's confession going something like:

"I regret that those people I killed when I was drunk didn't know that I was going to be swerving into oncoming traffic."

Or it's like when an angry spouse asks for an apology, and you say:

"OK, I'm sorry you're too sensitive and your feelings are so easily hurt."

If Cracker Barrel sold "World's Greatest President" mugs, he'd buy himself one and show it off to everyone who'd look at it.

Posted by: chrenson on December 1, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

In my mind it was the job of the American people to be able (or willing) to differentiate between competent candidates and those utterly unsuited for the job.

True enough. However, we might also have a look at the political party that produced Bush as a candidate and supported him unquestioningly throughout his tenure, including during all of his most disastrous mistakes. Since we seem to be in the midst of a national housecleaning, I'd like to see the GOP go the way of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and the Whigs.

Posted by: jimBOB on December 1, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Hedley: Any reference to Evelyn Waugh is a good one!

Personal: He's criminally insane, but sane enough to stand trial.

Posted by: chrenson on December 1, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

@Personal Failure: I've been in the "evil" camp for years. Him along with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Gonzalez and Rove. They're definitely evil.

Posted by: Michigoose on December 1, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

George Bush now says he wishes the intelligence had been different, yet:

1) He systematically undermined the credibility of the inspectors on the ground in Iraq who said, repeatedly, that there were no WMDs;
2) He systematically manipulated existing intelligence to justify bypassing the United Nations in order to take unilateral action;
3) He systematically campaigned for war over a period of months by building the "coalition of the willing" and briefing Congress with slanted intelligence;
4) He flat-out ignored the State Department's warnings about the size of the reconstruction effort that would be involved.

So now he chalks up the singular failure of his Presidency to "bad intelligence?" The sheer audacity of such a remark is breathtaking.

President Bush valued loyalty over honesty, ideology over truth, commitment over intelligence, expedience over law, vengefulness over human rights. How many times did his mission in Iraq change in order to justify the goals he initially set and failed to achieve?

As President Bush is wont to say, history will be the final judge of his Presidency. Right now that judgment looks like it will be very harsh.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on December 1, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, George. The CYA won't be working this time. Your groveling and excusing only makes me think of some apt Pink Floyd lyrics:

The evidence before the court is incontrovertible
There's no need for the jury to retire
In all my years or judging I have never heard before
Of someone more deserving of the full penalty of the law

You filled your cabinet and all other important positions with PNAC groupies who have had a hard on for war with Iraq for two decades, and now you expect us to buy that you were simply unawares?

No deal.

Posted by: doubtful on December 1, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

WTF? He started the Iraq War on a "time of his own choosing". Now he says he wasn't prepared for this war?

Look, Bush bought into the "they'll greet us as liberators and shower us with flowers" meme. He thought that the biggest part of the Iraq Debacle would be overcoming Saddam's military. That was going to be the hard part, the rest of it would fall into place. We'd be greeted as liberators by a population grateful for removing Saddam from power, we'd get the oil pumping, put a grateful puppet in charge, and then get the heck out of Dodge.

What W was "unprepared" for was that the military victory over Saddam's forces was going to be the easy part - something that many of us who actually knew something about the region but weren't even experts could have told him and something that experts in the region should have been screaming at him from day one (of course, the man surrounds himself by "yes" men so even his "experts" were telling him what he wanted to hear).

I think W really thought he was an action movie hero. When he walked onto that aircraft carrier with the big "Mission Accomplished" banner flapping in the wind behind him, he really thought the hard part was over and the rest was just "details". Idiot.

And the truly stupid part in my mind is that the man was a freaking HISTORY MAJOR when he was in college. C- or not, you'd think the man would have picked up a few things about empires and occupations during his time in the Yale history department.

Posted by: NonyNony on December 1, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

It seems to me that he's admitting that the Cheney team fooled him. I can't imagine Cheney giving that interview.

Posted by: John J Emerson on December 1, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

@ Lou "Bush: I really wish I would have had some advance warning about Osama planning to fly airplanes into skyscrapers. "

He Did
Transcript: Bin Laden determined to strike in US

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/04/10/august6.memo/

Posted by: John R on December 1, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

I dont buy it - wasnt he saying he was the war president before 911?

Yes. According to a former Bush ghostwriter:

Two years before the September 11 attacks, presidential candidate George W. Bush was already talking privately about the political benefits of attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer, who held many conversations with then-Texas Governor Bush in preparation for a planned autobiography.

"He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999," said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz.

Even his 'do-over' rings false.

Posted by: Jet on December 1, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

'Please vote for me, I'll be able to handle an attack,'" he said.

First, given his performance on the actual day of September 11th I think it's plain that he wasn't able to handle an attack. Second, wtf? Iraq didn't attack us, so why is he mentioning "an attack" in the context of the Iraq War unless he's referencing our attack on them?

"In other words, I didn't anticipate war. Presidents -- one of the things about the modern presidency is that the unexpected will happen."

Again, since we planned the attack on Iraq for a year and a half before we actually attacked them, and since we initiated the attack, not them, how was it in any way unexpected or unanticipated????

Posted by: Stefan on December 1, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

"I didn't campaign and say, 'Please vote for me, I'll be able to handle an attack...I didn't anticipate war."

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees"

George, all those papers on your desk? Those memos? The reason they got on your desk was to let you know things like this could happen. So that when unlikely but eminently plausible stuff like this happened, you wouldn't flap around like a clueless fish, but would instead be able to DO SOMETHING EFFECTIVE.

-----------------------------------

And WMDs? Uh, we had WMD inspectors on the ground when Bush sent troops in. So, uh, we DID send in troops even though there were no WMDs.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/03/17/iraq/main544280.shtml

Posted by: anonymiss on December 1, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

"in other words," the 4,000 plus american KIA died for nothing.

"In other words," all the Republican talk of "victory with honor" was bullshit.

"In other words," all of the thousands U.S. military personell hobbling along with missing limbs, PTSD, and getting shafted by the Pentagon made thier sacreficr for nothing.

"In other words," thanks Georgie you did a heckuva job.

Posted by: Winkandanod on December 1, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

John R: Uh, yeah. The comment was intended to be sarcasm. But, this is really the spark that ignited the fire, Bush's first sin of omission which lead to his big sin of commission, the subject of this post. Bush has largely escaped the sting of not preventing 9/11 which he used to inject the US into the nest of hornets.

The skinny on this:
Bush: I was prepared to open a can of whoopass on Saddam. I was prepared to fuck Saddam. I was unprepared for the ass whooping that was unleashed on the US.

Posted by: lou on December 1, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

The first mention of using airplanes as flying bombs was way back in the 1990s, when Indonesian authorities seized materials from a terrorist haven there and found plans to that effect. The whole "who'da thunk it" meme that the Bushies have always adopted about this is absurd.

And he thinks his is the first Presidency beset by unexpected events? Holy Christ. I'm not sure which is scarier: the old "Can't Think Of A Single Mistake" Bush, or this new version. It's like the magnitude and complexity of the Presidency never dawned on him. Ya think?

Posted by: gradysu on December 1, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

The "unprepared" remark is taken a bit out of context in the ABC report. You need to read the transcript to get a clearer idea of what sort of nonsense Bush is spewing.

>>GIBSON: What were you most unprepared for?

BUSH: Well, 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.

Posted by: smintheus on December 1, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

The world's greatest military machine in history, one that spends more than the rest of the world combined, wasn't prepared for conflict in two dinky third world impoverished nations, one a recent victim of Gulf War I, and crippling sanctions for a dozen years? Huh? What the hell do we have to spend to be prepared for a real conflict, then?

Now FDR, there's a man who could have said he wasn't prepared for war, but he sure did a hell of a job getting prepared while on the job, didn't he? And he had two military super powers to battle, not two dinky little third world nations that have fought us into a stalemated quagmire.

Jesus, how can people let Bush get away with talking like that? What's wrong with this country anyway?

Posted by: hark on December 1, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

"So now he chalks up the singular failure of his Presidency to "bad intelligence?" The sheer audacity of such a remark is breathtaking."

I guess that would be The Audacity of Dope.

Posted by: ericfree on December 1, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is a liar. "Not prepared for war" ? Bullshit.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their gang of career white-collar crooks and war profiteers had been planning a war of unprovoked aggression against Iraq, for corrupt purposes of private financial gain for themselves and their cronies and finanical backers, for years before they even stole the 2000 election to gain power.

Within minutes of the 9/11 Al Qaeda attacks, which their deliberate negligence allowed to succeed, they immediately moved to seize upon this "new Pearl Harbor" as their long-awaited pretext for invading Iraq to seize control of its vast oil reserves.

Bush is a gangster, a thug, a war criminal and a mass murderer. Every word that comes out of his mouth is a vicious lie.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 1, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Who was it a few months ago who published the Evil vs. Stupid continuum of conservatives? Bush falls decidedly on the stupid side, though of course not completely lacking in evil. I tend to think that somewhere deep down there's a halfway decent human being who in some limited way realizes the massive screw-up he's made of global affairs in the last eight years and occasionally comes bubbling to the surface. Too little and late to mitigate the damage, of course, but perhaps it's some consolation that he might spend the rest of his life feeling some degree of guilt about the whole thing.

Posted by: JRD on December 1, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

"mission accomplished" - "wanted dead or alive" - "bring em on" - "axis of evil"

Really, with expressions such as above, what could the expectations be?

Posted by: Ted76 on December 1, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

The fact is that the US intelligence community was telling Bush and Cheney that:

  • it was more likely than not that Iraq had no usable weapons of mass destruction;
  • that Iraq likely lacked the ability to create them;
  • that Iraq lacked the means to deliver any such weapons against US targets;
  • that Iraq had no operational links to Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups of global reach capable of attacking the US with such weapons;
  • and that Iraq was unlikely to attack the US in any case since it stood to gain nothing from doing so.

And of course by the time of the 2003 invasion, the UN weapons inspectors had pretty much confirmed that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction or the means to make them, which is of course why Bush pushed to invade before the inspectors could conclude their work.

Meanwhile Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell and other principals of the Bush administration were busily and loudly telling deliberate, elaborate, repeated, sickening lies to the American people, the US Congress, the United Nations Security Council and the entire world about what they knew at the time to be nonexistent "Iraqi WMD" and nonexistent "links between Saddam and Al Qaeda", with Cheney proclaiming that Iraq had "reconstituted nuclear weapons" and Rice warning about "mushroom clouds".

All of them have the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians on their hands. All of them should rot in prison for the rest of their lives and then burn in hell forever.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 1, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK


The president added, "I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess."

Sure he does. If the intelligence on Iraq had only said that there was actual genuine evidence of WMD programs and links between Saddam and Al Qaida, then his Administration wouldn't have had to fabricate such evidence and leave poor old George Junior in this position five and a half years later.

See? It's not his fault. It's Saddam's fault for not building those super-secret weapons and not palling around with Al Qaida. It's the fault of those pussies in the CIA for making him let Dick 'rework' their evidence into something he wanted to read.

It's everyone's fault but George Junior's. That's what he feels in his gut, and that's what he's deciderated. So if you don't agree, you're just mean.

Posted by: Tony J on December 1, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

JRD wrote: "I tend to think that somewhere deep down there's a halfway decent human being who in some limited way realizes the massive screw-up he's made of global affairs in the last eight years and occasionally comes bubbling to the surface."

You are wrong. Bush is a criminal. He did exactly what he was put in power to do: enrich his cronies and financial backers at the expense of, and to the detriment of, the American people and the people of the world.

In many ways he was successful, for example with his tax cuts for the ultra-rich, with packing the Federal government with corporate lobbyists and lawyers, with rolling back regulations that protect the public and the environment, with turning the Justice Department into a criminal enterprise and an arm of the Republican Party.

The Bush-Cheney gang systematically looted the US Treasury and plundered the wealth of the USA and went a long way towards their goal of concentrating all wealth and power in the hands of their ultra-wealthy, ultra-powerful owners, while impoverishing everyone else.

With regard to Iraq, they failed for one simple reason: their plan was to quickly install a puppet authoritarian government headed by convicted embezzler Ahmed Chalabi as the "new improved Saddam". When that plan failed -- because Chalabi was a fraud and a charlatan who had zero support inside Iraq, and the Bushies had been sucked in by his bullshit in spite of warnings from the intelligence community -- they had no backup plan. And Iraq descended into chaos.

But Bush has no more conscience than any other sociopathic serial killer. The shredded corpses of thousands of innocent Iraqi children mean nothing more to him than the frogs that he used to blow up with firecrackers for fun when he was a boy.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 1, 2008 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess."

It was different, but you didn't like what it said (see here).

As for being ready, it would have helped not to get briefed on the occupation, like, one week before the invasion:

Garner: So then I briefed the president the second week in March on what our organization was like and what--

PBS: What were the president's concerns? What kind of questions was he asking?

Garner: The first thing he asked me, he wanted me to tell him about myself. I told him my background, and Secretary Rumsfeld told him my background.

Then he began asking me questions. "OK, what are you going to do during reconstruction?"...


Posted by: JJ on December 1, 2008 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

My opinion seems similar to Saint Zak's on this admission. Bush isn't really known for his moments of clarity (clarity is too similar to reality, and we all know what kind of bias reality has). But with this faux-mea-culpa, it sounds like Bush is finally letting something fundamental sink in what passes for his brain: Not only will he NOT be judged as a great, good, or even passable President, histroy will probably be judge him as the worst President ever, a monster, an abonination of all a President is supposed to be. And his excuse can only be "Hey, I was in over my head" and hope that no one counters with "well, hey, then, why did you run for President in the first place?"

He's not a total idiot. He's more dangerous than that. Dumb enough to be led by others whose intentions are not pure, but smart enough to know how to really sell the shinola he's been told to sell. One of the 80,000 reasons I have for not running for President (as you all have wanted me to) is that I know I'd suck at it. I also know that I'm better-read, smarter, more compassionate, more charitable and more intellectually curious than our current President. I know, it's not saying a lot; the sandwich I had for lunch has all the same qualities. But there are certain jobs, no matter how badly you may want them, that you shouldn't go for if you're not prepared for every function of the job. The fancy-schmancy AND the nitty-gritty. Bush couldn't do either, but he convinced just enough people that either God spoke through him or at least that the Dems are all pu**ies, to get him close enough to steal the election and then high enough on his pedestal to keep it. Now it's time to come back to earth for Georgie Boy, and he realizes he's got smoe 'splainin' to do. And he can't. Becuase for his level of ineptitude, for the amount of favors called in and bubbles built to get him where he is, there's no 'splanation.

The arms manufacturer who will assemble the gun & bullet Bush will one day use to blow his brains out will be the only person ever involved with a Bush decision to actually deserve the Congressional medal of Freedom.

Posted by: slappy magoo on December 1, 2008 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

The original sin is that he was unprepared to be President. It would logically follow that that along with criminal deniability by him and out right lust for war by the pro-war cheerleader would - meant he would be unprepared for war.

I am sure he regrets it only so much. After all, a complete repudiation would involve him admitting he was in over his head from day one and that he made huge mistakes that people paid for with their lives and this country will pay for in money and reputation for years/decades.

Just 50 days people.

Posted by: ET on December 1, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. This guy is desperate to not be remembered as the most useless, mindless, destructive, arrogant, incompetent, imbecilic motherfucker in the history of the United States. It could be worse. He could WANT to be remembered that way.

Posted by: Karen on December 1, 2008 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Is everyone else missing the point when he says he wishes the intelligence had been different? He means he wishes that the intelligence had been right and not that he wishes he had a different set of intelligence. The war was coming no matter what he only wishes his excuse for making it had been justified by history.

Posted by: grinning cat on December 1, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

"I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess."

hum.... you GUESS how much flour goes into a cake, not how to win/lose a war. Mr Bush needs to be brought up on murder charges for the countless lives that have been lost... or so I guess.

Posted by: tinkeroom on December 1, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Bush didn't have to be prepared for war. He had a staff who eagerly prepared for it in advance of his rising to the office.

Posted by: Mark on December 1, 2008 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

It's smoke and mirrors. "Gosh, the war was bad..." but what about the torture, the domestic surveillance, the wholesale disregard for human life both domestic and abroad, lack of FEMA response or responsibility, bankrupting the nation, denying health care to millions, destroying the nations credibility.... And that's just the tip of the iceberg. He's managed to destroy just about everything he was able too and is attempting to extend that into the future.

There's very little positive to show for the tens of trillions of dollars squandered but he gets to walk away with all the perks and live well on the family fortune while folks like me struggle to get by. But what the heck, he claims he wasn't prepared and that absolves his personal guilt.

I didn't vote for him every opportunity I got, for what little good that did.

Posted by: Jim on December 1, 2008 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't campaign and say, "Please vote for me, I'll be able to handle an attack."

When you run for president, by definition you are saying that very thing by saying you will be able to handle any issue that arises.

I didn't campaign and say, "Please vote for me, I'll be able to handle an attack."

In 2004 Cheney said worse. He said "vote for us or you will be attacked by terrorists."

Posted by: trex on December 1, 2008 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

How can this man wish the intelligence was different when he was responsible for doctoring the intelligence to say what he wanted? Is there really no end to his mendacity? The sooner he is gone, the better, the longer we remember his example of how not to lead a nation, the better.

Posted by: Orange Refugee on December 1, 2008 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

But this is a lie.

Bush and Cheney were looking for a justification for attacking Iraq from day one. It was part of that New American Century bullshit.

He can say he wasn't prepared, and that he didn't campaign on what they intended to do, but to say he "didn't anticipate war" is just a barefaced lie.

Posted by: Paul Camp on December 1, 2008 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

I think grinning cat makes an important point. Although it's hard to ever know what Bush means, his opaque statement that he "wishes the intelligence had been different" leads me to believe he doesn't regret his abominable war of choice, he's only sorry the original pretext for the war was unmasked. This man's unbounded narcissism and severely limited capacities have cost the world dearly. If he were any deeper than a puddle drying in the sun he would torture himself for the rest of his life about what he has done. But, he isn't and he won't.

Posted by: jrw on December 2, 2008 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

HYPOCRITE!!!
Impeach Bush and his gang!
Greetings from Europe

Posted by: Naomi on December 2, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

I join others here in saying "Whoa, waitaminute buddy!"

We have a Bush advisor on the record saying that the illicit weapons justification was picked from among several because those present in the room could agree on that justification. Everybody in the room knew they were set on war. The problem they faced was finding a public justification.

Watsisname the Watergate guy has Bush planning war before his inauguration.

Bush seems to be repeating the same excuse that his underlings have been using for years. He is blaming the intelligence. That is tantamount to blaming the intelligence bureaucrats, the underlings. Remember "slam dunk"? Tenet says the whole whole "slam dunk" episode was an effort to find a scapegoat, that the decision was already made.

Posted by: kharris on December 2, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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